New £34k Volvo EX30 is an electric crossover bargain | CAR Magazine

New £34k Volvo EX30 is an electric crossover bargain

Published: 08 June 2023 Updated: 12 June 2023

► Volvo EX30 electric SUV revealed
► Max range of 298 miles, eco construction
► UK prices start from £33,795

Volvo has unveiled its new EX30 electric SUV, bringing out the big guns when it comes to design, technology on board and – more importantly – closer price parity with a combustion engine crossover.

The new EX30 is the brand’s smallest SUV yet, book-ending its future electric range with the massive, seven-seat EX90 at the other end of the size scale. Volvo also claims that the EX30 is its most environmentally-friendly car ever, using manufacturing process that reduce as much waste as possible and deploying recycled materials inside and out as much as possible.

Keep reading for all we know about the new EX30.

Volvo EX30: inside and out

The brand’s smallest SUV yet apes design cues from the new EX90, including that slightly tweaked version of the brand’s Thor’s Hammer headlight signature, albeit without the hidden lenses that pop out in use like the big seven-seater. Five exterior colours are available, and new aerodynamic wheel designs are available from launch.

T.Jon Mayer, Volvo’s head of exterior design says the front end is inspired by ‘sci-fi helmet design’ (i.e. Stormtroopers from Star Wars!), and that it integrates small inlets to direct air over the front wheels.

It’s classic Volvo inside, with a clean vibe to the cockpit. There’s a large, Google-driven portrait infotainment system in the centre, as well as a bulky-looking ‘floating’ armrest. Neat details include the use of a dashboard-mounted sidebar, which removes the need for speakers in the doors, and the interior colour schemes are classed as ‘rooms’ with their own set of materials used, including one that uses upcycled denim fibres.

The interior design itself is full of clever details including cupholders that slide out of that centre armrest, drawers and cubbies in the lower centre console and even a central glovebox (rather than one on the passenger side). There’s even a tray that’s accessible to the rear passengers, too.

It is very Tesla in its design in some ways, however – there’s no centre instrument display and no head-up display either – every bit of information is devoted to the single central screen. Patrik Müller-Horn, senior manager for interior design, says that the aim was to have info like the speedometer ‘as high up as we could’ on the screen so it was still in the driver’s eye line. Even the window switches are on the centre console.

Further to Volvo’s claim of the EX30 being its most environmentally-friendly model ever, 25 per cent of its aluminium, 17 per cent of its steel and 17 per cent of the plastics used are all recycled.

Naturally, because it’s a Volvo, as well as a glut of driver assistance technology, there’s also loads of safety kit as standard. Volvo says the EX30 introduces ‘Safe Space Technology’ features that ‘address the kind of accident risks familiar in urban areas’, including an alert if you’re about to open your door into a cyclist.

Unlike the EX90, however, there’s no LIDAR. The technology is still expensive, and CEO Jim Rowan said the technology ‘couldn’t be fitted to this architecture – but who knows? We might be able to do it on a future generation.’

Volvo EX30: range, battery and specifications

The new EX30 uses a brand new platform specifically for EVs (the wider Geely group’s SEA platform also used by the Smart #1 and Zeekr X in China), separating itself from the arguably compromised XC40 and C40 Recharge models. For the UK market, there are two battery sizes (51kWh and 69kWh), three power options and two trim levels (Plus and Ultra).

Volvo EX30 top view

Single Motor (available as Plus or Ultra) features the smaller 51kWh battery alongside a 272PS and 343Nm electric motor on the rear axle, good for a 0-62mph sprint of 5.7 seconds and a preliminary claimed range of 214 miles.

Single Motor Extended Range (available as Plus or Ultra) uses the 69kWh battery pack and 272PS/343NM electric motor on the rear axle, claiming a 5.3sec 0-62mph time and a claimed range of 298 miles.

Twin Motor Performance (Ultra only) has the larger 69kWh battery pack, and two electric motors for a total system output of 428PS and 543Nm. A 0-62mph sprint of 3.6 seconds makes the EX30 Twin Motor Performance the quickest-accelerating Volvo ever, and it claims a range of 286 miles.

As for the initial trim levels, Plus features kit like the Google-based infotainment system on a big 12.3-inch display, a Harman Kardon audio system, two-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, parking aids, Volvo’s Pilot Assist and an 11kW onboard charger.

Step up to Ultra and you benefit from a 360-degree parking aid, panoramic roof, 20-inch wheels, electric seats and a 22kW onboard charger. An entry-level Core spec will join the UK range in 2024, which will bring the entry price down even further.

On top of that, Volvo has confirmed that a Cross Country version (pictured above) of the EX30 will be on the way, including some extra black trimming and body cladding as well as options like a tough roof rack and knobbly off-road tyres. It’s confirmed to come to the UK, but powertrain choices aren’t locked in just yet.

How much is the new Volvo EX30?

Volvo says you can order the EX30 now in the UK, with prices starting from £33,795 for a Single Motor Plus model. Looking for more range or performance? Extended Range models start at £38,545, while the hot Twin Motor Performance model clocks in at £40,995 before options.

And Volvo is keen to keep that price the price. Bjorn Anwall, Volvo’s chief commercial officer and deputy CEO, says he wants Volvo to sell cars at an ‘honest’ price, not mark them up for the sake of it.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches