Volvo EX30 315kW Twin Motor Performance Ultra 69kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door suv
  • 3.6 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 428 bhp Engine power
  • 279.6 mi Combined range
  • 69 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

The EX30 is a different kind of Volvo, a small posh EV for a new era and a model that will bring enormous conquest sales for the brand. It's more affordable than you might be expecting and would perhaps make an ideal second car for upwardly mobile families embracing the electric revolution.

Background

Just about every mainstream car maker right at present seems to be trying to re-invent itself as an all-electric brand. In most cases, particularly with the premium makers, that seems to involve bringing us futuristic-looking EVs priced far out of the reach of most ordinary customers. Volvo wants to be different. And proof of that comes with this car, the EX30. This Chinese-owned Swedish brand can only survive by attracting new breed of younger customers and the EX30 is its most important car yet in reaching them. The brand says this model's job is to 'bring premium full-electric mobility to a much broader audience' and three-quarters of the people who choose it will never have considered a Volvo before. It's pitched and priced well below the company's existing EX40 and EC40 Volvo electric models that compete with the base EVs from other premium brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes. And sized interestingly, somewhere between an EV supermini and an EV family hatch. That means lower pricing than you might expect, which is crucial if Volvo is to get anywhere near its rather over-ambitious ambitious target of achieving 50% EV sales across its model mix by 2025. Sounds interesting. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

You might feel as if Volvo has got its priorities a bit mixed up here - but pleasantly so. The fastest Twin Motor version of this EX30 is the quickest-accelerating Volvo ever built and even the Single Motor Extended Range variant we tried (the derivative almost all customers will choose) has a very useful 272hp and takes just 5.3s to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint. That's vastly more power than you'd get with comparable models in this segment; which is a rather irrelevant selling point given that most customers will see EV driving range as a considerably greater priority than neck-snapping performance. A pity then, that the EX30 doesn't fare anything like as well in that regard. The Single Motor Extended Range version is the most frugal EX30 model you could choose, with a best-possible EV range figure of 296 miles - some way short of the 347 mile figure you'd get in, say, a rival 77kWh Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S. If your budget will only stretch to the smaller-battery 51kWh Single Motor version of this car, your range capability will be restricted to a rather feeble best of 209 miles. Under the skin lies the most compact version of the Geely Group's 'SEA' 'Scalable Experience Architecture' platform, engineered here to produce a well-judged standard of ride. Body roll's well resisted too, which might have made for an engaging confection were it not for the rather lifeless steering. Which is a pity because the top Twin Motor performance flagship variant we mentioned earlier might have offered the basis for a really exciting EV hot hatch. This model makes 280 miles between charges and adds an extra motor on the front axle to create all-wheel drive and boost total output to a stonking 428hp; enough to storm a Twin Motor EX30 to 62mph in just 3.6s. Normally, this is the point where we'd be talking of the need to engage a 'Sport' mode to get anywhere near the quoted performance figures, but Volvo doesn't seem to believe in a proliferation of driving settings for its EVs. There aren't any provided drive modes, nor are there the steering wheel paddleshifters to control brake regeneration that some other competitors offer. Just a 'One Pedal Drive' setting activated via the centre screen - and even that doesn't slow you particularly fiercely.

Design and Build

This is Volvo's smallest-ever EV - and perhaps also its most charismatic. Design chief T.Jon Mayer says the front end was inspired by Star Wars storm trooper sci-fi helmet design. There's certainly a family resemblance to the brand's larger EX90 SUV, with a closed-off grille and the marque's usual 'Thor's Hammer' headlights. Big wheel sizes vary between 18 and 20-inches. And there are some unusual available colours, including a 'Moss Yellow' apparently inspired by lichen that grows on rocks on the West coast of Sweden. The twin-level rear lamp clusters are interesting too. And short overhangs emphasise the compact 4,233mm length. The interior really is a clean sheet design, like nothing we've ever previously seen from a Volvo. Though you may detect shades of Tesla in the absence of an instrument binnacle and the way that everything - including all the drive gauges - has been located on a centrally-positioned 12.3-inch vertically-mounted Google-based touchscreen. Also unusual is the lack of door-mounted speakers - a sound bar runs across the full width of the dashboard instead. Cupholders slide out of a bulky-looking central armrest; the glovebox and the electric window switches are centrally placed; the central tunnel incorporates a removable storage box; and there's a tray accessible to rear seat passengers. There's only room for a couple of them, but the longer wheelbase made possible by the EV-specific SEA platform helps with leg room. The boot capacity is rated at 318-litres, rising to 622-litres with the rear bench flattened.

Market and Model

Prices from launch started from just under £34,000, including three years of free servicing. But it's more likely that you'll be acquiring your EX30 with some kind of subscription package. Let's take a look at the EX30 line-up in detail. There's a choice of two trim levels - base 'Plus' and plusher 'Ultra'. And there are two battery sizes - 51kWh and the larger 'Extended Range' 69kWh battery we tried. Most will ignore the smaller battery, which is only offered with base 'Plus' trim and is really just there to give this Volvo an affordable-looking entry-level price. Virtually the whole EX30 line-up from launch was based around the larger 'Extended Range' battery - and that pushes the starting price up towards £40,000 and above - which is what you might have been expecting to pay in the first place for a premium-badged small EV hatch of this sort. Once you've got your head around this sort of spend, you might be prepared to consider the option with the 'Extended Range' battery of paying even more for the brand's Twin Motor drivetrain - which adds a further £2,500 to the price. All 'Plus'-spec models get a dual-tone roof, automatic LED headlights with Active High Beam, rain-sensing wipers, all-round parking sensors and a reversing camera, power-folding heated door mirrors, adaptive cruise control, a speed limiter, a 'One-Pedal' drive system and an ani-theft alarm. On the EV side, Volvo includes an 11kW on-board charger (so you can power up from a three-phase supply), a 32 amp Type 2 cable and a Mode 3 charge cable and a heat pump to maintain driving range in cold weather (by drawing heat from the ambient air to drive the climate system). In addition, you of course get an app, the 'Volvo Cars Services' app, via which you can control charging times, activate the climate system, request emergency help, remotely unlock or lock the car and even keep a driving journal. Inside with 'Plus'-spec, there's a 12.3-inch Centre Console Portrait Touch Screen, heat for the front seats and steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, a choice of five interior colour themes and a 1,040-watt output Harmon Kardon Premium Sound system using a Dashboard Soundbar with seven speakers and offering Quantum Logic and Dirac Unison tech. The front seats have fixed lumbar support and the Google Automotive Services-enabled central screen has wireless 'Apple CarPlay', navigation with Google Maps, voice recognition with Google Assistant, various enabled entertainment apps and unlimited mobile data for four years.

Cost of Ownership

We gave you the rather unremarkable EV driving range figures in our 'Driving' section - 209 miles for the standard 51kWh Single Motor version, 296 miles for the 69kWh Single Motor Extended Range variant and 280 miles for the 69kWh Twin Motor Performance derivative. At least the charging speed on offer is competitive; well it is with the 69kWh Extended Range battery pack anyway, which can charge at up to 153kWh; the base 51kWh battery only charges at up to 134kW. Both models will deliver a 10-80% DC public rapid change in about half an hour (26 minutes for the bigger faster-replenishing pack). To give you some class perspective, that's nearly 15 minutes quicker than a rival Hyundai Kona Electric. If you're able to engage in three-phase charging, you'll be please to learn that the 11kW on-board charger that some Stellantis Group EVs will charge you more for is standard; and a 22kW on-board charger is included with the priciest 'Ultra' trim. As for replenishing the battery from home, well a full AC home charge of the 69kWh battery from a 7.4kW wallbox using a 32 amp single phase supply needs 11 hours - or 8 hours using a three phase 16 amp supply. It's 9 hours on single phase for the 51kWh battery - or 6 hours with 16 amp three phase. As usual, you can set charging times via a provided app; or by using a charging screen in the car. Volvo claims that all versions of this car have been produced with a reduced CO2 footprint - the company says this is below 30 tonnes over 124,000 miles of driving, covering both operation and production. This has been achieved in part through a body that contains 25% recycled aluminium, 17% recycled steel and 17% recycled plastic.

Summary

There's never been a Volvo quite like the EX30 - and not only because it's the brand's first really compact EV. Think of this car less as a Volvo and a more as simply another version of the two other Geely brand-owned models it shares its SEA platform with (the smart#1 and the Zeekr X) and the thinking behind this design is easier to understand. For sure, it'll take Volvo into a completely new place in terms of customer perception. It's pleasing that the company has priced the car so competitively to reflect that. Would you really rather have a plush EV supermini rather than one of these? We're guessing not. Particularly as Volvo has styled the car inside and out with so much character. The Swedish marque's name translated from the Latin means 'I roll'. In the case of the EX30, you might be tempted to think 'it rocks' too.

  • 3 x Front and 2 x rear radars plus front vision camera
  • Collision avoidance at intersection
  • Cross traffic alert with brake support (Front and Rear)
  • Driver understanding system
  • Power operated tailgate
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Dirac unison
  • External couple subwoofer and load compartment subwoofer
  • Harman Kardon Premium 5.1 Surround Sound 1040W - (2xC type USB Front & rear Sockets,Dashboard Soundbar with 7 Speakers)
  • Low speed exterior sound speaker
  • Quantum logic
  • Vehicle noise compensation
  • Dual tone roof and mirror caps
  • Fixed panoramic glass sunroof
  • Metallic paint
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • Central glovebox and storage
  • Flexible load floor
  • Front cupholders and storage
  • Front load compartment (19 litres)
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • One pedal drive
  • 3 point rear seatbelts
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Door opening alert
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • First aid kit
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Inner driver seat side airbag
  • Passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Rear collision warning and mitigation (RCWM)
  • Road sign information display
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters (Front and Outer Rear Seats)
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • 2 x NFC Access cards
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Digital key plus with keytag
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote door locking and unlocking
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: N
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 69
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 2340
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 1380
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 3.8
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 660
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 7.6
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): 28
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: 10-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: 153
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 153
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 65
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 17.5
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 18
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 17.5
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.6
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 3.5
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 3.6
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 450
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 445
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 450
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 279.6
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 276.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 279.6
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 428
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: 315kW Twin Motor Performance
  • Coin Series: Ultra
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 41E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.6
  • Engine Power - BHP: 428
  • Engine Power - KW: 315
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 401
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 55.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 543
  • Engine Torque - RPM: N
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/45 R20
  • Tyre Size Rear: 245/45 R20
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: 5 SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY
  • Height: 1555
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4233
  • Wheelbase: 2650
  • Width: 1940
  • Width (including mirrors): 2032
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2335
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1000
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 318
  • Max. Loading Weight: 450
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1600
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1885
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.7