Volvo C30 T5 R-Design Car Review
There's no doubt Volvo's shaking off their daggy image of yesteryear. It certainly helps when you have your car featured 'product-placement style' in the hit movie Twilight and driven by smoking-hot Robert Pattinson (aka Edward Cullen). *Sigh.
But does Volvo walk the walk (or should that be drive the drive?) or is the brand-spanking new Volvo image just a fresh brand perception created in-house and not on-road by clever marketing and advertising gurus? Here's our review…The drive
When I picked up the latest C30 with my husband, we were both excited - being a designer by trade, he has a bit of a car-crush on this model and suffice to say I don't mind a bit of Mr Pattinson so with both of our boxes ticked, there was an initial fight for the keys. I won. Of course.
The Volvo C30 T5 R-Design is the newest release in the C30 range and for all of you who have no idea what those extra acronyms actually mean, the 'T5' signifies a step-up from the original released vehicle into the 2010 version, along with the 'R-Design' being an optional extra sports-chassis feature. Personally, I likey. It makes the car sportier and somehow a little more a la mode.
Along with the new chic-chassis underbelly, the R-Design version means the car comes with an upgraded leather trim, electronically adjustable driver's seat, a rear spoiler, rear park assist, electro-chromatic mirror with an inbuilt compass, rear-seat armrests, headlight washers and stylish 17-inch designer alloy wheels.
If your budget doesn't afford this funkier-version, never fear; the base model (Volvo C30) provides some pretty snazzy inclusions - think auxiliary audio input, front/rear fog lights, electric fold-in door mirrors, leather interior, remote central locking, climate control, pollen filter, front-seat adjustable lumbar support, split-fold rear seat, front cup holders, 12V auxiliary power outlets, an adjustment steering wheel, front electric windows, cruise control and trip computer. Not a bad start. The drive
The C30 is undeniably fun to drive. Responsive and light, the car is low to the ground and super zippy. While driving, I had an undeniable, instinctive need for speed and on a few occasions succumbed to putting my foot down and 'flooring it', not necessarily a good thing but definitely a buzz nonetheless. Of course this phenomenon may have had a little something to do with the fact this model was a turbo, 5-cylinder with seriously good pick-up. The car is easy to park and manoeuvre; plus the steering wheel is comfortable and the seats are super so. The verdict? No gripes whatsoever from me when it came to the drive.Style
The Volvo brand has always been synonymous with safety yet perhaps lacking sorely in the style department. With the C30, it's time to put this ye olde worlde perception to rest once and for all.
This car oozes cool and yes, even sex appeal. The T5 R-Design is as fabulous on the inside as it is on the outside with its stainless steel designer-look dash (apparently inspired by the famous Swedish Hagstrom guitars used by Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa), along with a leather interior in fashionable 'Oyster Burst Deco' black and red. Australia's next top model? We think so.Safety
Safe to say, this Volvo ups the ante when it comes to safety. So much so, I felt justified in driving this car like a maniac. Yet who can blame me with more safety features than you think you would ever need and then some I've never even heard of such as:
'Active Bending Lights' - basically meaning the car's headlights give you a safer view when driving at night by allowing for an arc of 15 degrees in either direction as the car corners.
Adaptive Brake Lights - which operate above 50km/h and enable the brake lights to flash at 5 times a second during emergency stops. Once the speed has dropped below 30km/h, the brake lights stop flashing and the hazard warning lights flash in their place.
Volvo's Intelligent Driver Information System - helps the driver prioritise the information in the car depending on the current driving situation.
And that's not all - there's a stability and traction control system, a safety-cage construction featuring a reinforced roof, SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and strong front and rear crumple zones to disperse crash energy; WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), seatbelt pretensioners, dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags in the front seats and side-curtain airbags. Blind Sport Information System (BLIS), rain-sensing wipers and even a first aid kit is available in the T5. 3 words to describe this car
: Sporty, stylish, sexy.What are the best things about this car?
: The drive and fashion kudos. What are the downsides of this car?
: It's not huge, which is fine for a single gal or smaller family however, the boot could still be bigger, regardless. The doors were a little heavy and the seats a tad annoying to slide back and forward when getting in and out of the rear seats. Again, this wouldn't annoy a single gal. What kind of petrol did this car use?
: Unleaded. Liked it?
: Very much. So much so my partner is considering buying one (cue to remind him he's a father of 2 with one on the way. Mid-life crisis anyone?). If personified, who would this car be?
: Jessica Alba. Cost
: $43,450 manual or $44,950 auto.Seats
By Juliet Potter from www.autochic.com.au