Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Volvo EX30 Review

The Volvo EX30 offers the most agile driving experience of any electric Volvo, and in Twin Motor form it delivers a rapid acceleration time of 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds.

  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
  • Volvo EX30
Green Car Guide Rating: 9/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Volvo EX30 Twin Motor Performance AWD Ultra
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 279 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:   153 kW

Summary

  • More agile to drive than any other electric Volvo
  • 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds for Twin Motor model
  • 279-mile driving range
  • Minimalistic interior design taken to the next level

Background

Volvo is generally seen as a manufacturer that offers cars with a comfortable driving experience, so is this still the case for the new Volvo EX30, a compact SUV with a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds…?

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Design & Engineering

The Volvo EX30 is a compact SUV, a category of car that’s in big demand with consumers, and it looks very modern and stylish both on the outside and in the interior, which features one of the most minimalistic dashboards that you’ll come across.

There are three versions of the Volvo EX30: Single Motor RWD, Single Motor Extended Range and Twin Motor Performance. The Single Motor RWD model has a 51 kWh battery (49 kWh usable capacity) and rear-wheel drive. The Single Motor Extended Range variant is rear-wheel drive and the Twin Motor Performance is all-wheel drive, and both of these models have a 69 kWh battery (64 kWh usable capacity).

All versions have a 272 hp rear electric motor, with the Twin Motor Performance version adding a 156 hp front electric motor, giving a total system power of 428 hp and 543 Nm of torque, compared to 343 Nm for the single motor variants.

The EX30 has a 318-litre boot, with luggage space increasing to 904 litres if the rear seats are folded down, and there’s a very small ‘frunk’ under the bonnet. Legroom for rear seat occupants is on the tight side, but fairly typical for this size of car.

Between the two front seats is an armrest; underneath this is a storage compartment that you can pull out, and if you want to use this for drinks, there’s another part that you can pull out to lock drinks in place. Under this, on the floor, is a large storage compartment, with the option to adjust it to make it shallower or deeper. All these features are thoughtful, neat design touches.

The EX30 has a maximum towing weight of 1,600 kg.

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30 Driving Experience

The Volvo EX30 Twin Motor model has a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds, so there’s lots of performance on offer. There are no drive modes, but you can choose between constant all-wheel drive and on-demand all-wheel drive on a touchscreen sub-menu.

The EX30 also offers the most agile driving experience of any electric Volvo, both in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive form – despite the Twin Motor model weighing 1,885 kg. The rear-wheel drive variant has a slight edge in the driving agility department due to its slightly lower weight and the fact that the front wheels are only doing the steering, not the driving.

As well as responsive handling, ride quality is also excellent – although the short wheelbase can result in it being a bit bouncy on some road surfaces. The EX30’s suspension is engineered for comfort rather than for sharp, sporty handling, and the steering doesn’t have much feel; despite having three options to adjust the steering’s weight, even in the ‘firm’ setting, the steering still feels light.

The EX30 is very refined overall, giving it the comfort of a bigger car to drive when covering lots of motorway miles, although you’re reminded that this actually isn’t a large Volvo by the driver’s seat, which feels like it doesn’t have a large enough seat base.

The EX30 has no displays in front of the driver – there’s just a 12.3-inch centre console touchscreen – and there are virtually no physical buttons on the dashboard. There are no separate controls for heating and ventilation, and like the Tesla Model 3, there’s no speed read-out in front of the driver, and no head-up display. Volvo says that because the EX30 is a small car you can easily see the speed on the central screen, but surely cost considerations are a factor in only having one display.

The tall central screen displays sharp Google satellite mapping, but because all car controls are on this screen, it’s no surprise that there are lots of menus and sub-menus. However, helpfully there’s one screen for ‘quick controls’, which provides options to easily switch off the lane keeping aid and the speed limit warning, as well as to select ‘one pedal drive’ (the gear selector on the right stalk on the steering column doesn’t give you any regenerative braking options). If you do choose one pedal drive, low speed manoeuvring can be a bit jerky.

Despite the EX30 having voice-activated control, in our view having all car controls on the central screen doesn’t make the car as safe to drive as having important physical car controls that are easy to see and reach without having to delve into a touchscreen. And ironically, despite the need to always be looking at the touchscreen, if you’re not looking ahead, the car often tells you that it’s time for a break because you’re showing signs of being tired, or it gives you a ‘driver attention warning’. This warning can be switched off, but again, to do this you need to delve into sub-menus on the touchscreen…

In the quest to remove buttons, there are even no buttons on the inside of the doors. The window switches have moved to the middle of the car, and there are just two; borrowing Volkswagen’s idea from the ID.3 and ID.4, there’s a separate button to make the switches work for the rear windows. It’s a similar story for rear seat occupants – the two window switches are again located in the middle of the car. Volvo says that the removal of switches from the doors is in the pursuit of sustainability, as there are less wires and other materials.

Even the electric driver’s seat only has one control, which has become multi-functional, moving the seat forwards, backwards, up and down, as well as adjusting the angle of the seat base and backrest.

In another display of minimalism, the EX30’s key has no buttons on it – you walk towards the car and it unlocks, and you walk away from the car and it locks. Yes, this has been done before by Tesla, but in our view this is a step too far – during our week with the car there were many occasions when it would have been useful to have buttons on the key fob to lock or unlock the vehicle.

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30 Electric Range and Charging

The Volvo EX30 Single Motor RWD has an electric driving range of up to 209 miles from its 51kWh battery. The EX30 Single Motor Extended Range model delivers a range of up to 295 miles from its 69kWh unit, and, with the same battery, the Twin Motor Performance variant can manage up to 279 miles. During a week of mixed driving, the real-world range of our test car averaged 258 miles.

The larger battery can be ultra-rapid DC charged at up to 153kW (as opposed to a more typical ‘round figure’ such as 150kW), which should result in a 10% to 80% charge in 28 minutes.

Using 11kW three-phase power, typically found at a workplace in the UK, a 0% to 100% charge should take 11.5 hours.

We actually had a few challenges with the EX30 not charging during our week with the car, and a lot of fiddling with settings such as charging limits and timings on the touchscreen was required to resolve this.

How to charge an electric car

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Price And Model Range

The Volvo EX30 Single Motor RWD Plus model is available from £33,795, Single Motor Extended Range prices are from £38,545, and Twin Motor Performance AWD Ultra prices are from £44,495. Plus or Ultra trim levels are available. The Single Motor Extended Range model in Plus trim is expected to be the biggest seller. There are also four interiors for the EX30: Breeze, Mist, Pine and Indigo.

In addition to the Plus features, the Ultra model has additional equipment including 360 degree camera with virtual 3D view, Park Pilot Assist, 20-inch alloy wheels, dark tinted rear side windows and rear screen, fixed panoramic sunroof, power driver seat and passenger seat, memory for door mirrors and power driver seat, 3-phase 22kW on-board charger, soundbar, and five ambience themes.

Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30

Conclusion

The EX30 is the most agile electric Volvo to drive, despite its kerb weight of 1,885 kg in Twin Motor form, and its 0-62 mph acceleration of 3.6 seconds would have been in supercar territory only a few years ago. It looks stylish on the outside, and it’s a similar story in the interior. However its minimalistic dashboard also means that all car controls and driving information are on the central touchscreen – there’s no instrument display or head-up display in front of you. This has been done before, in cars such as the Tesla Model 3, and some drivers might be fine with this, but some other car manufacturers are now going back to physical buttons for key car controls, so Volvo’s approach is not for everyone. So if you can live with nothing on the dashboard apart from a screen (and no buttons on the key fob), then the EX30 offers agility, performance, and big car refinement in a compact SUV package.

The Volvo EX30 is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 9 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Volvo EX30 Review

  • Test electric driving range: 258 miles
  • Consumption (WLTP): 3.6 miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2024/25): 2%
  • Price:   £44,495
  • Insurance group:   40
  • Power:   428 hp
  • Torque:   543 Nm
  • Max speed:   112 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   3.6 seconds
  • Weight:   1,885 kg
  • Towing capacity:  1,600 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor