As the axe falls on Volvo's quirky C30 hatch, we take a look back at the model through the years
8 June 2013

The Volvo C30 is to be axed following a lifespan of just seven years, and the last ever car is bound for Britain Volvo announced earlier this week.

First glimpsed as the SCC Concept at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show and initially slated for production in 2002, it was finally revealed in production spec at the 2006 Paris Motor Show.

The C30 was an interesting alternative to mainstream hatchbacks and coupés, and instantly hailed as the spiritual successor to the decidedly left-field 480 coupé. Volvo positioned it perfectly as a niche, upmarket product that drivers wanted to be seen in - even if it failed to be as practical and user-friendly as it should have been.

With the more recent launches of sporting coupé hatches including the Vauxhall Astra GTC, Renault Mégane coupé and Volkswagen Scirocco, not even its looks - little changed from the SCC Concept - could fully compensate for a lack of dynamic sparkle. 

It went on to sport a huge range of engines, including frugal diesel and petrol units. The T5’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine found service in the Mk2 Ford Focus ST.

In 2010 the C30 had a mid-life facelift, as Volvo passed from Ford ownership to Chinese car maker Geely for £1.17billion. The refresh brought the car into a new styling direction, with Volvo’s boxy geometry being replaced with a more modern, smoother face. A host of new technologies also featured on the facelifted C30, including SMS messaging technology and stop-start engines. 

Perhaps the most alluring model in the line-up was Volvo’s striking Polestar C30. The C30 Polestar Concept of 2010 was a hot variant, boasting 400bhp from an upgraded 2.5-litre T5 engine and a posted a blistering 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds. It was instantly recognisable from its aggressive aerodynamic styling and electric blue paintwork. 

Reaching production in 2012, albeit with a less potent 250bhp, the C30 Polestar was critically acclaimed; many saying that using Volvo’s Polestar racing arm could have been the adrenaline boost Volvo needed to make the brand more appealing. It fielded cars in the World Touring Car Championship, and took the team and driver's titles in 2009 and 2010 in the Swedish series.

Low sales figures prompted Volvo to swing the axe on the C30, and it is still not known as to whether the C30 will be directly replaced, with Volvo choosing to focus on its more conventional models to strengthen the company's foothold on the premium market. 

Volvo is offering fans the chance to win the last ever C30 built. Visit lasteverc30.co.uk for more details.

Jimi Beckwith

Our Verdict

Volvo C30 2007-2012

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

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Comments
17

8 June 2013

But really it was more of a three-door four-seater hatchback. Sad to hear it's going because it looked a bit different, the dashboard was interesting, and the P1800ES glass tailgate was unique.

8 June 2013

The problem with the C30 was the lack of genuine improvement or range developement, they badly needed a 5 door to improve the flexibility, the boot was too small, the interior was interesting but it was not of high enough quality for the price, if they gave it a make over when the V40 was released last year using the same interior and exterior styling it would have then given it a few more years.

 They could have also given the C70 a similar make over which was overpriced for what it was.

A 5 door C30 had been designed but not produced.

8 June 2013

Production finished last December....

8 June 2013

I've always liked the C30, its lack of practicality wouldn't have been an issue for me, but the lack of a smaller, efficient, but reasonably powerful petrol engine was. If they'd have offered something similar to the 1.4 122 tsi VW group engine I'd have probably bought one.

8 June 2013

A great car, with 210,000 sold in its lifetime, and 1 in 7 sold in the UK, our shores were its best market, I liked this car but it is a shame it has to go.

8 June 2013

I road tested one about 2 years ago, a 1.6 Drive, which seemed fine but when I looked at a D2 spec one recently it seemed to have jumped in price which may explain why so few were sold.  An Audi A1 is probably a better bet, with petrol engines that don't cost so much to tax.  The C30 also felt quite small inside, which may have put some people off.  Perhaps Geely will bring one of their products into the UK to fill the void, although apart from a few Great Wall pick-ups and the [very] occasional MG6, there aren't many Chinese vehicles in my neck of the woods.

8 June 2013

Like other Volvo models, the C30 was overpriced. While the interiors were classy, they did not justify the premiums charged.  I compared the Ford Forcus ST3 v C30 T5 (essentially the same car), with the Volvo costing over £5k more, yet carrying worse second-hand values. 

Buying the ST was a no brainer. 

8 June 2013

Jamesthe1st wrote:

Like other Volvo models, the C30 was overpriced.

I don't really understand this comment.  Much of Volvo's range is either similar or cheaper in price next to the opposition, with the likes of the S60 being several hundred cheaper than an entry level A4.

9 June 2013

Volvophile

Sorry, but Volvos aren't comparable to German marques, they're comparable to Fords and Vauxhalls, hence the second hand values. 

10 June 2013

Jamesthe1st wrote:

Volvophile

Sorry, but Volvos aren't comparable to German marques, they're comparable to Fords and Vauxhalls, hence the second hand values. 

Right...

Volvo are a premium brand and were never exactly mass market.  Just because they are less successful than their German competitors doesn't make them not.  That lack of success can also be attributed to pre-conceptions people still have of the brand today that are of course utterly false, which in turn also affect residuals.  The amount of times people spout off to me  that they wouldn't drive a modern Volvo can not even identify one when I show it to them. 

If they are a volume brand, can you explain to me why they were placed under the Premier Automotive Group umbrella by Ford when they were a subsidiary?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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