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Volvo C30 facelift: Test drive review

Date: 09 February 2010   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £18,990
Key rival: BMW 1-series

Volvo has upgraded the C30 with a host of changes to the car's looks inside and out a new sportier suspension.

The changes kick-off with a new front bumper, grille and fog-light arrangement that aim to bring the car inline with the upcoming all-new S60 - the car that will set Volvo's styling for the next few years.

The styling changes give the C30 a more purposeful look and are significant enough to easily mark it out from the pre-facelift model.

Volvo has also reworked the rear bumper design to include a lower valance in a contrasting colour. And the quick T5 version gains new visible exhaust tailpipes.

For those customers wanting an even more sporty look a styling pack can be added at a cost of £175 which adds tweaked fog light surrounds, front and rear skidplates and side skirts.

On the R-design model, the C30 also comes as standard with lowered, stiffened suspension and sharper steering to give drivers more grip and better feel in the corners. This sports chassis is also an £400 option on the rest of the range, bar the Driv-e eco-version.

The best part of the sports suspension is that it does little to harm the car's ride comfort while giving just that little bit more fun in the bends.

Inside, the C30 is now available with a greater choice of contrasting trim colours. While increased colour choice is great for the first customer, some of the combinations can be garish, particularly the light green, and could well hit residual values.

The only other change to the C30 range is the dropping of the D5 model. The quickest diesel was the smallest seller and to keep the range simple for the used car price guides and improve RVs, it was dropped in the UK.

All the changes to the C30 work well and should give the car a well deserved boost in the prestige lower medium market.

Volvo C30 136PS 2.0D SE 3dr manual
P11D price£18,990
Model price range£16,875-£34,695
Fuel consumption49.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 151g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month£66/£132
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 12
Boot space (min/max)433/947 litres
Engine size/power1997cc/136PS
Top speed/0-62mph130mph/8.8secs
On sale January 2010
VerdictA stylish alternative
to the main prestige
lower medium players

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A stylish alternative to the main prestige lower medium players