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2009 Volvo C30 Review

The four-seat 2009 Volvo C30 is a solid upscale small car with a well-liked turbocharged engine and a stylish exterior design, though some rival hatchbacks offer more interior space or more exciting performance.  

Pros & Cons

  • Attention-grabbing exterior
  • Good fuel economy ratings
  • Outstanding safety score
  • Not as spacious as other hatchbacks




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Volvo C30 Overview

With a glass tailgate modeled after the Volvo 1800 ES, reviewers admired the 2009 Volvo C30’s retro-inspired exterior, calling it attractive and distinctive. The C30’s design houses comfortable front seats and standard features that include an eight-speaker stereo with an auxiliary connection. Higher trims and option packages add features like a stereo upgrade, Bluetooth and navigation, as well as blind-spot monitoring. On the safety front, the C30’s outstanding crash test ratings should provide some peace of mind, along with standard safety tech that includes stability and traction control. 

Most test drivers agreed that the C30's 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine provides ample power for Volvo's sporty compact car. One reviewer did say rivals like the Volkswagen GTI are more engaging to drive, but the C30’s fuel economy ratings are class-competitive.

The C30 only seats four, and some car reviewers said that there wasn’t enough legroom in the back seat. However, most found the front seats comfortable and supportive. While the rear seats aren’t spacious, you could use them for additional luggage space, which might come in handy since the C30 offers less cargo space than some competing used cars.

See the full 2009 Volvo C30 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a hatchback that’s more fun to drive, consider the 2009 Audi A3. The A3 is available with two engines, and regardless of which one you choose, reviewers agreed that the A3 had plenty of power. All-wheel drive is also available on the A3, which should appeal to shoppers who experience harsh weather. The A3 also has more cargo space than the C30 and performs equally well in crash tests.

The 2009 Volkswagen GTI floored reviewers with its turbocharged engine, crisp handling and impressive gas mileage. In addition to the GTI’s refined driving dynamics, test drivers liked its roomy cabin and ample cargo space. While these attributes may make the GTI seem like a perfect alternative, the C30 does offer better safety scores.

Compare the C30 to the A3 and GTI »


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