Saturday, November 28, 2015

6-Speed Turbo Hatch: 2011 Volvo C30

If you head out to your local used car lot looking for a late model front-drive hot hatch with a manual gearbox you'll probably expect to find something from Ford, Volkswagen, or Honda.  Add a turbocharger to the requirements list and Honda drops off the table, and if you want something that has more than 4 cylinders the list gets really small and something from a Scandanvian OE pops to the top.  Find this 2011 Volvo C30 here on eBay bidding for $5,000 reserve-not-met with 2 days to go, located in Maribel, WI.

If you get into the Volvo C30 expecting a GTI level of suspension tuning or the reflexes of a Mini Cooper, you might be disappointed.  However, if you get into the C30 with a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix as your baseline -- you might be pleasantly surprised.

And that is the thing about the C30: it might have a 2011 vin number, but it is a decidedly old school car with a focus on low end torques and driver comfort.  The 2.5 liter B5254T7 inline-5 pushes out 227 horsepower and 236 ft-lbs of torque (which is available at a tractorlike 1500 rpm) into a front mounted 6-speed manual transaxle. 

See a better cheap hatch for your collection?


  1. I have a nephew that is shopping for a first car. He wants an Alfa (off the table), Saab, or a Volvo.
    Pretty interesting choices for a 15 year old. For the money one can buy a pretty great Saab or Volvo.
    He has found a few 60R and Viggens for around his 5k budget. People are especially dumping Saabs for nothing. I believe they think there is not going to be any service support.

  2. I like the way these cars look and they remind me of the 1800. They are hard to find around here (NE).

  3. Yeah, I believe that backlight was meant to invoke the 1800es' defining characteristic. This example sits a smidge higher than I'm used to seeing. I remember pricing a build on one of these online and it got spendy real quick; this one looks pretty sleek compared to the cladded few we see around SoFla. I always thought that this would make a cool rally-themed runabout, but I'm stupid like that.

  4. I am a fan of the C-30 so this car was hit in every panel sounds like it was stuck inside a pinball machine be nice to know the whole story on this, did come across one @ the Honda dealer recently when i got my new rig.

  5. So is every- body wrecking these another rebuilt titile.

  6. "If you head out to your local used car lot looking for a late model front-drive hot hatch with a manual gearbox you'll probably expect to find something from Ford, Volkswagen, or Honda." ....2005-2006 MINI Cooper S is where it's at. About as go-kartish as you can stand, for great prices these days.

  7. I agree with my esteemed fellow Anonymous. The derivations of these wonderfully Scandanavian hot hatches that attract are the R, and the massively well developed and hyper $$ Pole Star. I drove one on a test drive and was encouraged to "find its potential." It would take someone with far greater skills than I have. But, it still lacked the immediacy and the constant tapping on your psyche like a Mini Cooper S with the Bilstein upgraded suspension will do. I have a 10' Clubman with JCW mapping.

    After 60K, it is still really difficult to not drive like an asshole, sorry. "Today I am NOT using the sport button, I am going to maximize my fuel mileage." It never gets old. And if I act like a Fast and Furious fuck-up, I still get 30-34mpg, instead of the 37-39 it usually gets.

    Also, having owned several nice 1800S & later E's and ES's, the pastiche was not compelling.

  8. I hope the seller has a good luck selling it, he'll need it if he responds to all questions like the one he was asked on ebay.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.