Volvo C30 DRIVe review

Volvo's C30 DRIVe gains the Swedish company's new eco-friendly technology. Read our review to see how the Volvo performs

"Looks like a win win scenario"

Opt to lower your carbon footprint with a C30 DRIVe – part of Volvo’s new low CO2 range – and you might expect it to be a tad slower to make up for all that good karma you’re earning. Well you’d be wrong.

In fact not only is the C30 DRIVe (pronounced ‘drive-e’) more than half a second quicker to 60mph compared to the 1.6D model it replaces, it’s also arguably the best looking model in the range.

Numerous little tweaks combine to bring this C30 and versions of the S40 and V50 within the £35-per-year Band B tax threshold. These include low rolling resistance tyres, revised third, fourth and fifth gears with shift prompt, a 10mm lower ride height and more aerodynamically efficient wheels and bodywork.

As a new front grille reduces airflow into the engine bay, the ECU has been reconfigured to ensure everything runs effectively without overheating.

Don’t expect enhanced sportiness however. It may have a larger spoiler, and a rear diffuser with racecar-like flattened underbody sections, but the lowered suspension is no harder than standard (so watch those sleeping policemen). The tyres may contribute a two percent improvement in efficiency themselves but they also grip less – ABS will trigger easier and I’ll wager the emergency stopping distance will be longer.

But that’s missing the point. If you want a sporty Volvo, buy one of the other models - the DRIVe range is intended for those wanting to minimise fuel consumption and achieve cleaner running. And I think it will appeal the kind of person who identifies with Volvo’s conscientious image.

Car Specs - Volvo C30 DRIVe

Engine:1.6-litre diesel, 108bhp
0-62mph:10.7 seconds
Top speed:118mph
Economy/emissions:64.2mpg/115g/km CO2
Price/On sale £15,084/Jan 2009

We rate:Cleaner, more economical Enhanced good looks No loss of luxuries

We slate :Low grip from tyres Silly name Owner's smugness

Rating: Image removed.

by Ben Wall

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 e front corner
Deals
24 Jun 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
2021 Citroen Ami
Best cars
16 Jun 2022

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022