Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fast and Fancya[euro]"welcome to the New Age of Volvo; Comfort, Safety and Style with a Complete Range of Options

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fast and Fancya[euro]"welcome to the New Age of Volvo; Comfort, Safety and Style with a Complete Range of Options

Article excerpt

CRUISE CONTROL

Grant Edwards

SURREPTITIOUSLY, the poisoned chalice was handed over.

For years those abloody Volvoa drivers were the ire of many across this big brown land.

But as the lunchboxes on wheels began to disappear a new menace emerged.

Camry drivers. Crochet rugs migrated to the new Toyota's shelves in droves, and this new breed has now taken the mantle as over-cautious, slow and downright frustrating.

Helping play a pivotal role in this seismic personality shift is the Volvo C30.

It's ultra chic, still ultra safe, but it's anything but beige.

Three years after launch the C30 still doesn't look outdated, but Volvo has given the hatchback an update to fit more snugly into its design philosophy.

There's a rounder nose and honeycomb grille which gurus call more adramatic and expressivea. Not that there was much wrong with the old version, but with more angle on the front bumper and new lights it does meld better with the curvaceous rear end.

Along with the facelift are some new options. There are now extra alloy wheel options, orange and lime green were added to the exterior colour palette, and there are more choices inside.

Mechanically, you can also opt for a more sporting chassis set-up that comes with 18-inch alloys.

While we have plans to test the new efficient diesel model in the coming weeks, we first sampled the range-topping T5 R-Design which focuses on fun rather than frugality.

Comfort

Sporty from the outside, it feels the same on the inside. The trade-off is feeling the bumps and lumps often found on Australian roads.

There is also some rubber rumble evident when you hit the highway, in what is an otherwise occupant friendly cabin.

Leather sports seats have good adjustment options (electric for the driver) and the steering wheel has rake and reach adjustment. And you are given no doubts about its special sporting treatments with R-Design emblems adorning the pews, along with the leather-rim steering wheel, leather/aluminium gearshift knob, aluminium sports pedals and blue-hued speedometer and tachometer.

The set-up is user friendly, and after you get over the TV remote-looking stereo system, it's easily operated. A quirky feature is the storage space available behind the stereo and climate control air-conditioning buttons.

There are two cup holders up front but none in the rear (but there is an arm rest), and getting into the back seat area can take some manoeuvring. Once there a medium-sized adult would have few complaints on a long journey.

On the road

Unleash the power and let the good times roll. The turbocharger takes little time to spool up and deliver hefty torque to the front wheels and it really hammers as you push the C30's limits.

It feels quicker than its sprint time of 0-100kmh in 6. …

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