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2013 Volvo C30

Published July 9, 2012

Kurt Cobain drove a 1986 Volvo 240. Apparently because it was considered the world’s safest vehicle on the road at the time. Safety came first for Cobain, unless it involved sticking a shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. There is no airbag in the world going to stop that from splitting your head open.

But now, close to twenty years later, Volvo is producing what is still considered by many to be one of the safest vehicles a person can drive. And thanks to the Volvo C30, also one of the most stylish as well. But when vehicle safety and crash experts tell us that statistics and physics dictate that the mass of a vehicle is the single most important factor to its crash survivability, you can’t really include the C30 in that group.

Regardless it’s a hot little car in that all new class known as Upscale Small Car, or Premium Hatchback. Most reviewers agree that, while the glass hatch is very cool in retro sort of way and scores high marks in the esthetics department, it’s not necessarily the most utilitarian hatch. In other words, the cargo space sucks almost as bad as the experience of having the unfortunate pleasure of having to sit in the rear seat of this car.

Standard is the 2.5 liter, 227hp engine which tends to be plenty of power for your average driver. There are loads of interesting options such as Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System which they conveniently if not incorrectly acronym BLIS. This is a $700 option that turns a light on in the A-pillar when a vehicle is occupying the blind spot. This option is a colossal waste of money unless you’re one of those blissfully unaware idiots out there who has the horrible habit of failing to check your blind spot before changing lanes. The hilarious side effect to this so-called BLIS option is the fact the light comes on as you pass a row of parked cars. Yeah, they didn’t exactly think that one through too well. Great audio system options are available like a USB port and satellite HD stereo capable of audio streaming. There’s a seemingly endless list of luxury options like seat warmers and driver memory, power moonroof and navigational assistance. Pretty much every bell and whistle you can imagine. None of which, by the way, make you safer in the event of a head on collision.

If appearance means more than performance than this is your car. But remember, you’re paying a lot of money to look this good. This is considered by most to be a fun and effective commuter car. Yet it’s not ideal for that young family looking for a small vehicle to lug the kids around in considering the limited rear passenger compartment. Neither is the C30 exactly top notch in the performance or handling departments. It’s nose heavy, and the low geared steering doesn’t make it a car you can have much fun blasting through tight corners with. Having said that, the Volvo C30 is very comfortable and enjoyable on the open highway.

The Volvo C30 is a stylish ride, ideal for the moderate driving poser. Or for a rock star who needs just enough room in the trunk for a sawed off shotgun.

 

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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