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Review: Volvo EX30 (2024) – does it succumb to the sky-high expectations? - AutoReview.nl

The electric Volvo EX30 is the smallest Volvo in a long time. The expectations of the compact SUV are even greater. With a lot of horsepower and favorable prices, the compact SUV should give the competition a major headache. Is that going to work? We test the EX30!

What is striking about the Volvo EX30?

With its length of 4.23 meters, the Volvo EX30 may be clearly shorter than the last generation Volvo V40 (4.37 m) and the ancient 'little' Volvo 340 (4.32 m), it is an unmistakable member of the Volvo family.

From the side it has shrunk slightly Volvo XC40. Not the worst example, if you look at the sales figures. At the rear you will recognize the brand-typical contours of the rear lights. Although the lower and upper parts of the lamp units on the EX30 are separated by the metal of the frisky hips.

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In many ways, the EX30 also feels like a real Volvo, and not like the next best budget model from China. Yet he is part of the Chinese Geely family. This way you grab the doors by their handles with sturdy handles that would not look out of place on a Volvo truck. Then they close with a confidence-inspiring 'clunk'.

And do you open the front cover to get the charging cable from the frunk? Then you don't have to wiggle out a cheap rod to hold the valve up. Two sturdy gas springs do that for you.

The inside has a modern Scandinavian atmosphere, with usually beautiful, recycled and natural materials. It is also striking that as a driver you have no instruments in front of you - not even a small one. All information and a large part of the operation is done via the large touchscreen in the center of the dashboard.

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The Volvo EX30 shares its technical basis (SEA2 platform) with the Zeekr This means that the most affordable versions have one electric motor in the back that drives the rear wheels. With at least 272 hp! That's quite a bit for a compact car. And it can be even crazier: the twin-motor EX30 Twin Motor Performance delivers a total of 315 hp to the front and rear wheels!

What's good about the Volvo EX30?

We start our dynamic introduction in the EX30 Single Motor Extended Range. This version has a 69 kWh battery (64 kWh net), a WLTP range of about 470 kilometers and a fast charging capacity of 153 kW. We already said it above: 272 hp is the minimum in the Volvo EX30. With this he blows the ears of all his direct competitors. If desired, the car can get from its spot very quickly: from a standstill it sprints to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. Not so long ago you didn't need a big sports car for that...

Yet the Volvo EX30 is very quiet during normal use. It doesn't encourage you to rush, although the steering is fairly direct and communicative. The chassis smoothes out most bumps neatly and quietly. Rolling noises and wind noise are also barely audible.



The front seats are adult-sized and provide sufficient support in all directions. You never get the feeling of being on the road in the smallest Volvo in a long time. Except in the city, where the pleasantly small turning circle brings back memories of the old rear-wheel drive Volvos.

Caravanners can look forward to a maximum towing capacity of 1600 kg with the Single Motor Extended Range. With the 'normal' Single Motor they have to make do with 1000 kg.

What could be improved about the Volvo EX30?

We are a fan of regenerative braking with electric cars. We prefer to control the intensity with paddles on the steering wheel. That won't work with the Volvo EX30. To control the engine braking you have to use the large central touchscreen. Moreover, the system only has two modes: on or off.

When you activate it, the car determines how strongly to apply the engine braking based on the driving conditions. That's probably good for something, but we don't like it. It ensures that you use the foot brake more often than you feel necessary and therefore recover less energy. During the first test drive we did not score great consumption: more than 19 kWh/100 km. That would amount to a range of approximately 330 kilometers.



We have already mentioned it: the Volvo EX30 has a huge touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. We see this often, but the absence of smaller instruments right in front of the driver's nose is less common.

For a brand that values ​​safety and ergonomics as highly as Volvo, we think this is a strange choice. Because even for basic data such as speed and range you now always have to look to the right. A head-up display? Not available, even if you try to tempt your Volvo salesman with an extra large portion of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam.

In many ways the EX30 is like a large Volvo, but that does not apply to the space in the back seat. Anyone who is taller than, say, 1.75 meters will not feel very happy here. The headroom is sufficient, but the knees and feet are poor. Due to the low seat, the sitting position is also far from optimal.

When will the Volvo EX30 come and what is the price?

Interested parties have been able to register for the new Volvo EX30 since June 2023. Production has now started, but the first cars are not expected at Dutch dealers until January 2024. The first EX30 buyers will receive their car between the fourth and tenth week.

The importer expects that more than three-quarters of buyers will opt for the Single Motor Extended Range. Those customers must then pay at least 41,495 euros for the Core version. Okay, minus the government subsidy of 2950 euros. Automatic air conditioning, 18-inch alloys, Google infotainment, a reversing camera and gray metallic paint are all standard.

Of course, many safety features are also available at no extra cost, including blind spot assistance and adaptive cruise control. For Pilot Assist with active steering assistance and a 360-degree camera, you must choose the Plus or Ultra version. Those who are cool would be wise to add the climate pack (heating of the front seats and steering wheel) of 360 euros in the options list.

The cheaper Single Motor with the smaller 51 kWh battery will be available later in 2024 and has a starting price of 36,795 euros. Unfortunately, this entry-level car does not have a heat pump.

The coolest Volvo EX30 in the class is called Twin Motor Performance and will cost at least 49,995. Then you will immediately receive the Plus equipment, but you can whistle for a subsidy.

What do I think of Volvo EX30?

I have little to complain about the exterior design and driving characteristics of the Volvo EX30. Still, I think Volvo Netherlands' ambition to sell around 10,000 units by 2024 is quite ambitious. Especially because Volvo wants to steal 80 percent of that from other brands.

That is only slightly less than the almost 11,000 units of the Tesla Model Y that were registered in our country up to and including October this year. But the Model Y is a much larger and more spacious car. In contrast, Volvo says that the brand in the Netherlands - unlike Tesla - can count on a large share (50 percent) of private buyers.



Overall, I think the interior design is successful. Details such as the soundbar built into the dashboard, the door handles, the center armrest with extendable storage compartment and the slim air vents are gems of Scandinavian design. On the other hand, they can keep the Breeze interior package; the speckled panels on the dashboard and doors remind me of a 1950s kitchen sink.



However, I think the biggest miss is the all-consuming multimedia screen. In my experience, this does not benefit the ease of use and ergonomics at all. Especially because a small basic instrumentation is missing on the driver's side.

Another mistake I think is that Volvo only supplies the car in five - mainly quite boring - colors. Among gray, white, black and light blue, only moss yellow stands out, but that is probably just too much for most people.

This post was last modified on November 6, 2023 8:12 am

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Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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