Volvo EX30 Review & Prices
The Volvo EX30 is really comfortable and has a cool interior, but it’s not particularly practical
Find out more about the Volvo EX30
If the Volvo EX90 seven-seat SUV is like a Scandinavian country house, the new EX30 is a trendy apartment in downtown Stockholm – smaller, more affordable, but just as stylish. It's also absolutely brilliant and fully deserving of being crowned the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year.
It might be the smallest SUV in Volvo’s line-up, but the EX30 has been given just as much love from its designers as the bigger SUVs, sporting a crisp exterior and the typical minimalist interior we’ve come to expect.
There are more scratchy plastics lower in the cabin than you usually get from Volvo, but the metal door handles and big, bright and easy-to-use infotainment display help it feel pretty posh overall. It’s just annoying that you have to control everything through this display, so some basic functions can be fiddly to adjust.
Practicality is decent, with a quirky central glovebox and a tray that folds out to reveal more hidden space between the passengers. You get big door bins and a couple of cup holders pop out of the arm rest.
Rear seat space is quite tight for your knees, but the seat backs have a cut out that makes it a bit more spacious. People over six feet will really struggle here, but at least there's loads of headroom and the seats are really comfortable.
You access the boot by pressing a button under the rear wiper arm to reveal a nicely square load area, though it's not a huge capacity, being smaller than most alternatives and on-par with the Smart #1. There's a tiny front boot, which is good for charging cables but not much else.
There are some practicality compromises to the Volvo EX30, but it’s such a lovely, characterful thing to drive
There are three battery and motor options available, which can best be described as the affordable option, the long-range option, and the performance option. The long-range version has an official range of 298 miles, while the entry-level model will go 214 miles.
Want excitement? You’ll be shopping for the Twin Motor, which is the fastest accelerating Volvo ever, and nearly as fast as the ludicrously quick Tesla Model Y Performance, which is considerably bigger and more expensive.
The EX30 feels every bit as quick as the figures suggest, and despite the fact that this is a small, family SUV, it’s also really good fun in corners.
However, what really impresses behind the wheel is just how comfortable the Volvo EX30 is. There’s a small amount of wind and tyre noise at higher speeds, but around town it’s quiet and easy to drive, with potholes and speed bumps ironed out like they’re not even there.
There aren’t many electric cars that even get close to the Volvo EX30’s comfort, especially at this low price. And that value for money is actually what makes this such an appealing car. It costs less than similarly-sized alternatives, but if you can sacrifice some practicality in the boot and rear seats, you’re rewarded with a wonderfully comfortable family car with a cool, high-tech interior that feels just as posh as pricier alternatives. You just have to get used to the fact that everything is controlled through the touchscreen…
If you like what you hear you can check out the latest Volvo EX30 deals now as well as get the best prices on other Volvo models. You can also take a look at used Volvos from our network of trusted dealers and, if you need to sell your car first, Carwow can help with that too.
The Volvo EX30 has a RRP range of £33,795 to £44,495. Prices start at £33,795 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £432.
Our most popular versions of the Volvo EX30 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|200kW Single Motor Plus 51kWh 5dr Auto||£33,795||Compare offers|
The Volvo EX30 is very competitively priced against any of the alternatives you might be considering alongside it. For example, the Smart #1 is a fraction more expensive and while we’re big fans of the cutesy SUV, it doesn’t have the Volvo’s badge appeal.
The Kia Niro EV is a bit more expensive, with the Nissan Ariya a bit more still, though both are bigger than the EX30. Speaking of larger electric cars, spend a bit more and you’re in Skoda Enyaq territory, which is one of the most practical of all the circa-£40,000 EVs.
The Volvo EX30 is really comfortable, but although it can be fun on a twisty road it doesn’t feel particularly sporty
The Volvo EX30 feels perfectly at home when driving around town. The low dashboard means visibility is great, even if the front pillars are a bit chunky and the rear window is quite small.
Regardless, it’s really easy to place in a tight spot and the light steering means it takes little effort to work your way through rush hour traffic. This is also helped by one-pedal driving that will bring the car to a complete stop when you lift off, even though the braking isn’t as strong as some EVs.
Most impressive of all is the way the EX30 handles bumps in the road. It’s really comfortable and there’s no crashing or thudding through the cabin if you hit a pothole or speed bump. It has the relaxing, refined driving experience of a bigger, more luxurious SUV.
On the motorway
That comfort continues onto the motorway, where the lovely seats also help to make big miles a breeze. This is a small SUV but because it’s comfortable and has an airy interior, you don’t feel like you’ve been cooped up inside after a few hours behind the wheel. There is a little wind and tyre noise to contend with, but it’s nothing to complain about.
Particularly in the more powerful Performance version, the motors respond instantly to you pressing the throttle, so if you need to pull off an overtake or move out into traffic it’s easy to get up to speed. The single-motor version isn’t quite as rapid but has enough power to get the job done.
Adaptive cruise control comes as standard as part of Volvo’s Pilot Assist system. This also includes a lane-keeping assistant, which does a good job of keeping you in your lane without being annoyingly intrusive.
On a twisty road
Despite its clear focus on comfort, the Volvo EX30 is actually pretty good fun on a twisty road – particularly if you go for the Performance version, because it has so much power you can’t help but smile when accelerating out of corners.
Despite this, if you try to drive it like a sports car, the tyres will struggle for grip and the body leans quite a bit, which doesn’t give you a lot of confidence. This is a similar issue for other small electric SUVs such as the Smart #1, but if you want maximum fun in the bends then the Kia Niro EV is your best bet – although none are wannabe sports cars.
Space is decent in the front and there are some useful practicality tricks, but rear seat kneeroom is tight
Front seat space is good overall, with plenty of adjustability in both the seat and the steering wheel making it easy to get a good driving position. The seat can go very high or very low depending on your preference, with the only complaint being that taller drivers might find the central dash impacts where their left knee can rest. Headroom is excellent, though.
The dashboard swoops up to accommodate most people’s legs, but this area is also home to the central glovebox, which is a curious choice that works well in practice, even if it’s not the biggest. It's just a bit annoying that you have to open it through the touchscreen.
There’s no traditional armrest cubby hole, with this instead being home to storage for those in the rear to access. It also hides a couple of cupholders that emerge at the push of a button and can be positioned so you have either one or both accessible, which is a neat touch.
Beneath this is a long tray that’s good for storing loose items, and it can be opened up to reveal more space that’s hidden from prying eyes. There are a couple of USB-C slots here, while just ahead of this is a wireless charging area for two smartphones.
The door bins are quite deep but a bit narrow, so bulkier water bottles might not fit.
Space in the back seats
While front seat space is pretty good, those in the back have to sacrifice some comfort. Kneeroom in particular is tight, with only just enough space for a six-footer to sit behind another six-footer.
There are cutouts in the back of the seats that will make it a bit easier for shorter passengers, but it’s still far from spacious.
It’s a similar story with shoulder room, which isn’t bad for a car of this size, but you won’t want to carry three passengers in the back for too long. Those in the middle seat have decent space for their feet, but again, kneeroom is a bit of a problem.
Despite these complaints, headroom is excellent, so it doesn’t feel too claustrophobic, and the seats are very comfortable. If you’re carrying a couple of teenagers on the school run they should have few complaints with space in the back (until they get a growth spurt).
If you regularly carry passengers in the back, the Smart #1 is a more spacious option.
Unfortunately boot space isn’t fantastic, either. The overall capacity is 318 litres, which is already some way behind other cars you can get at this price point, but this figure includes about 60 litres beneath the floor.
The good news is that that’s a useful space to store items you don’t regularly use, and it’s easy to put the parcel shelf in there if you need to.
The bad news is that means the actual boot space is more like 260 litres, which is a bit less than the Smart #1’s 273 litres. It has a useful square space, and should be enough for a typical family’s weekly shop, but sports equipment and weekends away will really push its capabilities.
Looking at other cars, top-spec MG4s are a similar price to entry-level EX30s, and the hatchback has 363 litres of space – though it’s nowhere near as fancy overall. The Volkswagen ID3 is a similar price to the Volvo and has 385 litres.
If your budget can stretch a bit higher, and badge appeal isn’t as important, the options only get bigger. The Nissan Ariya has 466 litres, the Kia Niro EV has 475 litres, and the Skoda Enyaq beats all with its 585 litres of space.
Where the Skoda is lacking is in the under-bonnet front boot (‘froot’) department, because like the Nissan, it doesn’t have one. The Volvo does, but it’s only nine litres, so it’s good for charging cables but not much else. The Smart and Kia offer a bit more ‘froot’ space.
The interior looks cool and upmarket, but there are plenty of cheap materials to be found
Step inside the Volvo EX30 and there’s no denying it looks cool. It has that typical Volvo minimalist appeal, with a swooping lower dashboard section and little else but vertical air vents and a 12.3-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen.
Where bigger Volvos have a serious, sophisticated essence, the EX30 is a bit more characterful. Depending on specification there's speckled trim piece that runs from the doors and right across the dashboard, which is subtle enough to not be garish but colourful enough to give the cabin a fun little lift, or you get an almost hessian-like material that's cool and quirky.
There are some more cool design touches that make the EX30 feel worthy of the posh Volvo badge on the bonnet, such as the floating arm rests in the doors and chrome door handles. The steering wheel feels quality in your hands, as does most of the stuff you touch regularly.
However, once you start prodding here and there, you will find some scratchy plastics, such as in the lower dashboard and door trims. That said, the overall perception is one of quality, and these don’t feel like deal-breaking sacrifices when you consider this is such an affordable electric SUV.
The infotainment system helps elevate things, though. The screen is big and bright and the menus are easy to navigate. That said, it is a bit annoying that you have to control everything through this system, from the glovebox to the door mirrors, meaning it's not as intuitive to quickly change things. The speedo being off to the side at the top of the display isn't great either, as you're constantly glancing away from the road to check your speed. A head-up display would be a useful option.
There are three motor and battery combinations to choose from, with the entry-level model being the Single Motor. This sends 272hp to the rear wheels and has a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, so performance is still pretty brisk. You get a 51kWh battery that results in a range of 214 miles.
Step up to the Single Motor Extended Range version and it uses the same single-motor setup as above, but it’s paired with a 69kWh battery with a 299-mile range. The 0-62mph time drops to 5.3 seconds, too.
At the top of the range is the Twin Motor Performance, which has a motor on both axles for all-wheel drive. The output is 428hp and the 0-62mph time is just 3.6 seconds, which makes it one of the fastest electric cars at this price point. Although it does come with the bigger battery, this extra oomph impacts range, with official figures suggesting 286 miles is possible between charges.
During our time with the Performance version, we averaged 3.5 miles per kWh, which would result in a range of about 221 miles, or 77% of the claimed figure, which is okay but not great – though we were enjoying the power on a twisty road so driving more economically should improve things. During a drive in the single-motor model, we saw 3.9mi/kWh, which would be a real world range of 247 miles – that's great efficiency and an impressive 89% of the claimed figure.
Being electric cars, all versions have favourable road tax, paying nothing in the first year before defaulting to the standard rate from year two. It’s worth noting that top-spec models tip over £40,000, so face an extra charge in years two to six.
For company car buyers, the EX30 is similarly appealing, with a benefit-in-kind rate of just 2% until 2025, when it increases to 3%.
The Volvo EX30 has not been put through Euro NCAP safety testing just yet, but Volvo has an excellent reputation for building some of the safest cars around.
As such, the EX30 comes with loads of assistance technology, including various collision avoidance systems and one of the best adaptive cruise control setups around. Top-spec Ultra models also get a system that will park for you and a 360-degree camera view to make it easier to navigate tight spots.
Being a new model line means that it’s not possible to paint a definitive picture of the EX30’s reliability. However, we can say that Volvo has an okay reputation for reliability, so you shouldn’t have to worry about things going wrong too often.
As standard you get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, though this can be increased to four years through an extended warranty.
The EX30 is 4,233mm long and 1,940mm wide, which makes it longer and wider than alternatives such as the Vauxhall Mokka and Ford Puma, but not as long as the new Peugeot 2008.
The EX30 is currently rolling off the production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou, China, owned by Volvo’s parent company Geely, which is also building electric cars from other brands it owns, including the Zeekr X and Smart #1. However, from 2025 the EX30 will be produced at Volvo’s factory in Ghent, Belgium.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.