The C30’s powertrain line-up includes a pair of petrol engines and four diesel variants. The range kicks off with the 1.6-litre DRIVe eco-diesel. It shares the same four-pot diesel with the D2, the next model in the range, but thanks to a slough of fuel-saving equipment, including start-stop, CO2 emissions are down to 99g/km and Volvo claims 74.3mpg on the combined cycle.
That’s not at the expense of performance, with the DRIVe model recording an 11.3sec 0-62mph time and a 121mph top speed. Those performance figures are identical to the non-DRIVe-equipped version of the same engine, but emissions of 114g/km and an official figure of 65.7mpg on the combined cycle make it slightly costlier to run – although, predictably, slightly cheaper to buy.
The D3 model is powered by a 2.0-litre, five-cylinder unit that develops 148bhp and 258lb ft of torque, available between 1500 and 2750rpm. That makes a better performer, with a 9.4sec 0-62mph time and a 130mph maximum, but there is a fuel and CO2 penalty to pay – a official combined figure of 55.4mpg and emissions of 134g/km will be too much of a price for many.
Petrol choices are limited to a 145bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which matches the D3’s performance and a 230bhp 2.5-litre five-pot shared with the Mk2 Focus ST.
While the latter’s performance doesn’t match that of the hard-charging Ford, it offers a relaxed and refined drive with a turn of speed. Volvo quotes a 6.7sec 0-62mph time and a 149mph top speed.