GWM's C30, which has just landed in South Africa, has nothing to do with the Volvo it shares its name with. Instead, the new Chinese contender is a compact four-door sedan pitted directly against the Honda Ballade, Nissan Almera, Hyundai Accent and VW Polo Vivo sedan.

Such is the confidence that GWM has in this product, that it's been priced well within the mainstream, with a single model derivative selling for R179 995.

The C30 is powered by a 1.5-litre VVT-i normally aspirated petrol engine, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. With 71.3kW and 138Nm on command, the sedan will run to a claimed top speed of 170km/h and sip 7.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.


Yet this car's real selling point will be its practicality, with GMW claiming that its generous 2610mm wheelbase results in one of the most spacious cabins in its class, while its 475-litre boot is also at the sharp end of the segment.

GMW has also been generous on the standard kit front, providing a CD/MP3/USB audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning and a height-adjustable steering wheel - although it doesn't offer reach adjustment. Safety features include dual front airbags and ABS brakes, while the structure has been five-star rated by C-NCAP.

Moving outside, the neatly-styled sedan features full exterior colour coding, 15-inch alloy wheels and front and rear fog lamps. Buyers get a choice of six colours, these being Pearl Black, Ocean Blue, Jazzy Red, Noble Grey, Star Silver and Titanium White.

Sold through a countrywide network of 70 dealers and service outlets, the C30 comes with a five-year/100 000km warranty, 2-year's AA roadside assistance and a five-year/45 000km service plan.