Volvo C30 – Eco Car

Volvo's tiniest car, the C30, is based on the Ford Focus-platform and has many of its qualities. The funky design, the short-wheelbase, the economical engines and the upmarket interior are huge positives, although the list price is off-putting. Base prices start at £15,140. The extremely Eco Friendly DRIVe Volvo C30 is available from £17,500.

Volvo C30 - low co2 emissions

Volvo C30 – DRIVe Model Car Tax Exempt

Tax is another drawback of the Volvo, with even the smallest standard C30 engine falling into H tax bracket. The diesel engines are in band G and the sporty T5 is band K―certainly not a great choice for company car users or those who try and keep costs to a minimum. However Volvo have spent a great deal of time an effort into manufacturing a more economically friendly C30 and have come up with the DRIVe C30. The DRIVe model falls into Band A Car Tax which is exempt from payment in the showroom and thereafter.

Volvo C30 – C02 Emissions

The worst for CO2 emissions is the five-cylinder turbo T5, pumping out 203g/km. The 1.6 petrol engine spews out 167g/km and the diesels aren't any better at 151g/km. All in, the emissions levels are a poor show for Volvo, particularly as Ford's model of the same design manages to achieve better results. The DRIVe C30 however emits a meagre 99g/km of Co2 which certainly competes with many other eco cars on the uk market.

Volvo C30 – Safety

Volvos are safe cars, and the C30 is no different. There are electronic aids, such as traction control, stability control and brake-force help, as standard. Power steering, ABS and warning systems help the driver to stay safe.

Volvo C30 – Miles Per Gallon

The eco friendly DRIVe model very low fuel costs with a very acceptable 74.3MPG on the combined cycle, (65.7mpg to 80.7mpg). The 2.0 diesel offers great fuel economy, with 49.6mpg being returned, although it does come under insurance group 24E, which is monumentally high. The cheapest C30, the 1.6 petrol engine, returns 40.4mpg and is in insurance group 16E. Overall, the equivalent Ford Focus manages to trump each Volvo model for running costs.

Volvo C30 - DRIVe - Eco Car

Volvo C30 – Stylish

The list price is explained as soon as the doors are opened. That stylish interior is cool, welcoming and modern, and far more upmarket than any Focus. The seats encapsulate its occupants, hugging them nicely. The rear seats are only really good for young children, as adults would find it a squeeze and uncomfortable on a long drive.

The quality of the parts, the instruments and the interior are in a league above other hatchbacks, hence the heightened price and insurance costs. The exterior looks great and is fun and sporty, but is slightly overshadowed by the Audi A3 or the BMW 1-series in the luxury small car category.

Volvo C30 – Performance

Apart from the T5 petrol engine, lifted straight from the fastest Ford Focus, the other models are disappointing in terms of performance. The 1.6 ES reaches 0-60mp in 11.8 seconds, which is poor in comparison to other cars in this class. The diesel-powered models dip under 10 seconds, and all models can reach in excess of 120mph. The DRIVe model has a top speed of 121mph and can reach 62mph in 11.3 seconds, (115 BHP).

Volvo C30 – Boot Space

Cramped rear seats that are just good enough for kids does not make the Volvo C30 a very practical car. The boot is tiny, with only 240 litres of space, and even folding the seats forward doesn't make much difference to the space. The thick pillars to the rear of the car make rear visibility and parking difficult, too.

Volvo C30 – Handling

Volvo simply cannot match the Focus, or many other models, for handling. The Volvo C30 is mainly for wafting around the city and on motorways―not for having a 'spirited' drive. There is understeer when pushing on that only gets worse in poor conditions although thankfully there are many electronic safety nets to keep you out of the weeds.

Volvo C30 – Conclusion

If you want an eco car that is also a Volvo make sure it is a DRIVe version. To read more about Volvo’s environment agenda they’ve called DRIVe, click here: DRIVe from Volvo.

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