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I have the 1.6 Drive model of the Volvo C30 range for my company car. It is a very comfortable car to drive (I spend around two hours every day driving) Although this model is the "Eco" version it still has enough umfff to get past most traffic and averages a little over 60mpg, even including a small amount of in town driving.
I'm the first to admit that my sense of direction isn't best and am very much of the satnav generation, fortunately the built in satnav system is very intuitive (although I had to wait for an update disc to come through the post before I could use postcodes!) and gets me to where I need to be every time without any fuss.
The styling is more unique than most other cars on the road at present and I do really like the look of it, the interior is very nice too however the lighter material on the seats are very easy to stain and take a fair bit of maintaining, perhaps this was my fault for picking the brighter interior colours knowing I have a baby girl and a small dog!!
My previous car was a Honda Civic which was a lot more fun to drive down quiet B roads going no faster than the legal speed limits of course. My old car felt like a Go-Kart but the superior build quality in the Volvo does make it feel very heavy and this does have a serious impact on the handling.
One other point of criticism is the boot, it might as well not be there! The space within the boot is very little and this is further emphasised by the small hatch you have to try and squeeze your luggage through to get into the tiny boot.
All in all though it is a great car for setting the cruise control on a long journey but not one to throw around in the corners or haul large objects!
I fell in love with the styling of this car from the moment i saw it.
It looks completely different to most cars on the road, when you drive it heads turn to check it out. The interior doesn't disappoint either. I'm very picky about how a car looks when you are sat inside it, Volvo have completely got the styling perfectly right with the C30. Everyone one who sat it the car had something good to say about it. Everything from the steering wheel to the mats look and feel like a quality product. The centre console was the deciding factor when i bought the car.
Unfortunately the car is let down by its terrible fuel economy. I bought the 1.6 r-design c30 and for a full tank of petrol the car would only manage 300 miles. I was so disappointed by this that in the end i sold the car after 3 years just because i could not stand seeing the fuel drop so quickly. I wish i had bough the diesel version because it may have then been closer to being a perfect car.
Despite my headline Drive like Mr R.Pattinson I would like to point out I did not purchase this car because I saw it on Twilight, however I have spoken to a few people about my car and they have all mentioned seeing it on Twilight and said that the cars placement in the film would possibly influence them to buy the car. Ok so my model is:
2006 (56 reg)
I own this vehicle in Black with a black & white leather interior. The newest models can set you back anything from around £15000, personally I think buying a car brand new off a forecourt is daylight robbery, as you can almost guarantee that by the time you reach your first round about your shiny new car has lost a few thousand in value. I chose to bargain hunt and after a few weeks of hunting I managed to lay my hands on one for just £6000 for a 2006 model, this was the first vehicle I bought that was not a shed with wheels, I have had the pleasure of driving around in cars that are almost as old as me. Early in 2011 I started my own business and I strongly believe that company appearance, my appearance etc can have either a positive or negative effect on a clients impression of a company. So I figured it was high time I scrapped my 15 year old fiat punto and buy something that is professional looking but not too "flashy". For me it was a toss up between the C30 and a Mini, as my office is in a very busy area of London and a large portion of my clients are in London I wanted something a little smaller, anyone who has ever tried to find a parking space in Westminster will understand this! After some careful consideration and a couple of test drives I settled on the C30... Why? Well the deciding factor for me was that the Mini was all to common and since it was part of BMW I figured it would cost me an arm and a leg everytime I need so much as a bulb replacing. So the C30 it is... Its small-ish (although I wouldnt call this the smallest compact car), I have since learned that it is incredibly cheap to drive, it looks professional yet not too much of an older persons car (I am only 23 and the TV depicts the Volvo as something that the 40 something year old soccer mam drives) so for me it does have a (for want of a better word) a cool aspect, however I think that this is helped by the fact that Robert Pattinson did drive this in the Twilight movies. Inside the quality of the interior is good, the seats are a faux leather and a black and offwhite mix, the dash and the handles are all plastic, however it is a good quality and looks really good and even though this is only a 3 door compact it is deceptively roomy, I manage to get my twins in with their car seats, a full weeks shopping, me and my partner and occassionally our dog comes along for the ride (she is only a tiny terrior though, so don't expect to get your St Bernard in) and it is still a comfortable ride!
Its been kindly pointed out to me I have not really mentioned the actually drive so I will, the drive is relatively smooth, however I would like to point out its very rare that I venture outside of London, the furthest I did venture was to my parents house, they live in a small village in the north, and the lovely comfortable ride that I have on the streets of London didn't radiate to the dirty rough country roads. On the rougher terrain the car seems to struggle and believe me, you can feel it! So if you are an off road kind of person this is not the vehicle for you, since I spend my time driving inner city this is perfectly acceptable to me.
In terms of the cars safety my model came with all the things you would expect to come as standard in any modern day car, it features an anti-lock break system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP) an array of airbags including front, side and curtain and a traction control system. I was also influenced by the fact that the C30 was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Top Safety Pick Award.
One feature I found particularly frustrating was the cars Electronic Stability feature, I was under the impression that this was designed so that the car can help you the driver reduce the risk of skidding, the way that it does this is monitoring your steering, the pressure you are applying to your pedals and the position of the wheels themselves, it will then make adjustments to the car if it believes that you are skidding or about to skid, the problem with this is (as I noticed during the winter) that sometimes it will mistake your evasive actions as potential problems and attempt to rectify your driving for you, which can actually lead to you skidding in the end anyway! Sadly I don't know much more about the Electronic Stability control and aside from during the slipper months it has not caused me a problem, however I would recommend doing your homework on this before you buy the car, and familiarise yourself with its features!
So I will wrap it up here and summarise, Exterior is stylish and professional, its economical and cheap to run, the interior is roomy and looks really smart and quite the comfortable drive when on smooth roads and it has won an award for its safety so not a bad car in my opinion!
So to sum up, if you need a professional car but don't fancy driving around in something that takes up 6 parking spaces, this is the car for you. Drive safely!