Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo C30 - 2nd Report Update
04 March 2008
It's unusual for a Volvo satnav but this one could be better...
|4 MARCH 2008|
|Our average consumption 37.0mpg|
|Forecast CPM 30.4p|
|Actual CPM 35.5p|
|The Volvo satnav is almost a liability if you’re on either tight urban streets or twisty country roads after dark. The screen revolves from behind a flat panel at the top of the dash, and sits directly in the line from driver’s eye to the front left-hand corner of the car. A screen positioned further down the dash, out of the way would be better. Otherwise the nav is great, though there have been early moans about it not being intuitive. But once you’re used to it, there are no complaints, although there shouldn’t be when you consider the navigation is part of the £2150 optional communication pack|
|21 FEBRUARY 2008|
|Forecast CPM 30.5p|
|Actual CPM 34.4p|
|We weren’t sure about the worth of the £650 Blind-Spot Information System (BLIS) until the orange light saved one of the team from an incident with a previously unspotted motorbike.|
Main Report - 23 January 2008
The C30 has been on our fleet for nearly three months now, and it's certainly creating plenty of debate.
The same compliments and complaints keep coming up from anyone that tries the car. On the plus side are the engine (strong, though a bit noisy), gearbox, looks and stereo, while universal gripes surround the fact that the front seats don't reset to their original place when you've flicked them forward to let someone in the back, the lack of space to rest a left foot on long journeys and the boot. The glass tailgate  looks great, and the £200 optional solid luggage cover  is a much better bet than the fiddly, flimsy standard canvas one, although it seriously restricts access. Anything bigger than airport hand luggage won't go through the gap .
But despite the moans, which could, in a (very) positive light, be seen as adding character to the car, it's still a popular part of the fleet, mainly thanks to those looks. The R-design bodykit works perfectly and I'm still convinced that the Cosmic White with Java Pearl colour scheme was the right choice.
Just before Christmas I took the C30 on a chocolate hunt day trip to Brugge, where the great seats, good engine and decent satnav all proved their worth. The ride isn't great on motorways thanks to those beautiful, though now scuffed (grrrr.), alloys, and the bigger wheels also presumably contribute to the poor turning circle. It takes some remembering that you need a wider arc than you'd expect when pulling into parking spaces.
And there is one other serious moan emitted from the lips of everyone that has tried the C30 - the brakes. Around town they're not too bad, but they're surprisingly weak whenever you need
to bring the car to a quick stop. They're bad enough for us to have taken a trip to our local Volvo dealer, who checked them out and said there's no problem. We've since tried another C30, which was the same, so it seems the brakes are just not as strong as we'd expect.
So, a generally positive but mixed reception to what is without doubt Volvo's most interesting product, and the one with the most appeal for a younger audience. We'll see whether it's the good or the bad that accentuates itself during the coming months.