Mar 232012

No joke: this week’s Car of the Week was very nearly the 1993 Acura NSX. Yes, another car from ’93. Since that would have been the third car in a row of that vintage (and, as a result, the only model year I have ever addressed in the short history of COTW), I decided to put that one off for a while. Unfortunately that left me with no good ideas for what to actually choose instead.

I decided to start asking my Twitter followers for their input throughout the week. As you might expect, the responses I got were somewhat… tongue-in-cheek, to say the least. They included a home made turbine-powered Batmobile and an old Ford Escort in need of “minor” engine work, among others. So, no help there.

Then, at a company gathering on Tuesday evening, one of the other employees was talking to me about her Volvo. Hers is a two-year-old S40 which, since it’s been around for the better part of a decade now, isn’t very novel in and of itself, but it got me thinking. I worked for Volvo in varying capacities for 3 years. Surely I had to have a favorite model from that time in my life, right? Once I started to consider that, it didn’t take me long to come to a conclusion.

This week’s Car of the Week:

2008 Volvo C30 Continue reading »

Mar 052012

Note: This review was originally published on February 24, 2011 on my original WordPress blog.

I spent nearly 4 years working for Volvo in the latter part of this past decade, including a stint in Parts and Logistics at the corporate headquarters in Rockleigh, NJ. One of the biggest perks of being there, especially for a guy like me, was Volvo would bring in preproduction models of cars yet to be introduced and give us a chance to drive them before anyone else. In 2007, for instance, Volvo was preparing to introduce two new models for 2008: a completely redesigned XC70 all-wheel drive crossover wagon, and the all-new C30 hatchback. Both were made available to us.

I was doubly interested in driving the C30 because, not only was it a genuinely intriguing car, but at the time I was looking to replace my aging ‘97 Lexus ES300. The C30 seemed like it would be a great car for me. When the sign-up sheet came around I eagerly signed my name and requested one with a manual transmission, then set about waiting impatiently for that day to arrive.

I don’t remember all of my first impressions of the car. I do remember that, by and large, I was very impressed. It was quick, great on the highway, fun to drive, and had an undeniably slick feel. I concluded that I was driving something of an oxymoron: a sporty Volvo. Continue reading »