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Volvo C30 drive (2010)

by Barry Green,reviewed August 2010

Volvo’s C30 DRIVe is typical of the brave new world of motoring where the focus is on lowering fuel economy and emissions.
The car features ‘Stop/Start’ technology, which switches off the engine when stationary in traffic or sitting at the traffic lights.

There’s also a regenerative charge facility that charges the battery as soon as you release the accelerator or brakes while a gear is engaged. By harnessing the car's kinetic energy, the alternator does not have to use diesel fuel as a power source to recharge the car's battery.

Other ‘smarts’ optimise the engine’s management, power steering and cooling systems for maximum efficiency, while the gear ratios in the five-speed manual box have been fine tuned to also improve fuel economy.

Wind deflecting panels on and under the car help minimise drag, as do the aero design wheels and low rolling resistance tyres.

The upshot is an ADR combined cycle figure of 3.8-litres of diesel per 100 kilometres and 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre in emissions.

It’s a good driver too, offering responsiveness, sharp handling and ride quality with more than acceptable comfort. Particularly commendable is the driver seat cushion manually-operated tilt adjustment.

The emergency brake light system should also be mentioned. Active over 60 km/hr, this system flashes the stop lights five times a second if the brakes are applied in an emergency.
Volvo C30 Drive 2010


Fuel economy and low emissions, driveability


No auto option, no spare tyre, four seater only

Key features

Low rolling resistance tyres and aero wheels, regenerative charge facility, dual climate control airconditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control, remote central locking


Front/side/curtain airbags, anti lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC), whiplash and side impact protection, emergency brake lighting

Car Details

Vehicle make Volvo
Vehicle model C30 Drive
Vehicle type Small Over $35,000
Year 2010
Price when new $36,150 MLP
Current price range $ - $

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 1.6-litre, 16 valve turbo-diesel 4-cyl
Max power 80 kW @ 4000 rpm
Max torque 250 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 11.3 s (claimed), 12.9s (as tested)
Braking from 80 km/h 23.7 m (as tested)
Economy ADR 3.9-litres/100 km (claimed), 4.6 (as tested)
Emissions rating
4 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.