Volvo C30 tyres
Space and practicality may be central themes of much of the Volvo range, but both went out of the window when the C30 came to town. This car’s main feature is it styling, making it a car which grabbed attention when it was launched in 2006. In looks, it harks back to the 480 and the P1800, the latter being the Volvo driven by Roger Moore as The Saint. It was aimed very much at a younger audience, a different market to the usual Volvo clientele.
Sadly the C30 proved to be stylish but ultimately flawed, disappearing from the range in 2013. Its problems were that as a three-door hatchback, it fell between two stools and lacked practicality. Volvo labelled it a ‘SportCoupe’ and it was very much a lifestyle hatchback, a car of its time. Having only three doors, it lost ground to other hatchbacks in practicality, while it wasn’t a true coupe, either. Its unusual design meant that getting into the rear seats was rather tricky, and there was only room there for two, not three. Additionally, the hatch at the back was an unusual shape and not large enough to be properly practical.
Though Volvo main dealer servicing can be very expensive, the car itself was quite reasonably priced when new. A scarcity of second-hand models on the market has kept residual values high, too. Its diesel engines, far more popular than the petrol equivalent, offer great economy. Indeed DRIVe models are efficient enough to be exempt from the London congestion charge. The C30 never had involving handling or performance to match its looks, but plenty were happy to overlook that.
An irony with this car is that while its sporty looks ensured its popularity when new, it is its economy that makes it a sought-after used car choice. This balance between two opposites has extended into replacement tyre choice. Our records show that tyres with an emphasis on sporty handling are just as popular as those designed primarily for fuel economy. Go figure, as American teenagers say…
Continental’s SportContact tyres were a common factory fitting to the C30. It therefore follows that these are etyres’ best-selling line for this car. These are designed to offer responsive handling and a sporty drive. However, customer reviews cast some doubt on their longevity when fitted to the C30. In real terms, this will be affected by how hard you drive the car.
Two other similarly sports-orientated original equipment options are Pirelli’s P Zero and P Zero Rosso tyres. The original P Zero features an asymmetric tread and is suited to high-performance cars, delivering a lot of grip especially when cornering. The P Zero Rosso has more of an emphasis on the balance of performance and comfort and is thus a little more sober, better suited to everyday driving.
However, on the other hand Michelin’s Primacy and Energy Saver ranges have proved equally popular. Compared to the three ranges above, these are a bit more yoghurt and muesli and less full English breakfast. As its name suggests, the Energy Saver range is designed for optimum economy and low emissions, while Michelin’s Primacy tyres are aimed at balancing comfort, economy and longevity.
At a lower price point, Kumho and Nexen tyres have also proved a popular choice for C30 drivers. Ultimately it comes down to the old adage of you paying your money and taking your choice: your own driving style will be an important factor in choosing between the many tyres available to fit the C30.