Those of you old enough to remember The Saint TV series with Roger Moore back in the ‘60’s, might remember this car. The Volvo P1800 was a sort of sports car with a great front end and unfortunate, sort of fin deals on the tail.
It was like a dependable MG without as much fun.
That’s what I first thought of when looking at the Volvo C30 in my driveway. It’s a sleek, chiseled, shape…the sort of thing you’d get if IKEA designed a sports car. Think of it as a two-seater with occasional room for another couple in back, if you keep the trip short. Think Mini-Cooper and you will have nailed the competition perfectly.
Unfortunately, the little T% edition we drove doesn’t quite nail the Mini as well, but it is a lot more elegant. Inside, very comfy seats in the Volvo tradition positively cuddle your nether regions, while the flat, curving center stack floats down seemingly without support. It’s amusing and leaves a bit of room underneath.
Power comes from a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine. It produces only 227-horsepower, but that is enough to take the fairly light coupe to 60 miles per hour in 6.7-seconds.
Handling is very good, and the car is a blast to sling around, in a stodgy Swedish sort of way.
And that’s the deal about the C30. It has all the ingredients to really be a Scandinavian Mini-Cooper, but ends up being like an evening of standup comedy by Bjorn Borg. It’s less Rolling Stones and more Abba. It’s…well you get the idea.
On the plus side, it gets around 25 to the gallon all around, and comes to a little over $27,000. The platinum package with sunroof, power seats, better sound and some really cool front headlight washers, adds another $8-grand. You decide if that’s worth it to you.
As for me, I basically like it, in a bloodless, clinical kind of way. Volvos are like that.