Publication date: 2 March 2024
Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Volvo for beginners

Review - Volvo takes an unusual step. Many manufacturers keep introducing bigger and faster cars because there is more profit to be made from them. Volvo, on the other hand, is expanding into the smaller segment. The EX30 is Volvo's first car in the so-called "B-Segment". Is the EX30 a good reason to get a Volvo?

Volvo has been very successful with the mid-size XC40, which gave the idea that an even smaller model could be even more successful. However, due to high development costs, Volvo could not until recently realise a low-cost entry-level model. But because Volvo is now under its parent company "Geely", it can use existing parts also used by Lotus, Zeekr, Polestar and Lynk & Co. Among those is also a platform for a compact SUV!

Volvo EX30

On that platform, Volvo has built its very own model following the minimalist style that has also brought success to other models. However, this does depend on the colour chosen, because in black or grey, any charm is gone. In yellow or the light blue shown here, the EX30 has the confident yet modest look that is typical for Volvo.


In the interior, the Swedish manufacturer goes one step further. Because the EX30 is aimed at a younger target group, Volvo chooses the EX30 to innovate. This concerns both ergonomics and materials. For example, the dashboard and seats can be covered in wool, recycled jeans or recycled window frames. This does not look shabby or outlandish, but rather high-quality and original. The windscreen is large and the flattened top of the steering wheel makes for just a little better forward visibility. Unlike similar cars from other brands of the same parent company, the EX30's interior has a European, familiar and therefore more inviting feel.

Volvo EX30
Volvo EX30

The front seats are great. Rear seat space, on the other hand, is minimal. The glovebox has been moved to the centre of the dashboard, which is handy as both the driver and passenger can easily reach it. On the doors, apart from the door handles, there are no buttons, speakers or anything else. The door pockets are therefore huge! There is also a lot of storage space in the centre console. Under the bonnet one can find a storage space ("frunk") for the charging cables.


Because the EX30 only comes as an electric car, warning lights, a shift lever and an ignition/start button could all be dropped. Even clocks behind the steering wheel are absent! All functions are controlled by buttons on the steering wheel and the central, vertically positioned display. Reading the speed from this central display requires some getting used to, but that is a matter of minutes rather than hours or days.

Volvo stopped developing its own infotainment system several years ago. It uses the freely available "Android Mobile", which provides Google Maps and various Android apps in the car. However, Android Mobile is free for Volvo, but the driver pays with his/her privacy. Many features even require logging in with a Google account. Android Mobile cannot be switched off and tracks the driver even when the system is not being used (or when using Apple CarPlay). Privacy aside, Android Mobile's functionality is excellent. Moreover, it is noticeable that Volvo is integrating the system better and better (handling, readability, responsiveness), making it feel less and less like an in-car mobile phone and more and more like a modern infotainment system.

Volvo EX30

Another concern concerns longevity: what if new apps require a newer version of Android but the hardware does not support it? Should the EX30 then be discarded like a mobile phone after 3-4 years? To the shock of Autozine editors, all these issues came as new information to the Volvo infotainment specialist and the manufacturer did not consider this before. The possibility of an open source alternative also came as new information for Volvo.

Literally and figuratively, a more positive note: a "sound bar" can be found across the entire width of the windscreen. At home, speakers are not on the side of, but in front of the sofa for a spacious sound. The EX30 proves that the same is true in the car! Depending on the chosen version, the "sound bar" contains more or fewer speakers. The spaciousness is always great, the sound quality ample to good.

Electric car

Even the base version has a 272 hp / 343 Nm electric motor, offering all the benefits that make electric driving attractive. The "EX30 Single Motor" performs superbly and does so with a calmness and agility that before the advent of the electric car was reserved only for high-end limousines. Not only does the EX30 drive much better than a similar car with a petrol or hybrid engine, it costs less. Those who test drive the EX30 once will almost automatically choose the Volvo both because of its handling and price.

Volvo EX30

As the name suggests, the "Twin Motor Performance" has two electric motors to achieve all-wheel drive and output of 315 hp / 428 Nm. Even when driven calmly, it is noticeable that this variant is much more powerful. When the throttle is decisively pushed to the floor, the EX30 delivers performance that makes combustion engine sports cars jealous! The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is completed in 3.6 seconds and it is done with such force that all occupants are brutally pressed into their seats! In absolute terms, the "EX30 Twin Motor Performace" costs a lot of money, but compared to its performance, it is a bargain!

Notwithstanding the engine chosen, the EX30 notes very high energy consumption. Even with a calm driving style, 20 kWh per 100 km was the best achievable and that is the consumption of a much larger car. Even when weather conditions (around freezing, snow, ice) and tyres (studded tyres with energy label E) are taken into account, this consumption is too high. The promised range of 480 km (Single Motor) and 460 km (Twin Motor Performance) respectively could therefore not be realised.

Volvo EX30

Driving characteristics

For this test, the car was driven in Luleå, in northern Sweden. Volvo had chosen this place to demonstrate how good the EX30's driving characteristics are. On public roads, the EX30 shows excellent handling that is hardly inferior to a traditional hatchback. Thanks to its compact dimensions, the EX30 is agile, while "straight-line stability" on the motorway is good. In other words, on long distances, the EX30 is not tiring. The latter is also due to its excellent noise insulation, as even on studded tyres and over snow, the cabin remains quiet.

Thanks to the all-wheel drive, the EX30 Twin Engine always accelerates in a straight line and its power can be deployed almost with impunity. Depending on the chosen version, the weight distribution between the front and rear wheels is 50/50 or 49/51 and therefore handling is predictable and therefore safe.

To demonstrate how safe is EX30, it was driven on a frozen lake. The electronics determine how much grip the tyres have and adjust the reaction to the throttle as well as the distribution of engine power accordingly. The result: even on ice, one can drive with impunity as if it were asphalt (within reason and with the right tyres)! This applies not only to the all-wheel drive variant, but also to the base version with rear-wheel drive only. In short: even the entry-level model is safe like a real Volvo!

Volvo EX30


Is the EX30 a good reason to get a Volvo? Yes, definitely! In fact, the EX30 offers exactly what many people are waiting for. Many want to drive electric, but are held back by the high price. With the entry-level version, the EX30 offers all the benefits of electric driving (superior comfort, excellent performance, low costs per mile, no direct emissions) at the price of a similar car with a petrol or hybrid engine. The top version delivers sports car performance at the price of a mid-size car.

Also, compared to other electric cars, the EX30 manages to distinguish itself well. Unfortunately, that starts with above-average energy consumption and an infotainment system that raises privacy concerns.

The other findings are all positive. The build quality is that of a premium product, but with more consideration for the environment. Passive safety (accident handling) is excellent, while active safety (accident prevention) even of rare quality. Because the EX30 is aimed at a younger target group, Volvo has put even more work into innovation, and that makes for more thoughtful ergonomics and thus greater ease of use. Next to the larger Volvo's, the EX30 is noticeably more compact and manoeuvrable, making for more driving fun.

  • Sophisticated ergonomics
  • Competitive entry-level price
  • Excellent driving characteristics
  • High energy consumption
  • Minimal legroom in the rear
  • Privacy concerns and future-proofing by using Android Mobile