Volvo C30 Review

Now that the great wave of retro auto design (Chrysler PT Cruiser, Volkswagen New Beetle, Ford Mustang and the already gone Ford Thunderbird) has subsided (Dodge Challenger and the still-to-come Chevrolet Camaro excepted), we're starting to see modern cars with subtle reminders of the past...the automotive equalivalent of the kids or grandkids of people we knew and loved.
The Volvo C30 is a completely contemporary car, but the designers incorporated the large glass backlight from Volvo's previous sporty coupe, the late 60s-early 70s P-series. I always loved that car and its unique look (enough that I bought a '78 Toyota Corolla liftback, which was a not-quite-copy), so every time I approached the C30 from behind, I found myself smiling.
There's no attempt to recall the past inside, a good thing since the Ps were basic and black back then. Volvo's been on a roll with its interiors for a few years now, blending light colored leathers with blondish woods and constructing center stacks for audio and HVAC controls that are impossibly slim, allowing open air in front and behind them. It creates an ambience that makes you believe you're in a very special car that's worth every penny of the premium you paid. In fact, you're pretty sure you got a bargain.
That's more than reinforced in driving the C30. It's quick, tossable, quiet and comfortable...there doesn't seem to be a trade-off anywhere.
And there really isn't any competition for the C30...other compact hatchbacks are...well, compact hatchbacks...meant to be basic transportation....this is a premium compact, and one of the best fashion statements on four wheels.