Every year, fewer new vehicles are available in the United States with manual transmissions (though the ancient five-on-the-floor still exists… for now). American Volvo buyers preferred three-pedal setups in their cars later than some, though even they had mostly fallen out of love with manuals by the time the 1990s dawned. Still, some stubborn holdouts kept demand for the once-beloved gearbox technology alive here, until Geely-owned Volvo axed the manual transmission for the U.S. market after the 2013 model year. The final three-pedal Volvo sold here was the C30, and I’ve found one of those rare machines in a New Orleans car graveyard.

The C30 was a cool-looking two-door hatchback that borrowed some styling influences from the the beloved 1800ES shooting brake. The biggest problem with it in the United States was that two-doors and hatchbacks in general no longer enticed many potential buyers into signing on the line which is dotted.

The U.S.-market 2012 C30 came with a 2.5-liter turbocharged straight-five engine rated at 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet, and owners could buy the Polestar Performance software upgrade to increase those numbers to 250 horses and 273 pound-feet. That made for a respectably quick machine with its curb weight of just 3,200 pounds.

The six-on-the-floor manual was base equipment; if you wanted the five-speed automatic, the cost was $1,250 more ($1,711 in 2024 dollars).

This is a base T5 model, so its MSRP was $24,950. That’s about $34,159 after inflation.

The C30 was discontinued after the 2013 model year, after many years of underwhelming sales numbers here.

This one looked to have been in very nice cosmetic condition when it arrived here, so we can assume that it suffered some costly mechanical malfunction.

There’s more to life than a Volvo. That’s why you drive one. There was an English-language version of this ad, but I prefer the Swedish one.

The previous commercial dared to show a manual transmission, but the car in this ad has the slushbox.

Is it ugly or is it beautiful?

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