Volvo EX30 Review 2024

Written by Phil Hall

heycar ratingVolvo gets the baby SUV formula just about right
  • 2023
  • Small SUV
  • EV

Quick overview


  • Reasonably affordable EV
  • Compact and clever design
  • Dependable range


  • Rear space is a little limited 
  • Touchscreen-centric controls
  • Budget quality is evident in places

Overall verdict on the Volvo EX30

"If you're looking for a compact family EV with a more than respectable range, quality interior and stylish looks, then the Volvo EX30 gets the formula just about right, with just a few minor niggles leaving the EX30 as a very good buy rather than a brilliant one."

Volvo EX30 Review 2024 Verdict

The Volvo XC40 broadened the appeal of the Swedish brand when it launched back in 2018, and the new Volvo EX30 electric SUV looks set attract a whole new set of potential buyers, especially with a starting price of just £33,795. We'll explain why in our Volvo EX30 review. 

The EX30 is Volvo's smallest SUV to date and is based around parent company Geely's dedicated SEA platform, with the Smart #1, Polestar 4 and also the currently left-hand drive only Zeekr X using the same underpinnings and tech. But you'd be wrong to see the EX30 as simply a generic EV with a Volvo badge tacked on the bonnet, as the brand's spent a lot of time to make it feel like Volvo. 

And that starts with the design. The EX30 still looks unashamedly like a Volvo, with those distinctive 'Thor's hammer' lights that have become a trademark of modern Volvos, a confident stance and a defined crease along the side of the body. Just like the electric C40 Recharge (now known as the EC40) and XC40 Recharge (again, also getting a name change to EX40), there's no grille on the EX30, but you're left it no doubt it's a Volvo with it's badge and diagonal stripe adorning the front of the car. The Volvo EX30 is a good-looking car. 

Viewed from the outside then and the Volvo EX30 could almost be mistaken for the larger Volvo XC40, but once you get up close to it you realise this is a much smaller car. It’s 4.23 metres long, 2.03 metres (with mirrors) wide and 1.55 metres high. The XC40 in comparison is 20cm longer and 10 cm taller, though it's pretty much the same width. 

There's a choice of three battery drivetrain options with the Volvo EX30 and it starts out with the standard Single Motor model. Rear-wheel drive, it features a 51kWh battery, 275PS and an official range of 214 miles. This is followed by a Single Motor Extended Range version with a larger 69kWh battery and a range up to 298 miles. If you're looking for a bit of a 'sleeper' car that goes under the radar and will trouble some of the quickest cars around, then the Twin Motor Performance model is for you. Using the larger battery and motors driving both the front and rear wheels and 434PS available, it'll hit 62mph in as little as 3.6 seconds. Range doesn't take too much of a hit either, with an official figure of 280 miles. 

Inside the EX30 and it's perhaps the biggest departure yet from larger Volvos like the the XC60 or XC90. There's no instrument display for starters, with everything relayed via the portrait-oriented central 12.3-inch touchscreen display. This also acts as your gateway to pretty much every setting of the EX30, which certainly keeps everything looking pretty minimal inside, but does come at the expense of some functionality. Some controls are buried a little too deeply to get to quickly for our liking - such as the rear window demister. 

There are four interior trims that Volvo has coined as 'rooms' to choose from, with generous amounts of recycled and sustainable materials being used. It’s got some clever stuff going on too and the attention to detail leaves a very positive impression. Rear legroom could be better though, while the boot isn't the largest available. 

Despite these niggles, for anyone who’s always hankered after a Volvo but hasn’t had the available budget, the EX30 could be an affordable way to enjoy the Swedish brand for the first time.

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Volvo Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Volvo EX30 cars for sale.

There's lots to like about the Volvo EX30 and if you're in the market for a small electric family car or looking to run it as a second car, then this it should definitely be on your shortlist, especially for the price. 

Those with older children might find it a bit of a squeeze in the back for long journeys, but if you've got a young family and still using car seats, there should be a good amount of room. It's worth checking the size of the boot though just to make sure you can get buggies and prams in etc. 

If you're happy with the touchscreen controls, then the Volvo EX30 is a very comfy EV that drives nicely, boasts decent levels of features and functions and hits the spot on just about everything else.

We reckon the sweet-spot of the Volvo EX30 range is the Single Motor Extended Range model in Plus trim. It's got the best range of the bunch and while performance is down on the Twin Motor car, it's still brisk.

While spec'ing the EX30 in Ultra trim will get you things like a panoramic roof and 360-degree camera, Plus trim is nicely specified and comes with all the core features you''re likely to need and will save you upwards of £8000 over the pricer Ultra trim. 

The Volvo EX30 enters a growing sector of compact electric family cars. There's the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born for starters, while the MG4 is great value for money (though it's starting to look less so with the arrival of the EX30). 

There's also SUVs like the Kia Niro EV and Honda e:Ny1, while if you're looking for something a little more familiar, there are hatchback alternatives like the Vauxhall Astra Electric and Peugeot e-308, as well as the Renault Megane E-Tech.

Comfort and design: Volvo EX30 interior

"If you’re in the mood for Scandinavian minimalism combined with some innovative features the interior of the Volvo EX30 will hit the note."

Volvo EX30 Review 2024: interior

In fact, the cabin of the Volvo EX30 is a definite highlight, irrespective of the trim choice. Volvo has elected to follow a ‘rooms’ train of thought with the interiors of the Volvo EX30, meaning the four internal trim options come with cool monikers including Breeze, Indigo, Mist and Pine. 

These feature a combination of recycled and renewable materials including woven flax, upcycled denim fibres from old jeans, ground up plastic windows and recycled polyester. Even the carpets of the Volvo EX30 have been fashioned from 100% recycled PET bottles and combined with the other internals the feel is slightly quirky but undefinably clever too. We found the seats to be really comfy as well, providing just the right amount of support. 

The smart thinking continues with the way the Volvo EX30's interior has been laid out. There’s a great use of storage space options, although a dashboard glove compartment is absent save for a small drop-down central cubby hole that is, curiously, opened and closed using a button on the touchscreen rather than a conventional push button or clasp mechanism. 

There are decent levels of storage in the central console area of the Volvo EX30, with innovative cup holders, phone storage and space for wireless charging in selected models. Continuing the practical theme, Volvo designers have also added a ‘Will it fit’ visual guide etched into the lining of the tailgate, allowing you to easily figure out whether your pushchair, case or standard lamp will make it into the boot area.

Volvo, like many other carmakers, has also added five different ambient lighting themes to the interior, all of which come with the Scandinavian landscape as their motivation. Therefore, expect cool, calm and collected vibes when you’re inside, especially after dark when the cabin takes on an even more welcoming ambience.

Even though the Volvo EX30 is being billed as an affordable compact EV, it still feels like a Volvo for the most part - and that means solid and well made, with plenty of nice little touches. 

All the key touch points have a nice tactile feel and there's a classy feel to the cabin, especially when you consider the price point the EX30 comes in at, and it's only when you really start delving a little deeper that the materials used don't feel quite as premium.

The Volvo EX30 does away with a digital dash or instrument display, instead favouring a 12.3-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen that sits in the middle of the dashboard. This is your gateway to all of the car's settings, while it also displays all the live driving info as well. This means you can find yourself glancing down and away from the road in front to check your speed - if Volvo's going to stick with this approach, the option of a head up display would be welcome. providing you with key info projected onto the screen in front of you. It would also reduce the amount of audible warnings the EX30 would deliver to remind you to concentrate on the road...

We also found that some settings were buried too far down in the menu - for example, changing the distance between cars for the adaptive cruise control requires you to drill down a couple of layers to allow you to change this, while there's no quick access to the rear window demister, again requiring a couple of presses of the menu.

Equally though, commonly used functions can be saved to avoid the need for frequent resetting of preferred positions and suchlike. There's also a contextual bar at the bottom of the screen that streamlines the adjustment of everyday options, including climate control settings, though there's nowhere near enough customisation here to allow you to tailor it to your own preferences. Volvo promises over-the-air updates that will refine the interface as it learns from user interaction.

It has to be said that the screen is both sharp and responsive, while the Volvo EX30 benefits from a lot of Google tech, especially when it comes to Google Assistant and Google Maps. This is supplemented by access to the Google PlayStore, allowing you to install apps like Waze and Spotify. 

There's wireless charging, as well as front and rear USB-C ports, while Volvo has also appointed the EX30's interior with a single soundbar audio system that sits along the top front of the dashboard, removing the need for speakers anywhere else in the car. This not only cuts down on internal fixtures and fittings but the quality of the Harmon Kardon soundbar is of a very good standard, despite only projecting sound from the front portion of the cabin.

Up front and there's a good amount of space - front passengers aren't short on headroom, while it feels nice and spacious for a modestly-sized electric SUV. 

Things get a little more cramped for those in the back of the Volvo EX30. There's still a good amount of headroom, but taller passengers will feel pretty cramped. For those with smaller children, this shouldn't be too much of an issue - we fitted two Group 2 child seats in our test car and there was ample space. It's a little thing, but we like the way the cover for ISOFIX fittings folds outwards and adds a little bit of extra protection for the seat when a child seat is fitted. 

While the EX30's 318-litre boot size isn't class-leading, it's a good shape and a flexible boot floor means it can be arranged in a flat or lower flat configuration to aid storage. If you need more space, you can drop the rear seats to give you a decent 904 litres of boot space with items packed to the roof. Plus, there’s also 61-litre frunk at the front of the Volvo EX30. Primarily used for charging leads, there's space for other bits and bobs. 

Handling and ride quality: What is the Volvo EX30 like to drive?

"All three model variants of the Volvo EX30 are good to drive, but it’s the Single Motor Extended Range Volvo EX30 car that stands out."

Volvo EX30 Review 2024: driving dynamic

We've driven both the Twin Motor Performance and Single Motor Extended Range versions of the Volvo EX30 and it's the later that would be our choice. 

The Twin Motor Performance EX30 is rapid, but feels overkill in a car like this. The Single Motor Extended Range gets the balance just right and feels at home in a range of driving situations. The steering is pretty light and works a treat when navigating tight city streets, while the composed handling gives you confidence when trying to hustle it along country roads. 

Volvo's got the suspension nicely sorted with the EX30 as well - it's firm enough to not let the car wallow through corners, but never feels too harsh on uneven or poorly surfaced roads. It's nice and comfy on a long journey, too, while at motorway speeds we didn't notice any distracting wind noise of any note. 

Speaking of motorway driving, Volvo's One Pilot Assist works pretty well. Pull down the drive stalk on the column and this engages driver assistance (including adaptive cruise control). You can set you speed and the EX30 will automatically slow and accelerate to maintain this speed depending on the surrounding traffic, while it will also assist with steering inputs to keep you in your lane (though does require you to hold the steering wheel at all times). 

Thick pillars at the back of the Volvo EX30 make reversing less easy than it might be, but there's a rear camera as standard, along with front and rear parking sensors. Get the EX30 in Ultra trim and there's also a 360-degree camera and 3D view offered up on the infotainment screen.

The Volvo EX30 comes with three different battery and electric motor configurations and things kick off with the Volvo EX30 Single Motor. This rear-wheel drive set up uses a 51kWh battery (49kWh useable capacity) that drives a rear-mounted electric motor producing 200kW of power and 275PS with 343Nm of torque. The 0 to 62mph time for this entry-level model is 5.7 seconds while it has a 112mph limited top speed. 

Next up is the Volvo EX30 Single Motor Extended Range model, which features a 69kWh battery (64kWh useable capacity) driving an electric motor at the rear. The same power output of the standard model, the Extended Range version is a little quicker to 62mph, taking just 5.3 seconds. 

Topping the range is the all-wheel-drive Volvo EX30 Twin Motor Performance model, which features an electric motor front and rear delivering 434PS and offering 543Nm of torque. It features the same 69kWh battery pack as the Extended Range model, but is quite a bit quicker, hitting 62mph in just 3.6 seconds. 

The entry-level Single Motor EX30 has an official range of up to 214 miles, while the Extended Range model with the large battery goes up to 296 miles. The Twin Motor Performance model, meanwhile, can officially travel up to 280 miles.

Expect this range to drop under real world conditions - climate, type of driving (cruising along a motorway is going to eat into the range more than pootling round town and regularly braking) and how conservatively you drive it will all impact the range. 

If you're undertaking a long journey though, Google Maps in the Volvo EX30 can tell you how much charge you can expect when you get to your destination (and if you'll have enough to get back), while it'll also display charging locations on your route. It's a slick system and the times we've used it found that it was pretty accurate when estimating the range. 

As you’d expect from an all-electric powertrain, engine noise isn’t an issue with the Volvo EX30, with the battery and electric motors working quietly and efficiently for the most part. 

Thanks to a decent build quality on the EX30 there is also little in the way of wind noise evident when you’re sat inside the Volvo EX30, while tyre noise is also refreshingly minimal, which makes the overall feeling of calm when travelling in the EX30. 

This is a Volvo, so you’d expect the EX30 to be very safe as is the nature of the brands product philosophy. The compact EV comes fitted with a raft of protection and collision avoidance technology, including the increasing popular warning that prevents occupants opening their door in the path of a cyclist. 

Volvo has also integrated safety functions such as Pilot Assist into the EX30, which helps you change lanes when you indicate. Park Pilot Assist can help get you into parking spaces with the car detecting and subsequently handling all of the accelerator, brakes and steering manoeuvres.

The EX30 is still to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP. 

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the Volvo EX30?

"In terms of driving efficiency and energy usage, Volvo’s figures suggest 3.7 miles per kWh for the single motor models and 3.6kWh for the twin motor performance edition."

Volvo EX30 Review 2024: charging

 Overnight charging the Volvo EX30 on a 7kW home charger should be in the region of 11.5 hours for the larger 69kW battery and around 9.5 hours for the smaller 51kW battery pack.

Fast charging is available too though with 134kW DC charging taking 26 minutes from 10% to 80% for the Single Motor EX30. The Single Motor Extended Range EX30 can take DC charging up to 153kW nad can be charged from 10% to 80% in just under 30 minutes, while you can expect the same time with the Twin Motor Performance variant. 

In tune with its own philosophy, the Volvo EX30 has been designed to be as green as possible. Volvo claims it has the smallest lifecycle CO2 footprint of any of its cars to date. There’s also a big focus on sustainability with the EX30 containing 25% recycles aluminium, 17% recycled steel and 17% recycled plastic. Much of this work is self-evident when you look at the interior, with a clever use of recycled plastics for the trim components, including the dashboard and door cards.

The Volvo EX30 is a brand new model for 2024, so it is too early to report on reliability. However, the compact SUV sits on the dedicated Geely SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) all-electric platform, which is also used for the likes of the Smart #1, the Polestar 4 and currently the left-hand-drive-only Zeekr X.

The lowest insurance group for the Volvo EX30 is 35, and that's for the Single Motor car in Plus trim. The Extended range model jumps up to 37 and the Twin Motor Performance falls into Group 40. Opt for Ultra trim and you can expect the insurance groups to increase a little. 

That might seem quite high if this is your first EV, but as a rule, electric cars tend to be in higher insurance groups than petrol or diesel equivalents. As a guide, the similar Smart #1 starts in insurance group 30, while the VW ID.3 starts in the low 20s. 

VED or ‘road tax’ for zero-emission vehicles like the Volvo EX30 is currently free, which means there’s no up-front tax payment when buying new, nor any subsequent payment. That's set to change in 2025.

How much should you be paying for a Volvo EX30?

"The Volvo EX30 is new to the market, but pricing is straightforward and, thankfully, easy to understand."

Volvo EX30 Review 2024: driving dynamic

The Single Motor Plus is £33,795 and the Single Motor Extended Range Plus model costs £38,545 on the road. The Twin Motor Performance Plus car will set you back £40,995, the Single Motor Extended Range Ultra costs £42,045 and the Twin Motor Performance Ultra is priced at £44,495.

As an example of finance options, a Personal Contract Purchase Contract Purchase (PCP) costs from £425 a month for the Single Motor Plus while Personal Contract Hire (PCH) costs from £475 a month for the Single Motor Plus.

Volvo also has plans to release an entry-level Core version of the EX30 in due course, which is expected to have a starting price of between £31,000 and £32,000. There’s also a rugged version of the EV called the Volvo EX30 Cross Country destined for some markets (not the UK, currently) during 2024. It will feature a raised ride height, front and rear skid plates and several other features that give it an almost off-road persona.

Initially, the Volvo EX30 will be available in two equipment grades – Plus and Ultra, with an entry-level Core model launching at a later date at a still to be confirmed lower price point. 

Volvo expects the EX30 in Plus trim to be the most popular option, with these models coming pretty comprehensively spec'd. This includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen equipped with a suite of Google functions (including Google Assistant and Google Maps). There’s also wireless Apple CarPlay and a Harman Kardon soundbar. 

The EX30 Plus also gets two-zone climate control that features an air-purification system and a energy-saving heat pump (only on Extended Range and Twin Motor Performance models). As well as this, the front seats and steering wheel are heated, there's a rear camera, front and rear parking sensors along with Pilot Assist steering assistance system. Rounding it out is an 11kW on-board charger, 18-inch alloy wheels and a power tailgate.

Volvo EX30 Ultra trim cars come with the same kit plus a 360-degree camera with 3D view along with Park Pilot Assist automatic parking system. The interior is brightened up thanks to a fixed panoramic sunroof while outside there are 20-inch wheels. Front seats are electrically adjustable, there are dark tinted rear windows and there's additional safety tech included, such as pedestrian and cyclist avoidance. 

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The new electric Volvo EX30 has an EV range of up to 298 miles and take 26 minutes to top up from 10-80%.
No, the Volvo EX30 doesn't replace the XC40 Recharge. The EX30 is smaller than the XC40 Recharge and is quite a bit cheaper.
Prices for the Volvo EX30 start at £33,795 for the Single Motor model and rise to just over £40,000 for the Twin Motor variant.

Other popular reviews