Automakers are quick to say that electric cars are the future, but most aren’t acting that way. In an effort to convince customers to overlook the teething problems of charging infrastructure, amortize large investments in battery manufacturing as quickly as possible, and perhaps replicate the magic of Tesla, automakers are focusing on performance and technology rather than what really matters. Emphasizing gimmicks: Manufacturing cars people can buy. However, change is coming and from an unexpected source.
Volvo is known not for its price, but for safety and sensible Swedish design. But the 2025 Volvo EX30 undercuts EVs from mainstream brands like Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen in price without compromising on range, features or style. Pricing starts at just $36,245 for the base single motor Extended Range Core model, and the top price of $47,895 for the Twin Motor Performance Ultra even seems affordable compared to the stratospheric heights some EV prices can reach when all the option boxes are ticked. Investigation is done.
The emphasis on affordability could make the EX30 a game changer when it reaches dealerships in the United States next summer. But to really make an impact, the EX30 needs to be more than an affordable Volvo. It must be a good car.
Design and Interior
The exterior updates Volvo’s current minimalist aesthetic. The grille-less front fascia and eight-bit lighting elements also appear on the larger Volvo EX90, but that model hasn’t gone on sale yet, so the EX30 actually looks fresh. The long hood and straight roofline give the EX30 a level of SUV presence (this will be enhanced by the upcoming Cross Country version), but its small size and low overall height give it a car-like quality. It’s a look that’s hard to classify, but still distinctly Volvo.
The EX30 is not small for Volvo. It is 20.3 inches shorter than the Tesla Model Y, 15.8 inches shorter than the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and 13.8 inches shorter than the Volkswagen ID.4. However, it is as tall as these other EVs and thus offers comparable headroom in both rows (front-seat headroom is actually two inches more than the Hyundai’s). The Volvo also comes close in terms of first-row legroom, but its more compact proportions compromise rear legroom, which is significantly less than the Hyundai, Tesla or VW.
The EX30’s looks are hard to categorize, but it’s distinct from a Volvo nonetheless.
The EX30’s small size becomes more apparent when looking at the cargo space. It may be an SUV, but its 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down is less than what you’ll find in the Nissan Leaf hatchback. Fold the second row and you get 31.9 cubic feet, almost as much as the VW ID.4 offers with its rear seats up. And while Volvo included a frunk, it’s really only useful for storing charging cables.
The interior is a mix of minimalism and cost savings. Volvo did not include an instrument cluster, moving the speedometer to the central touchscreen, the audio system has a sound-bar design with speakers mounted at the base of the windshield, and the window switches are mounted on the center console rather than on the doors. It’s an appropriately minimalist design for a product from the Scandinavian automaker, but it could also help Volvo reach the EX30’s relatively low price point. Other nice details include metal door pull rings that blend into the door trim, and available recycled materials like Particle Deco, a speckled material that looks like linoleum countertop, but is actually made from recycled window frames. She goes.
Tech, Infotainment, and Driver Assistance
The EX30 comes standard with a 12.3-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen which, like other Volvo models, runs an Android-based infotainment system with Google built-in features including Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Play. Wireless Apple CarPlay is also included, while Android Auto is basically unnecessary as all the major functions are already Google-based.
Volvo packed a lot of information onto the EX30’s screen. A top bar includes a speed readout and other information typically shown on an instrument cluster. Google Maps is in the middle of the screen, with control bars below it, similar to a computer’s home screen. Instead of just Microsoft Word, here you’ll find climate controls, audio, and vehicle settings.
The learning process in the touchscreen interface is faster than others.
Considering how much needs to be done on the screen – even the mirrors need to be adjusted via the vehicle settings menu – operation is quite smooth. However, like other touchscreen interfaces, tapping the screen to adjust the temperature isn’t as easy as using a physical knob. And it takes some getting used to looking at the screen to locate the source of the latest driver-assistance system chimes. Owners may have to get used to it, but this interface definitely has a learning curve that is steeper than others.
Volvo is saving its most advanced driver-assistance technology for more expensive models like the flagship EX90, but the EX30 still offers basic features. All models get standard blind spot monitoring, front and rear collision mitigation, a driver’s attention monitor, and a door-alert feature that warns the driver if he or she is about to open the door in the path of an oncoming vehicle or cyclist.
Volvo’s Pilot Assist system, which monitors speed, follows distance and maintains lane position on highways (but still requires hands on the wheel and eyes on the road) is included in the top Ultra grade. This model also adds lane change assist, a 360-degree camera system with 3D view, and a park-assist system that is capable of steering the EX30 into parking spaces with minimal driver involvement.
The EX30’s base rear-wheel drive single motor extended range powertrain is good for 268 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive twin motor performance is rated at 422 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both have a 69 kilowatt-hour battery pack, although the usable capacity is listed as 64 kWh. A smaller battery pack with different chemistry will also be offered outside the US
Volvo claims Twin Motor Performance will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds in its screen-selectable Performance AWD mode. It’s identical to the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SE Performance, a 671-hp production from the German automaker’s AMG Performance division. That’s also 0.1 second faster than the Tesla Model Y Performance, whose base price is about $7,000 more than the Volvo. And even the base single-motor version will reach 60 mph in a respectable 5.1 seconds.
The driving experience is on par with more expensive Volvo models.
Incredibly fast electric cars are nothing new, but the EX30 makes things even more interesting thanks to its simple looks. Tesla drivers are surprised when they stop next to one at a stop light. That being said, nothing else about the EX30 is quite as sporty as its acceleration. It’s still a Volvo, and that means it has a comfortable driving experience that’s satisfying, but it won’t make your heart beat faster.
Instead, the EX30 offers the solid feel and refined driving experience of more expensive Volvo models. It’s comfortable without being too soft and floaty, and impressively quiet (although wind noise increases slightly at higher speeds). Volvo also offers true one-pedal driving, allowing drivers to rely on regenerative braking rather than depressing the brake pedal in most situations, as well as the ability to turn it off for those who prefer a gasoline car. Love the experience.
Range, charging and safety
Official range ratings won’t be available until the EX30’s arrival in the US in summer 2024, but Volvo estimates 275 miles for the single-motor model and 265 miles for the dual-motor model. As things currently stand, the base EX30 is poised to deliver more range than the base Tesla Model Y (260 miles), Hyundai Ioniq 5 (220 miles), or Volkswagen ID.4 (209 miles) at a lower price. Unless those brands expand the range or reduce the prices in the coming months.
Volvo estimates that the EX30 can fast charge DC at 153 kW, allowing a 10% to 80% charge in 26.5 minutes. That’s enough, but the EX30 lacks the high-power charging of the Ioniq 5 and other models based on its E-GMP platform, which can recover range more quickly.
Crash-test ratings will also have to wait until closer to launch. Expect the same four-year, 50,000-mile basic warranty, four-year, 50,000-mile powertrain warranty, and eight-year, 100,000-mile battery warranty as with other Volvo EVs.
How would DT configure this car
Twin motor performance will grab the headlines for its quick speed, but the single motor extended range is the most attractive EX30 model. It boasts a range of 275 miles, is a little more fun to drive due to a more responsive front end, and, other than more power, doesn’t give up much in the way of features. However, getting all the available driver-assistance features requires upgrading from the $36,245 Core trim level to the $41,895 Ultra.
Even with options, the EX30 looks pretty good compared to other small electric SUVs. The Volvo offers more range at a lower price than alternatives like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Tesla Model Y, or Volkswagen ID.4 – and with the style and road manners of a true Volvo. From behind the wheel, the EX30 delivers on its brand promise, feeling like an upgrade to EVs from mainstream brands. This is a less expensive car that doesn’t look cheap.
The EX30’s relatively limited cargo space and quirky interior design may put off some buyers. And because Volvo will build the EX30 in China (and also in Belgium, in 2025), it won’t qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit U.S.-assembled EVs like the Model Y and ID.4, reducing the price difference a bit . , But Volvo’s new entry-level model is still a good car, which, combined with its low base price, impressive range and high level of feature content, makes it a game changer. The EX30 resets expectations for mainstream EVs.