Used review: 2008 Volvo C30

Volvo C30 (photo: Quickpic)The C30 was a high-water mark in the transformation of Volvo’s image. From dour and insipid to fabulous – say the latter in an emphatic way, like the lovable couple of Cameron and Mitchell on television’s Modern Family.

And since Volvo has always been a niche player, one can never expect residual values to be as strong as those from the German opposition. Obviously, great news when you’re shopping around on the second hand market.

We’ve sourced a superb bargain for this week’s used car review. One that will appeal to first-time buyers on their way up the career ladder and even well-heeled parents who want some Swedish safety for their offspring.

2008 saw the release of a more accessible C30 derivative, the 1.6 features a smaller engine capacity, but doesn’t cut down on the essential kit that makes this a premium car. The new list price then was R214 500, including VAT. This was before the emissions taxes took effect.

With just over 73 000 kilometres on the odometer – a reasonable 14 600 kilometres per year – this Volvo C30 is now being sold for R124 950. So that’s a knock of around R84 510.

A prestige badge for the price of an entry-level B-Segment budget car. It’s hard to find anything that rivals this, in the compact premium ambit, for such impressive value. You could hop into the Audi A1 or Mini, but expect to pay more.

Those with a high-performance slant will be wanting, but the Volvo gains momentum with fair ease and it’s well-suited to Johannesburg’s stop-and-go driving conditions. We like how Volvo has dialed a bit of feel into gear-shifts; there’s a strong sense of mechanical involvement when you’re engaging cogs.

Volvo has always had their finger firmly on interior comfort and solidity. Perhaps hopping out of our Ford Focus ST test vehicle had amplified the C30’s cosseting cabin. The contouredVolvo C30 (photo: Quickpic) headrests – a Volvo hallmark since forever – and those straight-cut, supportive chairs work well to soothe the back.

Volvo offered a myriad of customisation options for the interior, but the previous owner must not have wanted the funky fixtures. This one keeps it neutral with black upholstery and trim. It’s plush, robust and worthy of all those goodadjectives one uses to describe the interior of a premium car.

But there is a catch. Ever heard the saying you get what you pay for? Well the C30 is a luxury offering after all, therefore you can expect exorbitant maintenance costs. This particular model just came out of service plan.

Volvo will extend it for another two years or 40 000 kilometres, which ever comes first, for R31 748. If you want to extend it by 60 000 kilometres, that will be R40 784. Service intervals are every 20 000 kilometres, we were told by a Volvo service advisor that one can expect to pay in the region of R5500 for the next one – it involves changes of all filters and spark plugs.

Brake discs cost around R900 each and brake pads are R800 for a set. Thankfully, this engine has a timing chain rather than a cambelt: changing the latter would usually cost in the region of R12 000.

A 25 year-old male could expect to pay between R565 and R1112 per month for insurance and a woman of the same age between R483 and R891. Including the monthly installments, let’s round off the tally to R3000.

The C30 offers Swedish solidity at a bargain price, but just be sure to budget for those scheduled maintenance stops.

The Technical Stuff
Model: 2008 Volvo C30
Mileage: 73 832 kilometre
Price: R124 950
Estimated Repayment: R2533
Power and Torque: 74kW and 150Nm
Fuel Consumption: 7.8l/100km

Brenwin Naidu is a guest contributor to DriveRSA. He writes for Surf4cars (, South Africa’s comprehensive online car-buying resource. Find this Volvo and thousands for other new and used cars for sale there.

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