Review: Volvo EX30

Table of Contents

 The EX30 is Volvo’s all-electric return to the compact automotive market, successfully changing the outdated V40 hatchback. Positioned beneath its fellow electrical siblings, the C40 and XC40, it presents a temptingly low beginning value for a premium-badged EV. We drove it in Barcelona, learn our ideas right here.  

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Volvo EX30 Prolonged Vary Quick Details

  • Value: R865 900 (as examined); EX30 from R775 900
  • Powertrain: 64 kWh battery with a single electrical motor
  • Transmission: single-speed
  • Energy: 200 kW
  • Torque: 343 N.m
  • 0-100km/h: 5.3 seconds
  • High pace: 180 km/h
  • Rivals: BMW iX1; Mini SE Countryman 

Volvo has been owned outright by the Chinese language carmaker Geely since 2010 when the Chinese language purchased the Swedish firm from then-cash-strapped Ford; and the EX30 is likely one of the first fashions it has produced that depends solely on Chinese language {hardware}. Earlier electrical Volvos, such because the C40 and XC40, have used carry-over Volvo bits and items, however successfully below the pores and skin – the EX30 is all-Geely. 

Associated: LONG-TERM WRAP-UP: Volvo C40 Recharge

It’s additionally one of many first electrical automobiles to make use of lithium-ion phosphate battery expertise. The essential Core mannequin comes with a comparatively small 49 kWh battery which is cheaper and simpler to make than the extra subtle 64 kWh lithium-ion battery that powers the Prolonged Vary and Efficiency fashions. It’s additionally why the EX30’s European entry price ticket is so temptingly low, particularly in comparison with the likes of the BMW iX1 (which is, in equity, a much bigger automotive). The trade-off is that the Core mannequin doesn’t provide as a lot vary (344 km) in opposition to the 474 km of the Prolonged Vary mannequin we’re testing right here – however for city-dwellers who fancy a premium badge at a diminished value, it may show engaging. 


And that’s the purpose: as a result of the EX30 is Volvo’s new entry-level mannequin, it’s hoped to probably open up the model to patrons who wouldn’t have been capable of stretch to the pricier C40 or XC40 fashions. It’s a sharply styled crossover that’s a lot nearer to being a hatchback with a little bit of floor clearance than it’s a true SUV. 

In contrast to some rivals, it’s not over-styled and as an alternative depends on issues similar to pixelated headlights, distinct tail lamp clusters and thoroughly chiselled physique panels to lend it character. Fortunately that each one works properly, and it’s a good-looking automotive. The standard parade of gray and silver paint choices abound, however some wackier selections similar to a child blue, or a shiny yellow look attention-grabbing. However its comparatively inexpensive entry level, all of the surfaces of the EX30’s inside feel and appear costly. The seats are terrific and the recycled plastic that types the principle trim of the dashboard appears to be like intriguing, and positively distinctive. 

There are issues, although. The primary is a scarcity of rear passenger knee room, whereas the boot can be small.


Then there’s the touchscreen. Volvo has taken a leaf out of Tesla’s playbook and put all the things from the devices to the infotainment to the local weather management onto the one 12.3-inch show within the centre of the sprint. There’s no driver’s instrument panel behind the wheel, and no head-up show projecting onto the windscreen, both. Volvo’s engineers swear that they take into account it a protected setup, however in our expertise utilizing the central display like this makes for a much less pure eye line when driving, and also you get distracted by all the opposite stuff on the display, too.

The software program appears to be like nice, however the menu structure has too many layers and is in the end complicated. Even a easy activity similar to adjusting the stereo quantity or shifting one of many door mirrors has turn into means too difficult. 

Associated: Review: Volvo XC40 P6 Recharge

The EX30 is surprisingly fast, because of a 200 kW electrical motor that’s as highly effective as a Porsche flat-six engine from the Nineties. With 343 N.m of torque, acceleration from a standstill is terrific, and though efficiency does tail off a bit as you stand up to freeway speeds, there’s loads of torque accessible for a fast dab of the accelerator to go for a niche within the visitors. 


The claimed vary appears to carry up properly. We have been driving the EX30 on a comparatively cool, damp day in Barcelona and beginning with a fully-charged battery, it was displaying a good 450 km accessible. We averaged a strong 18 kWh/100km, together with some stints on fast-flowing highways.

The squared-off steering wheel feels nice to carry and though there’s not loads of suggestions, it’s fast throughout its rack with the EX30 feeling suitably nippy. It’s not the lightest compact crossover, with that weight penalty extra apparent mid-corner. It’s good round city, although, the place the marginally boxy design presents nice visibility. The trip high quality of all of the EX30 derivatives that we drove was admirable, however keep in mind our drive was on very well-kept Spanish tarmac, and the ruts and lumps of South African roads may show to be a sterner take a look at.

Associated: Volvo Unveils EM90 as The Firm’s First All-Electric MPV

The improve to the four-wheel-drive Efficiency mannequin might be not value the additional cash. Sure, 315 kW is sweet, and the three.6 seconds it takes to get to 100 km/h is hilarious the primary few instances, however you do lose a superb chunk of vary with the thrills. 

The Volvo EX30 scores some massive wins with its sharp styling, attractive cabin and the tantalising value of the fundamental Core mannequin. This Prolonged Vary Plus will get helpful further vary for the cash, and even simply in fundamental rear-wheel-drive kind, it has spectacular efficiency. The one downsides are the dearth of rear area and the idiosyncrasies of the touchscreen.  

Discover the total characteristic within the February concern of CAR Journal.

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