R-Design: Swedish for Attention Getter
When has a Volvo ever sparked such a firestorm of attention? In one quick stop at a gas station, I was drawn into two separate conversations about the C30 T5 R-Design. The first gent led off with the usual, "how do you like C30?" The second fellow launched by informing me of his wife's desire to own a C30. Thanks to the tremendous appeal of Volvo's youth-oriented hatch, my quick hit of fuel became a rather protracted social event.
I've got to admit that this is a spectacular looking vehicle, especially in R-Design format, which for 2009 replaces last year's sport package. Even in base form, the C30 is a visual delight. Volvo pulled-off the unexpected by delivering a product that draws heavily upon the sensational 1800ES, which was a wagon adaptation of the fabulous Volvo P1800 sports coupe from the early 60s.
The C30 is a compact front-wheel-drive three-door hatch that looks exciting from every angle. The T5 R-Design version takes the car's unique styling to a whole new level of aggression. The twin exhaust pipes set into the rear fascia combined with a subtle body kit and two-tone paint is so un-Volvo-like but oh so cool.
A glass rear hatch adds authenticity to the nod to yesteryear while a generously equipped, upscale cabin establishes this car in modernity. The R-Design two-tone upholstery scheme and other R-Design detailing in the cabin further convey the sportiness inherent in this premium-level sport compact while distinguishing it from its more docile C30 roots.
Seating for four
In addition to looking the part, seating in C30 T5 R-Design is sublimely comfortable yet firmly supportive; and that includes the two rear perches as well. If there's a shortcoming, it applies to legroom. Long-legged drivers may find themselves desiring more "stretch space." And expect rear seat passengers cry foul if the front seats are not moved forward to share the limited real estate. Surprisingly, headroom is not an issue.
The rear seat backs fold forward creating a flat unimpeded load floor. This function enhances the car's practicality, compensating somewhat for its inability to carry more than four occupants.
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