Sunday, March 09, 2014

2009 Volvo C30 T5 6M R-Design test drive

This was a fun Saturday afternoon adventure. Frequent reader and sometime commenter Chris suggested that I test drive the C30. Why? Because many of them came with manual transmissions and I should really try one to make sure I will like a V50 wagon with a manual (as they are identical). Great idea. And when Chris found one for sale at a nearby car lot, we jumped at the idea of test driving one.

And here it is, a 2009 C30. All of the ones sold in America came with the turbocharged five cylinder 2.5 liter. It was good for 227 horsepower and 236 pound feet of torque driving the front wheels.

We both thought that at 84,000 miles, this car was priced very optimistically. A quick search on KBB revealed that it should retail for closer to $15,000. Chris thinks it's worth even less.

I really like the exterior of the C30, although while standing by the hatch, I was surprised by how tall it was.

Other than a wash and Armor All on the tires, the car's exterior looked very tired, given its age. The clearcoat was badly peeling on the rear bumper.

The front was a bit untidy. Perhaps there were a lot of highway miles through the Central Valley? Note the picture at the very top of this post, the brown paint on the bottom of the front spoiler had been completely scraped off due to low clearance. Ouch.

The R-Design just meant badges that said "R-Design" and unique interior trim. Ooh-la-la.

Note the scratches just below the taillight. $18,000, they wanted for this.

The car was sufficiently peppy with me, Chris, and our petite saleslady in it. Chris, who is fairly tall, was relatively comfortable sitting in the back. Even in 6th on the freeway, the car pulled strong up a slight incline. My driving was sedate, given the heavy traffic and aforementioned saleslady's presence.

The clutch was hard to get used to. It was very light for 50-75% of its travel. It didn't help that I was wearing dress shoes and there was a paper guard on top of the carpeted floor mat. I was not impressed by it, and it made me come to the conclusion that I did not HAVE to have a manual V50. (Thanks, Chris!)

There was virtually no room in the back, unless the rear seats were folded down. This car definitely aimed at the 30-something professional living in the city.

The interior was nice and tidy and in great shape. The air conditioning was weak, even at full blast.

My conclusion: This car is going to be sitting on the lot for a long time.

The saleslady was very no-pressure and gave us the Carfax print-out.

  • It was initially leased in 2008 for 1 year 7 months (driven 6,500 miles per year).
  • It was then purchased in 2010 (driven 20,500 miles per year)
  • 1,699 miles: fuses and front wheel bearings replaced.
  • Routine and regular maintenance all the way to 6/15/12 (48,961 miles), then nothing for the next 30,000 miles. It was probably serviced at an independent shop once the warranty/free maintenance expired.
Chris, do you have anything to add?


Christopher Diamond said...

Merely that the clutch feel may have been that way since new:

check the comment in the "Gearbox" section

Alan said...

Good looking cars, always liked them particularly the hatch. Love the Scandinavian style, but that piece of shit you drove is overpriced by about $8,000 and is guaranteed to hide all sorts of horrors.