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2013 Volvo C30

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The 2013 Volvo C30 Review: The C30 is Volvo's smallest car sold in the U.S. A compact hatchback, it bears some resemblance to the iconic glass-hatched 1800es of the early 1970's. But the C30 is a completely modern car.
With more choices in the compact hatchback segment now, the C30 is kind of a relic, but a charming one. It brings the Volvo experience to younger buyers, and offers, along with its turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, a manual six-speed transmission.

Those odd-numbered cylinders in the inline engine normally put out 227 horsepower. However, my test car was one of 250 limited edition Polestar models (the tiny dash plaque said No. 249 / 250). Polestar, Volvo’s official tuner, ekes out 250 horsepower here, thanks to boosted turbocharger pressure. They also re-optimized ignition, fuel mapping, and recalibrated the throttle response, using software and chips.

The EPA gives the car a combined fuel economy number of 24 mpg (21 City, 29 Highway). I averaged 27.0 mpg. The Green scores are 5 for Smog and 6 for Greenhouse Gas.

As a Polestar special edition, my tester wore bright Rebel Blue paint. It also carried the small, square Polestar logos and flaunted a set of matte black wheels, the latest trend. Polestar models are not based on the entry-level T5, but are built on the upper crust R-Design models.

It features 18-inch wheels, a body kit with front and rear spoilers, matte finish grille surround on the outside and a shiny exhaust finisher. Inside, there's a special leather upholstery design, beautiful blue "watch dial" instruments, a custom steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. The driving experience was mostly fun. I was surprised that the company that designed and promoted seatbelts had one that rubbed against the side of my neck, and had no height adjustment. But the feeling inside the cabin is certainly pleasant, if a bit sober.

The Scandinavian design aspect of this car stands out today, when compact cars such as the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra offer a bewildering symphony of curves and swoops in the cockpit. The contours of the door and dash panels in the C30, in neutral materials uninterrupted by bling, promote calm.

The slim center console, a silver ribbon running from dash to floor, is unique in the industry, made possible by compact electronics. The textures in the Polestar car are a little more energetic, it being a special edition. The console metallic trim, for example, has op-art flows of lines around the knobs.

There are some definite quirks to this car that you will have to not mind living with. Besides the seatbelts, the audio system is tricky. When I wanted to see the artist and the song title for selections on the satellite radio, I had to pick one or the other, not both, thanks to the small display. And it took seven button clicks to change the selection from one to the other.

The car has a navigation system, but it is set using a remote control unit, which I found in the center console bin. The screen flips up on the top of the dash. There is also a button on the back of the steering column that gives you some control options. The software to operate the system is a little confusing, but I figured it out as I was driving around, so you probably can, too.

Different, but not troublesome, is the way you hide your valuables in the open hatch area. The C30 gives you a soft folding cover that uses two spring rods and four tie-downs to the hold it in place. Don't need it? It unhooks in seconds and takes up almost no room.

I've always liked the little kangaroo-style lower seat cushion pockets in Volvos, and this car has them too. The seats, ergonomic in Volvos, are supportive and comfortable, despite the seatbelt position.

Base prices start at $26,395 for the T5 and top out at $35,545 (including shipping) for my tester. Volvos traditionally were boxy sedans and wagons that ran forever, being designed for tough Scandinavian winters. When Ford Motor Company owned Volvo, they began to be nice looking cars, too.

The C30 is based on a compact Ford Focus platform, so now that Ford has sold Volvo to a Chinese company, the C30 may not be around much longer. That means you should get yours right now, if you really want one.

Who is the buyer for the special Polestar edition C30? It's too expensive for most young people, and it is not the brand that small car enthusiasts typically lust for. It's meant for that rare individual who can appreciate its many unique features and wants to drive something distinctive. The hatch makes it practical, too, and the blue and black combination really stands out.
By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

The Bottom Line: The 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Edition is Volvo’s rendition of a sport compact hatchback. It brings the Volvo experience to affluent buyers, and offers, along with its turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, a manual six-speed transmission. Sporty, quick, small & unique make up the DNA of this limited edition run of only 250 cars. Volvo added the Polestar Special Edition to the C30 line above the T-5 and R-Design model to prove a point. That Volvo’s can be fun and fast, and still be one of the safest cars on the road today, and maybe, just for that reason alone, you should Drive one, Buy one, Today © Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

The 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Edition Bottom Line Review provided by:  Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net - “Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember:  “ You Are What You Drive © ”

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Column Name: The C30 is Volvo's smallest car sold in the USA
Topic: The 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Edition
Word Count: 1,050              
Photo Caption: The 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Edition
Photo Credits: Volvo C30 Internet Media
Series #:  2013 - 18

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