So usually when I go out of town, I get a mid-size car. Usually I get a focus, once I got a newer malibu (gutless piece of shit with paddle shifters???!!!), but this time around...I got a Volvo C30 T5. http://www.leftlanenews.com/volvo-c30-review.html Now, when I've seen this vehicle around, I laughed at it. It was a weird looking piece of equipment, that just reminded me of like a yaris or accent. Far from it! When I first got in the vehicle, it took some adjustment. I'm 6'3" and at first sit, I could probably have steered with my inner thighs! But after getting it tuned to my height, I could probably keep it going in a straight line with my knee caps. I guess what can you expect with a 3-door, four-seater vehicle. If my brother was sitting in the passenger seat, the only people that could fit in the back would be parapalegic midgets. The interior was nice, the seats were comfortable, dash and everything was there, but didn't try to overimpress like so many other manufacturers do with a vehicle like this. When I started it up, the 2.5L engine had some kick to it. It was kind of scary in the parking garage early in the morning at Calgary Airport. Once mirrors and everything were adjusted, put her into drive, and put a little gas on the peddle... Now, when it comes to vehicles, the fastest thing I've driven is a buddies new Nissan Maxima loaded to the nuts, including the 6-speed manual shift with sport mode. The C30...it leaped forward. And just with a little touch on the gas. The maxima...probably not tuned like that, but the Volvo...literally jumped with a bit of gas. Easily could beat another friend's mustang off the line. I was shocked and awed. Then, I had to take the thing out of the parkade. Wow. Trying to just keep it to the snail's pace of 20km/h in the garage was tough to do, and then going down the winding part to the lower level, keeping it slow, the control was far better than the the Focus or Malibu in previous rentals (did I mention the malibu had paddle shifting??!!!). Once on to the open road known as Barlow Trail, it was truly time to open it up. Zipping in out of traffic on the road, in a little vehicle like that, was amazing! It was quick, the handling was great and responsive...I was just shocked. And getting through Calgary traffic to my home office in Calgary was a breeze and took less time than normal. Once in the parking lot, it was time to tone it down again, but with the gravel from the melting snow there, I couldn't help but just bring it a stop and then hit the gas. I didn't get a change to fool around with the manual shift mode, simply because I didn't have as much time to drive it as I wanted to (20km round trip between office, hotel, and airport in 48 hours), but I sure as hell hope the next time I'm out that way (next month) I can request that puppy again. It was a lot of fun!!!