The Volvo C30 is a quirky alternative in the C-segment. The 1.6-litre diesels are frugal and refined, but the car lacks the dynamic fizz so common in this class.

The C30 is an easy car to like. It has made the jump from concept to production remarkably intact and, for the most part, feels the niche premium product it’s supposed to be. It’s an enjoyable car to be seen in; a good car to cruise in.

The C30 has done much to raise the profile of Volvo

Volvo has got so much right that it’s all the more of a pity that it isn’t a touch more practical and user-friendly, but that would remove part of the car’s appeal.

Its diesel engines – particularly the 1.6-litres – are very good, and offer impressively low running costs. Compared to the coupé-like Astra GTC and Mégane Coupé, the C30 is an affordable way into a stylish C-segment hatchback, but against cars such as the Ford Focus it can appear pricey.

It’s reasonably well priced, very handsome, safe, comfortable and economical, so it’s a real shame the C30 isn’t more fun to drive.