Inside, the C30 coddles with an S40-esque cockpit adorned with Volvo's trademark T-Tec upholstery and floating center console, familiar effects that mesh nicely with the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and shift knob. The rear bucket seats, inboard from the fronts due to the arcing shoulder lines that swoop inward, provide commendable room and comfort for 6-foot adults. Cargo room, however, is not as laudable, offering just 8.2 cubic feet with the seats up. But fold the seats flat, and it expands to 30.9 cubes.

In addition to standard front, side, and side curtain airbags, the C30 protects with seat belt pretensioners for all four seats, a whiplash protection system (WHIPS), a side impact protection system (SIPS), and dynamic stability traction control (DSTC). Abrahamsson says that in crash tests, "the C30 performs as well as the S40," a vehicle that Volvo touts as being as safe as its large sedans.

Volvo hopes to sell roughly 10,000 C30s a year in the U.S. Based on our drive in Sweden, we'd say the Swedes are being modest. It's safe to say that demand will be high.