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Volvo EX30 2024 review


Volvo’s latest electric SUV continues the brand’s push towards all-electric, with an involving driving experience injected with quirky, classy minimalist design

Good points

  • Premium, yet quirky cabin
  • Impressive dual-motor electric punch
  • Engaging driving experience
  • Decent EV range
  • Google automotive integration
  • High level of specification

Needs work

  • Lack of instrument cluster
  • Gets pricey in top-spec
  • Limited second-row room
  • No rear air vents
  • No spare wheel
  • Annoying non-clicky indicators

In case you’ve missed it, Volvo Cars Australia wants to make its entire Australian lineup electric by 2026, significantly ahead of the brand’s global target of 2030.

It’s confident it will be able to do it thanks to a few key cars, including the upcoming EX90 large electric SUV, but, this week, we’ve had our first Australian drive of the EX30 electric small SUV, which might just bring a new group of enthusiastic electric car buyers to Volvo land.

2024 Volvo EX30 yellow rear 3/4

What is the EX30, exactly? It’s Volvo’s smallest electric car, a compact SUV built upon Chinese car giant Geely’s SEA platform. Produced in China, the EX30 uses either rear-drive or dual-motor all-wheel-drive configurations.

For Australia, Volvo will only bring extended-range battery packs for the EX30, meaning we get a larger 69kWh battery pack (64kWh usable). Battery range claims differ depending on the source. On Volvo’s Australian website, it claims a maximum battery range of 540km, however in the supplied press material at the local launch, the maximum range for the EX30 is much lower, stated to be 462km (WLTP).

The entry-level EX30, the Plus, starts from $59,990 before on-road costs, putting it in very similar territory to the Cupra Born ($59,990) and even the MG4 in high-spec XPower trim. Pricing creeps up for the Ultra single motor at $66,290, and then the flagship dual-motor Ultra at $71,290.

2024 Volvo EX30 front end detail close up

Power and torque for the single motor is rated at a not-insignificant 200kW/343Nm, while the dual-motor ups takes the performance up a notch with 315kW/543Nm.

We’ve taken to the hills just outside of Adelaide for the first drive, through the twists and turns of the Barossa, and spent some time pushing along South Australian highways.

Here’s a first local glimpse of what the EX30 is like to drive on local Aussie blacktop. We’ve spent the most time in the flagship dual-motor Ultra, so we’ll focus on it for this launch review.

What are the EX30’s features and options for the price?

The grade walk for the EX30 starts with the entry Plus variant, which is only available with single-motor rear-wheel drive.

This Plus grade includes:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 12.3-inch centre touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity 
  • Android Automotive operating system
  • Textile fabric and wool-effect Nordico ‘bio-material’ upholstery 
  • Digital key plus
  • Manually-adjustable front seats
  • Harman Kardon premium sound system
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Front and rear USB-C ports
  • OTA updates
  • DAB+ radio
  • 5G capability 

2024 Volvo EX30 interior front seats

Volvo’s EX30 flagship, the dual-motor Ultra grade, is priced at $71,290 before on-road costs, putting it up with some serious contenders, including the popular Tesla Model Y. 

It’s fitted with the following added features:

  • Heated steering wheel
  • Electrically-adjustable front seats with power lumbar support
  • Textile fabric and synthetic leather combination
  • 360-degree camera
  • Park Pilot assist
  • Panoramic glass roof

The Volvo EX30 doesn’t overdo things in terms of standard specification. The only notable omissions was the lack of an instrument cluster and physical climate control switches, as well as the deletion of rear air vents.

How does the EX30 drive?

The picturesque Adelaide Hills was the setting for our drive of the EX30, with the blacktop winding and snaking its way up the hillsides. It was a perfect mix of bitumen to test this car properly.

I saddled up in the dual-motor Ultra variant and immediately felt at home. Positive first impressions went to the driving position, comfortable and slightly sporty front seats, as well as fantastic visibility forward and aft.

2024 Volvo EX30 on the road front angle

I wasn’t sure how a small electric SUV would cope with attacking some of the best driving roads in South Australia, but the EX30 impressed with controlled and well-damped ride quality and a surprisingly boisterous character when pushed a little bit harder.

Although not based on the same platform, the EX30 evoked a strong driving similarity to the excellent Polestar 2 liftback.

And like almost all EVs, the EX30 benefits from crisp and punchy throttle response and swift acceleration. Those 315kW/543Nm outputs feel spot on, but I thought even the 200kW single-motor was plenty enough for most buyers.

Volvo claims a very impressive 3.6-second sprint to 100km/h. Chasing Cars will verify these figures independently at a later date, but regardless of the exact number, this is a very rapid small SUV.

2024 Volvo EX30 yellow rear 3/4 shot

As I got to drive the EX30 through some faster, more sweeping country roads, the chassis fell into a nice rhythm, soaking up bumps and road irregularities with a sure-footed attitude.

The suspension resolved with surprising levels of composure and, most certainly, did not feel unsettled or sketchy. Pretty Impressive. There is a nice balance between being comfortable over those harsh bumps while also being dynamically sporty and fun to drive.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is a sort of sophisticated way the EX30 goes down the road.

2024 Volvo EX30 on road cornering shot

You can tell that the engineers have really thought about how to make an electric car fun and engaging, but without putting silly fake sounds through the speakers, or by making it uncomfortable with a stiff, race-honed ride.

It’s a quiet experience, too, as it should be without a bunch of firing cylinders under the bonnet, but the NVH is top notch, with very, very minimal levels of tyre or wind noise present.

If there are to be some downsides, it’d be for small things, like the annoying, non-clicky indicators or the complete lack of a head-up display, which could really resolve many of the issues created by removing the traditional speedo in front of the driver.

2024 Volvo EX30 on road driving shot

I’m a big fan of the way the EX30 presents itself in the way it drives, handles and rides. It’s not pretentious, or in your face. It’s like your softly-spoken friend who is also a big nerd and super smart. Under the surface, there lies some absolute brilliance. But he or she won’t be the one to jump on top of a table at a party.

Plus, this dual-motor really is the sleeper-spec EX30 to buy if you want to brag about beating a V8 Commodore at the traffic lights.

What is the EX30’s interior and tech like?

Get inside the EX30 and it immediately feels like a bigger car than what it actually is. It’s deceptively roomy.

The interior is basically as IKEA as it gets and no, that’s a very good compliment. From the eco-materials to the gorgeously integrated Harman Kardon sound bar in the dash – in a similar style to the Ford Mustang Mach-E – it’s an interior that should be awarded.

2024 Volvo EX30 interior wide screen and steering wheel
2024 Volvo EX30 interior blue accents

The interior designers have done a lot to make this feel every dollar of its value. It feels premium, but also clean and elegant. It’s a space you’ll want to spend time in, time and time again.

And for those automakers who believe that more leather is best, Volvo has proved you can do it all without any leather at all.

The seats are nicely appointed in a fabric/wool textile which really works, plus there is electric adjustment for both driver and front passenger pews. The steering wheel feels quality to the touch and is an interesting oblong shape, which actually felt pretty good to use.

2024 Volvo EX30 12.30inch portrait touchscreen

The car’s interior centrepiece is a portrait-style 12.3-inch touchscreen that runs Google’s operating system. You can also run wireless Apple CarPlay for all the iPhone users out there, but there is the ability to run Android Auto, too, independent of the Google operating system.

The screen itself is clear, functional and well-designed. It’s also the home to all of the climate control functions. Interestingly, the EX30 goes without any form of a driver cluster or head-up display, so you’ll be reliant on the speed readout on the top right-hand section of the touchscreen.

2024 Volvo EX30 interior extendable cupholders

2024 Volvo EX30 interior rear seat wide shot

Not necessarily a negative thing, but it does take some getting used to if you’re transitioning from basically any car other than a Tesla Model 3 sedan or Model Y midsize SUV.

It’s also good to see a single wireless charging pad and USB-C ports available. There’s also plenty of storage space thanks to the flat-floor battery platform. The retractable centre cupholders are a neat design element, too.

In the rear, it’s a little on the cramped side of things, but it would be more than fine for kids and adults on shorter drives. It’s worth noting that there are no air vents for the second row. Instead, rear occupants gain window switches where the air vents are normally located, as well as two USB-C charge ports.

2024 Volvo EX30 boot wide shot
2024 Volvo EX30 boot under floor wide shot

In the boot, owners will gain a 318-litre boot capacity, with a tyre repair kit also featuring. No spare wheel features.

All in all, this is one of the smartest interiors I’ve come across. It dares to be different and should be rewarded for doing so.

Is the EX30 a safe car?

The new EX30 is yet to be tested by ANCAP, however the electric small SUV is fitted with the following safety equipment as standard:

  • Driver, side, curtains and driver knee airbags
  • 360-degree camera
  • Tyre pressure monitoring 
  • Pedestrian, animal and cyclist detection
  • Intersection Collision and Oncoming Mitigation with Brake Support
  • Post Impact Braking
  • Steering Support
  • Driver Alert System
  • Lane Keeping Aid
  • Adjustable Speed Limiter function
  • Oncoming Mitigation by braking
  • Blind Spot Information (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
  • Front and Rear Collision Warning with mitigation support
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Park Pilot Assist

Volvo has been a pioneer for safety inclusions for a long time and its safety systems continue to impress in the EX30. While there is minimal hesitancy from the lane-keep assist, the driver monitoring was far better tuned than other vehicle systems on the current market. 

What are the EX30’s ownership costs?

The Volvo range of vehicles here in Australia is covered by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. The battery pack also receives an eight-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Servicing will take place every 24 months, but the exact pricing has not been confirmed by Volvo Australia.

2024 Volvo EX30 charging

In terms of efficiency, Volvo claims that the EX30 dual-motor variant we tested will be able to travel 445km (WLTP).

Although our drive program was only relatively short, we saw close to 500km indicated at nearly 100 percent state of charge at the start of our drive.

Volvo claims that the EX30 will use around 13.9kWh/100km. Maximum DC charging speed for the EX30 is 158kW. You can also charge with AC power, like at home, at speeds up to 11kW.

2024 Volvo EX30 charging centre touchscreen

Volvo also states you should be able to charge the EX30 from 10 to 80 percent in 26 minutes with a 175kW public DC fast charger.

Again, Chasing Cars will seek to test these range and charging speed claims independently at a later date.

The honest verdict on the EX30

I’ve come away from my first time with the EX30 feeling impressed. Volvo has introduced something fresh and a touch quirky to the small electric SUV market.

With sophisticated, charming, yet minimalist design inside and out, the EX30 is not only good to look at, but has an interior that you want to spend time in and enjoy with every single drive.

2024 Volvo EX30 side angle badging

And when you do go out and take the EX30 for a spin, you’ll be met with an engaging and fun driving experience. Supple, yet controlled ride quality and responsive, punchy electric shove in the dual-motor variant makes a nice pairing.

With 315kW of power, I was never left wanting for more, but if your budget can’t stretch to the top-spec, the 200kW single motor is still plenty for the day-to-day.

Although we are yet to do a full Chasing Cars electric range and recharge test, the real world range should likely to be around 450km. Not bad for a car with a 64kWh usable battery pack.

2024 Volvo EX30 front 3/4 static

If there are to be some improvements, I’d love to see a head-up display fitted to the EX30 in the future. It would also be nice for the rear seats to get air vents, as I feel it would get very hot in summer with the glass roof.

All up, the Volvo EX30 does so much right. It’s refreshing to see a small SUV that changes the game, not just in terms of design, but also with a refined ride and smooth electric powertrain.

All I can say is: watch out Cupra Born.

Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

315kW at 0rpm
543Nm at 0rpm
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
0 litres
All Wheel Drive
Single gear
4233 mm
1836 mm
1549 mm
Unoccupied weight
0 kg

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