Volvo’s C30 suffers from high expectations. Since its debut, this was the car that would prove, once and for all, that Volvo could build fun cars with the best of ‘em. And they can. But maybe the C30 doesn’t so much stomp its feet in defiance as it does more quietly suggest that Volvo can be just as crazy fun as VW or Mazda. Mind you, the C30 is a zippy ride with loads of fun right under that throttle pedal. Get behind the wheel and it urges you to go a little faster, to lean into the corner a little more aggressively, push the car and be rewarded with a fun and spry driving experience. From the driver’s seat, visibility is excellent. Inside, this is the S40, so expect crisp execution of controls and placement. One rhubarb, however: the compartment behind the waterfall center stack is, and will be, the place where things get lost. Design-wise, the C30 is a stunner, a uniquely refreshing design at the back with a big hatch glass and slightly exaggerated dimensions. It’s certainly a young person’s car, whether that youth is counted in years or in enthusiasm. There are compromises, however, and maybe we forgot that universal vehicle rule: risky design and spirited performance often cost in terms of practicality and logic. For Volvo, which has made common sense its bread and butter theme for years, this must sting a little: the small hatch opening that looks big until you open the door, the slight turbo lag, the austere interior, the heavy cost of options, all hint that while the C30 is a spirited, sexy machine, it’s also flawed: yes, I will put it on my shopping list, and will dream about this car. No, I probably won’t wind up buying one.