2025 Volvo EX30 First Drive Review: Entry-level EV's price is nice, and so is the car

2025 Volvo EX30 First Drive Review: Entry-level EV's price is nice, and so is the car

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BARCELONA, Spain — Priced from $36,245, including $1,295 for destination, the new EX30 is Volvo’s least-expensive car. But make no mistake, there’s nothing cheap about this subcompact electric crossover. From its solid road manners to its clever use of interior textiles, this little cutie is comfortable, competent and bursting with charm.

We'll get the EX30 in Single Motor Extended Range and Twin Motor Performance variants when it goes on sale in the U.S. early next year. Both models are powered by a 69-kilowatt-hour battery pack – 64 kWh of which is usable – that can be replenished at a maximum charging rate of 153 kW. Volvo says you’ll only need 27 minutes to take the EX30 from a 10% to 80% state of charge, but that’s assuming the battery is properly preconditioned, the charger you’re plugged into actually works correctly, the planets are all aligned, etc.


The Single Motor’s, um, single motor is mounted to the rear axle, producing 268 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. This’ll get the EX30 to 60 mph in a perfectly respectable 5.1 seconds, and Volvo estimates a 275-mile driving range for this configuration – though not if you’re testing that aforementioned launch time on the regular, of course.

The Twin Motor Performance has the same rear drive unit, but adds a second motor to the EX30’s front axle for a total output of 422 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s a whole heck of a lot of power – even for a 4,140-pound crossover – and my goodness, does this EX30 scoot. Put the EX30 Twin Motor into its Performance AWD setting, stomp the throttle and you’ll hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. That makes the EX30 Volvo’s quickest accelerating production car ever.

Nifty as that is, however, after a day of driving the EX30 on winding Spanish country roads and darting through traffic in Barcelona’s busy city center, I think the Single Motor is the way to go. Remember, even the pokiest EVs still feel quick thanks to instant electric torque, and at no point does the Single Motor EX30 ever feel like it can’t get out of its own way.

Beyond that, though, the EX30 Single Motor is simply more fun to drive. At 3,858 pounds, the rear-drive EX30 is 282 pounds lighter than the AWD version, and all that weight comes off the front end. This makes Volvo’s tiny EV feel more playful and agile while cornering, especially with the well-weighted steering – not to mention the fun-to-handle squircle wheel.

It’s also worth noting that the EX30 Twin Motor’s all-wheel-drive system is reactionary, where the front drive unit doesn’t power up unless deemed necessary by acceleration demands or traction control. In order to keep the front motor running at all times, you have to activate the Performance AWD setting in the infotainment system’s drive mode screen. Doing this will almost certainly tank your range, though I’ll admit I’m impressed by the fact that, despite its added power and weight, Volvo says the AWD EX30 should still return 265 miles on a full charge. Not a huge loss compared to the rear-drive model.