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Before you read the words Volvo and diesel and turn the page, it's worth giving this one a second chance. Andy Enright reports on why the C30 D5 is something rather special

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The C30 D5 has a spry 180bhp to power a car thats neat, light and compact. Three trim levels are offered, opening with the SE and R-Design. Then come the fancy SE Lux variants topping off the range. All versions are supplied with the Geartronic five-speed transmission.

The D5 diesel engine is a modern common rail 2.4-litre unit with five cylinders and is mounted transversely across the front of this C30, driving the front wheels. Its probably the most appealing engine in the whole C30 model range offering decent economy and even more torque than the storming T5 petrol engine (350 vs 320Nm).


Fuel economy is predictably good too, with an urban figure of 29.7mpg, an extra urban showing of 52.3mpg and an overall figure of 40.9mpg.

These figures may not be quite so easy to replicate. Volvo had long earmarked this fourth model but werent quite sure what it was going to be. The company consulted its customers, looked at the way the industry was moving, and came up with the C30 SportsCoupe, a model that drives down the average age of Volvo buyers by a good few years.

The design brief was formed from various customer clinics and when it took shape, it was loose and relatively easy to fulfil customers wanted something desirable, low and wide with big wheels and four seats. They also fancied lots of standard equipment and a punchy stereo. Given that latter day small Volvos have had a rich design element to their interiors, translating that to the exterior wasnt a tough job for Volvos stylists.

Some things are reassuringly Swedish. Safety hasnt been skimped on and as well as the usual airbags and seat belt tensioners, the C30 serves up WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and even the option of BLIS (Blind Spot Information System).This acts much like an extra set of eyes and uses digital camera technology mounted in the door mirrors to monitor the areas 3m to each side and up to 9.5m behind the driver.

If a vehicle enters this area, a symbol appears on the windscreen pillar near the rear view mirror to indicate that somethings there when you take a quick look towards the mirror. Active at speeds above 10km/h, this system isnt the only safety benefit buyers of the C30 enjoy. Special water repellent glass is fitted to the mirrors and side windows.


FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: Volvo C30 D5

PRICES: 20,110 - 21,360 on the road

INSURANCE GROUPS: 14

CO2 EMISSIONS: 151-209g/km

PERFORMANCE: Max Speed 140mph / 0-60mph 7.8s

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (urban) 29.7mpg/ (extra urban) 52.3mpg/ (combined) 40.9mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front and curtain airbags,
WHIPS seats, side impact protection system

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/width/height 4248/1780/1450mm

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