Vicky Parrott
7 October 2007

What is it?

The new R-Design Volvo C30. Classified as an option rather than a trim level, adding R-Design will cost an extra £500 and gets you a host of design tweaks, the most significant of which is the two-tone leather interior and external body kit. The R-design model we're testing is the C30 T5 SE Sport.

What's it like?

The R-Design kit itself is a worthwhile option if you want your C30 to look particularly sporting inside and out. As well as the R-Design badges, you get a rear roof spoiler to match your colour-coded body kit, and on the lower SE trim level you get unique 17-inch alloys, although the SE Sport model tested here keeps the 18-inch design that is standard with the trim level.

It comes as no surprise that this engine - also used in Ford's Focus ST - mated to a six-speed gearbox gives the C30 considerable pace, albeit without the involving dynamics of the Ford.

The cabin is quiet, the engine refined and the interior pleasant – especially with the black and cream leather and subtle console design you get with the R-Design option breaking up the greys of the dashboard.

But even with such decent motorway manners and the draw of the C30's attractive styling and premium feel, there is no getting over the fact that this model comes at a price it cannot justify.

Our test car was fitted with £3700 of options, including the £2150 'communications pack' that accounts for sat-nav and telephone integration, and the excellent Blind Spot Information System worth £650.

At the list price of £23,495, the T5 SE Sport R-Design seems lacking in equipment and dynamics next to its rivals, but with the options that everyone will want it competes in price with the BMW 130i and Audi S3, and it simply isn't as good.

Should I buy one?

Yes, absolutely. But only if you're looking on the used market in 2010, when the range-topping C30 will likely be a sub-£12k purchase and a better ownership proposition in every respect.

Join the debate


Re: Volvo C30 T5 R-Design

6 years 1 week ago

Does anyone have one of these?? would like to know what you think?

Re: Volvo C30 T5 R-Design

6 years 1 week ago

I have the V50 version in white - and I love it.

Re: Volvo C30 T5 R-Design

5 years 16 weeks ago

albertz33 wrote:
Does anyone have one of these?? would like to know what you think?

I would like to know as well does anyone own this car and what is it like to live with, in paticular what is the 1.6D R Design model like There are some great offers for that car at the moment any info would be great?

Even in 2013, this is yet the

41 weeks 3 days ago

Even in 2013, this is yet the Volvo model I like more! It is so beautiful that I could live inside my car!

Life is too good to care about that!

-Fernando da Cunha Sterea

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

The C30 2.0D disappoints, but 1.6D is very competitive. Nice, but flawed

Driven this week

  • Jaguar F-type R coupe

    Jaguar F-type R coupe

    Car review
    25 July 2014 9:30am

    Most powerful Jaguar F-type coupé is sensational to drive, with even better driving dynamics than its convertible sibling

  • BMW X4 UK first drive review

    BMW X4 UK first drive review

    First drive
    25 July 2014 9:08am

    The new X4 makes a more usable proposition for British roads than the larger X6, but this SUV lacks all-round ability

  • Jaguar F-type coupe

    Jaguar F-type coupe

    Car review
    25 July 2014 7:55am

    Can the new Jaguar live up to its billing as the company's most desirable model in years?

  • Citroën C4 Cactus

    Citroën C4 Cactus

    Car review
    24 July 2014

    Gallic quirkiness meets pragmatism in the new crossover hatchback

  • Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review

    Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review

    First drive
    23 July 2014

    New convenience and safety gadgets, plus a great new TSI engine, help keep the Polo close to the top of the class