The EV segment is a fickle and sometimes mysterious beast. It's easy to get lost in a sea of contortionist tax-rebate rules, evolving manufacturer product strategies, and advertising bluster. Volvo's new 2025 EX30 EV compact crossover is positioned to transcend the hype and exist on its own as a simple and satisfying vehicle first and foremost, regardless of powertrain or income bracket. Leading the effort is its $36,245 base price for the entry-level EX30 Core model.
The stateside 2025 Volvo EX30 will be available in two strengths: the EX30 Single Motor Extended Range and the EX30 Twin Motor Performance. The EX30 Single Motor features a 268-hp electric motor mounted on the rear axle and a claimed range of 275 miles. It's offered in three trims: Core ($36,245), Plus ($40,195), and Ultra ($41,895). The EX30 Twin Motor adds a motor on the front axle for a combined output of 422 horsepower and 265 miles of range, and it comes in two trims: Plus ($46,195) and Ultra ($47,895). Both models use a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery with 64.0 kWh of usable capacity.
Style (Volvo's Version)
The design certainly adheres to the simplicity edict, as the exterior's aero-mandated anonymity is saved only by an interpretation of the familial Thor's Hammer headlamps and a prominent Volvo badge on the nose. The only "EX30" badging on our sample car resided discreetly on the upper section of the C-pillar. There are some Chevy Bolt EUV vibes in the rear doors, C-pillar, and hatch, but that's a product of aerodynamics, structural integrity, and interior practicality. The EX30's back glass is shorter and more upright than the Bolt's, and the rear section is a bit bulkier and more squared off. The taillamp treatment is from the Volvo playbook, softened slightly to blend with the design.
A paragon of purposefulness, the EX30's interior takes the form-follows-function concept to its core. A single center-mounted vertically oriented screen handles the driver display, infotainment, and vehicle setting functions. Though it runs native software, it incorporates Google hands-free assistant, Google Maps navigation, and Google Play; remarkably, it's the first Volvo to feature wireless Apple CarPlay. Despite our best efforts, the mapping software, as well as the native functions, worked flawlessly. We did have a hiccup or two with the wireless Apple CarPlay and finally resorted to using a cable, although we'll note that the cars were pre-production examples.
A pair of vents bookend the screen with another pair at the far ends, the space below covered by a smooth renewable woven flax textile in the twin-motor model and a flecked, composite substrate in the lower trims that contains recycled PVC. The carpet is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles, and the Twin Motor seats are a blend of recycled polyester and "responsibly produced" wool, which, although we previously didn't know was a thing, sounds virtuous. Though the fabrics are as pleasing to the touch—some might say even more plush—as the petrochemical vinyl upholstery currently in use across the industry, it'll be interesting to see how they weather 100,000 miles of hard use.
The goal of all of this resourcefulness, according to Volvo, is to have the smallest carbon footprint of any Volvo car to date, based on over 124,000 miles of use with the current EU-27 electricity mix. Volvo claims 95 percent of the vehicle will be recyclable at the end of its life cycle. Altruistic aspirations aside, the exterior and interior designs create an undeniably minimalist but satisfying vibe of the best consumer designs, whether it be electronics, furniture, or cookware—everything you need and little you don't.
Versatility is important regardless of size, and the EX30 provides plenty of room for a variety of drivers; the author's six-foot-plus and wider-than-most frame slipped behind the wheel easily with two or three more notches of seat travel to go in both the manual- and powered-seat iterations. Specifically, there are 41.9 inches of front legroom, one inch more than in the Volvo XC40. Rear seating offers decent head and shoulder room, but legroom is tight at 32.3 inches. Window controls are on the center console, and a single control stalk on the right of the steering wheel selects the vehicle direction and functions as the on/off switch for the Pilot Assist (semi-autonomous) drive mode; everything else is accessed through the center screen. That includes opening the center-mounted glovebox, though its close proximity to the button on the screen makes it kind of superfluous. Despite the lack of a sun shield for the panoramic glass roof panel, the EX30's air conditioning kept the cabin frosty even when we were mired in traffic; Volvo is aware of the American public's need to chill and says a retractable cloth sunshade is under consideration for U.S.-bound models.
Simple Doesn't Always Mean Boring
Acceleration is impressive, with our Cloud Blue single-motor EX30 stepping off abruptly enough for our passenger to discover there is no customary passenger grab handle. Guiding the EX30 through the crowded streets of Barcelona is a joy, as its 104.3-inch wheelbase and 166.7-inch overall length are tailor-made for dicing it up with the city cars and scooters that populate most of the Comital City's traffic. (The EX30's wheelbase and length are respectively 1.0 and 2.8 inches shorter than the Bolt EUV's, and 2.1 and 8.1 inches shorter than the Volvo XC40's.) Volvo claims a 5.1-second 60-mph time, but that's largely irrelevant in urban traffic, where immediate access to the 253 pound-feet of torque is the key to victory. Top speed is limited to 112 mph.
The ride on the Ultra trim's 19-inch wheels (the Core gets 18-inch ones) is firm, but the car is solid and devoid of rattles or unnerving suspension noises, which encourages you to push it harder. Though the core chassis is provided by Volvo parent Geely, Volvo engineers tell us they spent a large amount of time tuning and tweaking all the moving parts for EX30 duty.
Once free of city traffic, the EX30 gets a chance to display its agility on the tight, twisty roads that populate the mountainous regions adjacent to Barcelona. There, it displayed balanced dynamics, remaining neutral through all but the most hurried directional changes, where it starts to push wide. An approximately 30-mile highway slog reveals mild wind- and road-noise levels.
It's in the calmer downhill stretches where two additional concessions to simplicity reveal themselves. Unlike competitors that offer stepped levels of regeneration, the EX30 offers one-pedal driving as a single on/off option. Activated via the infotainment screen (Settings > Driving > Driving dynamics > One pedal drive), it's calibrated nicely for urban settings, but we found leaving it off more efficient and fluid in mountainous and highway travel. You also won't find any of the typical gee-whiz animations illustrating energy moving from the battery to the motors and wheels or the regeneration thereof. When asked about the absence, a Volvo rep said, "Why would we distract you from driving? That's not us." A creatively spun cost-cutting measure, perhaps, but it also jibes with EX30's "This is not a novelty EV" character.
One bit of innocuous tech is the black box behind the steering wheel. While you drive, it's judging you, scanning your face and eyes and comparing data with the steering-wheel sensors to determine if you are drowsy, distracted, or just an epically bad driver. If using Pilot Assist (Volvo's adaptive cruise control with steering function), it'll let you know when it's time for a coffee break or possibly a driver's ed refresher course.
The Twin Motor Performance version amps up the proceedings significantly, motivating the EX30 to 60 mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds. Activate its Performance All-Wheel Drive mode (via the same drive settings screen as the one-pedal driving), and it prioritizes acceleration by putting all 422 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque to work through all four wheels. In normal driving, it sends torque only to the front axle when it detects slip at the rear. The Twin Motor has an estimated range of 265 miles, only 10 less than the Single Motor version, which is curious as they share an identical battery. Given the Single Motor EX30's rear-wheel-drive layout, however, the Twin Motor version's all-wheel drive doesn't radically alter the feel or dynamics during typical driving. There is more power on tap, obviously, but it's a nice bonus, and it's not like the dual-motor EX30 has an appetite for melting tires and cutting apexes with a precision that'll have Porsche owners regretting their life choices. Buyers will have to determine whether the $6000 premium for the otherwise equivalent Twin Motor is worth the extra thrills.
Both EX30 variants have a peak DC fast-charge rate of 153 kW. Volvo says a 50-kW DC fast-charger will take the battery from 10 to 80 percent in 56 minutes, while a 175-kW DC charger will do the same in as little as 27 minutes. AC charging to go from zero to 100 percent is optimistically quoted as "as low as eight hours," which would require a dedicated 240-volt home charger. Plug into a standard 110-volt outlet and you'll be waiting for over 24 hours for a full charge. Of note, the first EX30s will ship with an adapter to use Tesla Superchargers, while later cars will incorporate the Tesla NACS port directly into the vehicle.
Hook 'Em When They're New
Volvo says that 80 percent of its EV customers are new to the brand. Volvo isn't the first manufacturer to attract new buyers by walking the everyman's-EV path. The Chevrolet Bolt, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Volkswagen ID.4, among others, have fashioned themselves as affordable, practical cars that just happen to be EVs. Given the similarities in battery capacity, charging estimates, and identical range of the EX30 Single and Twin Motor versions, the primary decision facing buyers is, "How much am I willing to pay to go fast?"
The EX30 is the second Volvo model to wear the "EX" nomenclature behind the flagship EX90 SUV EV; together they will bookend the automaker's EV lineup. The EX30 is currently manufactured at parent company Geely's facility in Zhangjiakou, China, and production will expand to Volvo's Ghent plant in Belgium.
Often, notions like "minimalist" or "pared back" tend to cover both a vehicle's aesthetics and its on-road qualities. But that's not the case with the Volvo EX30. While its design may err on the side of simplicity, the EX30 is not akin to driving a manila envelope. Its green cred, whether that means the sustainable materials in the cabin or the electrons powering its drivetrain, is bolstered only by its pleasant pavement demeanor.
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