2025 Volvo EX30: A Star in the Making

Published on November 6, 2023 in First Drives by Dominic Boucher

Volvo’s smallest crossover yet is also the greenest and most powerful. Slotting below the XC40 Recharge in the Swedish automaker’s Canadian lineup, the all-new 2025 Volvo EX30 is the first subcompact luxury SUV to offer a fully electric powertrain.

And from what we’ve seen following its global debut in Milan, the Canadian premiere in Montreal this summer and now a first-drive event in Spain with Euro-spec pre-production models that will be very similar to the ones coming here, the little EX30 is going to be a big hit.

Cool, Calm and Collected

Starting off on the tight streets of Barcelona’s coastline and driving through nearby small towns, the EX30 wasted no time impressing yours truly by the way it easily zipped through traffic and calmly handled corners.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Egbert Bakker, Volvo's technical leader for vehicle dynamics, explained to us that the vehicle had to be easy to drive and true to the brand’s core values—safe, predictable and comfortable. From a driver’s point of view, it’s mission accomplished. The other passengers will enjoy a good time, too, including those sitting in the second row.

Steering is precise albeit a tad overly assisted, even in the firmest setting. The EX30 doesn’t feel that heavy, and that’s because it weighs a reasonable 1,750 kg (1,878 kg in dual-motor configuration) and boasts a low centre of gravity. Mass is perfectly balanced, although the dual-motor variant puts a bit more weight in the rear.

Base EX30 models come with rear-wheel drive and generate 268 horsepower along with 253 lb-ft. of torque. Acceleration is progressive and lively enough. Volvo claims 0-100 km/h sprints are achieved in 5.3 seconds, while top speed is set at 180 km/h. Adding a motor to drive the front axle increases output to 422 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque. Get this: it’ll only take you 3.6 seconds to get to triple-digit speeds from a standstill. Simply remarkable.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Around town, the EX30 is civilized and offers excellent visibility thanks to generously sized windows. Unlike many other EVs, however, there is no way to adjust regenerative braking, so don’t look for paddles on the steering wheel.

Built on a 400V electric architecture, Volvo’s new crossover uses a 69kWh battery (64 kWh net capacity) that enables an EPA-estimated range of 442 km in single-motor configuration and 426 km in dual-motor configuration. The media drive planned by Volvo wasn’t long enough to properly assess efficiency, but just for the record, the single-motor EX30 achieved an energy consumption of around 15-17 kWh/100 km, while its dual-motor counterpart was unsurprisingly less frugal at 17.5-20 kWh/100 km. Take these numbers with a grain of salt.

A full charge at home can be completed in under eight hours, Volvo says. When plugged into a DC fast charger (maximum charging rate of 153 kW), the battery will charge from 10-80 in 26.5 minutes. Interestingly, the Goodyear tires were designed specifically for the EX30 according to Volvo’s standards. As for towing capacity, this little EV can pull up to 900 kg (1,984 lbs).

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Clean and Connected

For the sake of environmental friendliness, Volvo designers came up with a clean interior using plenty of sustainable materials. The dashboard is as minimalist as it gets, with all the controls integrated to the tablet-style, 12.3-inch centre touchscreen (which is split into five sections) and no instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel.

The upper part of the display is where you’ll find information such as speed, range and driver assistance features. This will always stay visible, even if the rest of the infotainment system fails. Below is navigation, then audio and phone controls, followed by two menu bars at the bottom (the lower one including HVAC controls).

Volvo says this layout improves visibility for the driver and makes the touchscreen easier to use for the front passenger. The missing physical buttons and instrument cluster also mean fewer parts to build and assemble, thus reducing emissions. What’s more, centralizing all electronics helped the company lower production costs. A head-up display would have been nice—and useful—but it apparently goes against Volvo’s philosophy for the EX30.

The infotainment system itself is attractive and easy to read. On the other hand, some getting used to is required. For example, you’ll have to go through the screen to adjust the side mirrors. When it comes to music, six speakers are mounted at the base of the windshield and subwoofers reside underneath the dashboard. A powerful Harman Kardon stereo is available.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

As mentioned earlier, the EX30 is loaded with sustainable materials, such as recycled polymers and polyester. Floor mats are made from PET bottles, and the lower dashboard has a rock-like texture adding a rugged touch to the cabin. Overall, around a quarter of all aluminum used in building the vehicle is recycled, as is approximately 17 percent of all steel and plastic used in producing the interior and exterior.

The new Volvo EX30 is available in five different body colours inspired by nature—Vapour Grey, Cloud Blue, Moss Yellow (emulating the lichen growing on the rocks along Sweden's west coast), Onyx Black and Crystal White. Inside, four colours can be specified—Mist (grey), Breeze (light blue), Pine (light green) and Indigo (blue and black).

A few lovely details need to be mentioned, here. There’s a moose called Mårten and some trees depicted on the underside of the cover of the mini-frunk. A similar design can be found in the drawer under the centre console. Also, an illustration in the cargo area shows different items (with their size) that can fit in there. Oh, and by the way, the glove box is located just below the touchscreen.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

EV Rebates Apply

Now, how much does the 2025 Volvo EX30 cost? The base Core model starts at $53,700 in Canada. Upgrading to the Plus model at $56,900 adds a two-tone exterior with Onyx Black roof and panoramic glass, 19-inch wheels and a Harman Kardon premium sound system. Next up is the Ultra model at $59,100, which includes highlights like the next generation of Pilot Assist with Lane Change Assistance, a 360-degree camera with 3D view plus Park Pilot Assist.

In dual-motor configuration, you can only have the EX30 in Plus or Ultra trim, with a base price of $59,900 or $62,100, respectively. All models are eligible to a $5,000 EV rebate from the federal government in addition to provincial rebates where applicable.

Production began earlier this fall in Zhangjiakou, China. Due to strong demand, Volvo will also build the EX30 in Ghent, Belgium for European and global markets. Volvo Canada says customers can configure and reserve their EX30 online or through a dealer, with deliveries expected to start in June of 2024.

Considering the attractive price, available EV rebates, high build quality and outstanding performance, we fully expect the EX30 to become a big hit. That is, if Volvo can deliver enough of them.

Watch: 2025 Volvo EX30 Presentation

Test drive report
Test model N/A
Trim level Ultra
Price range $53,700 – $62,100
Price as tested 62 100 $
Warranty (basic) N/A
Warranty (powertrain) N/A
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) N/A
Options N/A
Competitive models Audi Q4 e-tron, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, Lexus RZ, Mercedes-Benz EQB, Tesla Model Y, Volvo C40 Recharge
Strong points
  • Highly comfortable
  • Pleasant to drive
  • Neatly finished
  • Eligible to EV rebates
Weak points
  • Infotainment requires some getting used to
  • Regen braking can’t be adjusted
  • Tiny frunk
Editor's rating
Fuel economy N/A The drive was too short to make a proper assessment. The single-motor variant achieved around 15-17 kWh/100 km.
Comfort 4.5/5 The seats are extremely comfortable with their multiple adjustments. Rear passengers will enjoy a good time, too.
Performance 4.5/5 Acceleration is remarkably strong in dual-motor configuration.
Infotainment 3.5/5 All the controls go through the touchscreen, which some drivers won’t like. The system requires some getting used to.
Driving 4.0/5 The EX30 shows great balance, delivering a smooth ride and agile cornering.
Overall 4.0/5 A fantastic product with great build quality and a pleasant driving experience. Probably going to be a hit.
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