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Photos: 2008 Volvo C30

The 2008 Volvo C30 makes for a fun and sporty little car that will stand out in a crowd. It can be optioned up with the full range of tech, though its stereo interface leaves something to be desired. Leave out the automatic transmission option in favor of the manual.

CNET Reviews staff

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Volvo looks back in its model history to design its newest small car. The C30 takes its design from the Volvo P1800ES.
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The premium audio system uses 10 Dynaudio speakers and produces excellent surround sound.
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You can choose how much surround to give your music. We thought it sounded best at maximum.
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Volvo's T5 engine, a turbocharged five-cylinder, is mounted transversely under the hood. It produces 227 horsepower.
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Although the grille retains a squarish shape, there is nothing square about this car.
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The switch gear on the C30 all felt solid and made from quality components.
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With its tapered rear windows, the C30 doesn't look as long as the original P1800ES.
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Seven wheel choices are among the many personalization options available with this car.
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The cabin is narrower than the car toward the back, creating distinct rear fenders that follow the belt-line forward.
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There isn't too much cargo area normally, but the rear seats fold down to maximize space.
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One customization option results in these two-tone seats.
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We really like the design of the floating stack, an element carried over from past concept cars.
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The steering wheel rim is nice and thick. You can also get a wooden steering wheel for the C30.
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We felt the five-speed automatic really held the C30 back. Even in manual gear selection mode, shifts were slow.
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Volvo's radio display is nicely done and easy to read. The graphic treatment for radio tuning is really nice.
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The display shows MP3 track information, but we don't like that you have to turn the tuning dial to select songs.
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Sirius satellite radio comes with the premium audio system. In the same way you can't navigate through folders on MP3 CDs, you can't choose categories of music on Sirius.
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The aux jack is mounted in the center console.
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You can fine-tune the audio output with front and back five-band graphic equalizers.

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