Volvo has a reputation for safety and for rusting out before the drivetrain will wear out, but “trendy and cool?” Those two words aren’t normally associated with the Volvo make, but the 2009 Volvo C30 may change all of that. The C30 body style made its world debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and made its U.S. showroom debut for the 2008 model year. Since then it has been featured in a major motion picture and been called a “hot-looking hatchback” by’s team of reviewers. What is transforming Volvo’s image you ask? Let’s find out.

The thing about the Volvo C30 is that is appeals to the past, so maybe it is seeing an increase in popularity because of the “cult classic” bug. Motor Trend remarked that the back of the C30 has the Volvo “cult-classic wagonette’s signature written all over it.” Similarly, Edmunds found that the rear styling “draws inspiration from the classic 1800ES.” So that seals it, it must be the retro inspiration that has captured the hearts of the common consumer; a consumer that remembers the quirkiness of the early Volvo’s, right? No so fast!

2009 Volvo C30

2009 Volvo C30

The Volvo C30 has instant recognition with today’s buyers from the front end, which even Motor Trend acknowledges is very similar to the S40 and V50 siblings. In Fact, Car and Driver compared the C30 to “an S40 sedan made over with a butt tuck…and in all-new clothes.” This would leave one with the impression that this isn’t your parent’s Volvo of the ‘70s or ‘80s for that matter. Along with the cool and unique angular rear hatch and the flared fenders of the Volvo C30, the car also exudes the “in” vibe by offering options such as 235-hp five-cylinder turbo-charged motor, navigation system and a custom-build program. The custom-build program, according to, will let you customize your 2009 Volvo C30 “like a tuner car.” This is definitely and option that puts points in the cool category.

The end result is a Volvo that has bestowed an 8.2 out of 10 in their overall review and a 9 out of 10 in both styling and safety. But I haven’t answered the original question, trendy and cool or cult classic? Final verdict-- the Volvo C30 uses classic styling to appeal to the heritage of the brand while using the forward-thinking designs and performance to capture today’s in-crowd consumer. All in all, it is a perfect blend of “classic” and “cool.”

Read the full review of the 2009 Volvo C30 here at Also, check out the rest of our new and used car reviews, photos and blog posts.