Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 TSI (DSG) 5 Door, Volvo C30 T5 Review
When Yang meets Yin

Story by C.K Lim, pictures by Azfar Hashim
22 Apr 2008
 

The quiet kid in the (premium hatch) block is the C30 from Volvo. With its tub-thumping turbocharged five-cylinder, will it be a credible opponent to the highly regarded Volkswagen Golf GTI? We took both out to find out…  

In the black corner

Launched here in the middle of 2007, the C30 marks the Swedish carmaker’s return to making hatchbacks since the Volvo 480 of the mid-Eighties. But this time, it’s going upmarket to face up against rivals like Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

We've reviewed the Volvo C30 some time back, and came back impressed with the fact that Volvo can churn out such a unique hatchback with respectable traits. But when compared to its other hatch competitors, how will the car perform? Can it shake the pit, or has it been had already?

For this story, we pit the Swede against the one Teutonic hatchback that is acclaimed by just about all as the class champ – the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Taking styling cues from the C30 Design Concept shown at the 2006 Detroit Motor Show, the C30’s exterior leaves no one in doubt of its dynamic nature. Its rounded front end has a low, wide grille separating the angled headlamps, which comes with black surround for that extra sprinkling of sportiness.

The lower part of the front bumper is intentionally left unpainted, and this continues around this Volvo hatchback, over the bulging wheel arches and across the side sills and the rear bumper.

Its stylishly pert rump features a pair of uniquely styled vertical taillights, flanking a glass tailgate. Coupled with its strongly accentuated shoulders and the twin exhaust tips peeking out from under the rear valence, the C30 when viewed from the rear, undeniably stands out from among other cars in its class for having possibly the most outstanding posterior.

Inside, the cabin architecture of the two-door hatchback is no different from its S40 saloon sibling. Which is no bad thing as the Scandinavians like their things stylishly simple, yet usefully functional - the unique floating centre console that houses the climate control and infotainment system just sums that all up. Sadly, the quality used for some of the materials is somewhat wanting.

Thanks to the generous 2,640mm wheelbase, the four-seater C30 accommodates four adults comfortably. The doors open wide to allow easy egress and ingress to the rear seats, but the front seatbelts try their best to foul things up by being anchored to the B-pillars and the base of the front seats. And that somehow hinders passengers climbing in and out of the rear.

Our market only gets the C30 in the top-of-the-range T5 variant. Mated to a 5-speed automatic, this turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder C30 pumps out 230bhp and 320Nm of peak torque from as low as 1,500rpm. The century sprint takes 7.1 seconds and top speed is at a respectable 235km/h.

 


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 200bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 280Nm @ 1800rpm
Power to Weight 150.9 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 233 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4216 x 1759 x 1501) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Turning Circle 5.45 metres
Kerb Weight 1325 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs

Engine

Engine Capacity 2521cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 5
Bore x Stroke (83.0 x 93.2)mm
Power 230bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 320Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 161.7 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 235 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 3 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4252 x 1782 x 1447) mm
Wheelbase 2640 mm
Turning Circle 5.55 metres
Kerb Weight 1422 kg
Boot Capacity 233 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 62 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs