New Volvo EX30 ride review


The price is very reasonable with the new Volvo EX30. The small SUV will appeal on cost alone, although from such a short time in the passenger seat there seems to be a lot to like. Quiet, fast, comfortable and quiet, Volvo’s newcomer has the ingredients to succeed in a very challenging area of ​​the market. We can’t wait to try it for ourselves in a few weeks.

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Big, expensive electric SUVs aren’t the cows people think they are. These halo products may draw the crowds, but it’s the smaller, more affordable cars that make the money.

So, while the long-awaited Volvo EX90 may showcase everything the brand has to offer at the moment, it’s the entry-level EX30 that will sell in greater numbers. This is especially true given that the small Volvo’s sub-£34,000 starting price undercuts not only its electric rivals, but also a lot of petrol SUVs with much higher whole-life costs too.

But although initial pricing and specifications were announced earlier this year, the first customer cars won’t arrive until February 2024. To see if those who have already placed an order will eventually resent the wait, we rode shotgun into a twin-engined EX30 Twin, On a variety of roads at Volvo’s Hallered Proving Ground near its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Sitting alongside Egbert Bakker, Technical Lead for Vehicle Dynamics, we were immediately transported to an area the team refers to as the “English Road” – a lumpy section of broken tarmac designed to mimic the unique surfaces found on our side of the Channel.

The EX30 feels quiet. You can feel our test car’s 20-inch wheels fidgeting beneath you, but the damping is supple enough to ward off the worst bumps. The body rolls a little through corners, but it’s no worse than other B-segment SUVs. “This isn’t supposed to be a sports car,” Bakker tells us.

Next is the so-called “Florida” section – which features larger undulations as well as smaller ripples and potholes. Packer uses it to demonstrate how quickly the EX30 resets itself after going up a slope, using the SUV’s extra ride height to absorb any unwanted longitudinal movement. It sure looks restrained from the passenger seat, as Packer assures us he feels better from where he’s sitting. We’ll need to wait another month or so to find out if this is true.

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Up to this point, we’ve gotten an idea of ​​the new EX30 from a comfort and style perspective. With speeds of 70 mph and beyond, this car is not a car limited to city streets; Even the base car gets a range of up to 212 miles, while larger battery models officially reach 298 miles under official testing. The device we’re sitting in shows nearly 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a 96 percent charge.

Packer then takes us to the handling circuit where we can pick up the pace and get a feel for how the car moves under load. As technical lead, this man is responsible for all models from EX30 to EX90; It’s his job to make sure they share a series of traits evident in Volvo cars over the past six decades.

“The EX30 is smaller and lighter (than the EX90). But you still get that Volvo feeling,” he tells us. “To drive, a Volvo needs to be predictable, controllable and comfortable.”

Through long turns at 60 mph or more, the wide-section Goodyear tires exhibit solid grip. Again, the body lean is noticeable, but not intrusive, as Packer clipped the car’s line down the middle without any fuss. He says the “weight balance is better” in SUVs, but admits the average car owner is unlikely to explore this much.

Acceleration from our Twin Performance test car surprised us at times—from a standstill to freeway speeds. Straight-line speed isn’t as painful as it is in the (larger) Tesla Model Y, but we can’t help but feel that the linear power delivery will likely suit more people, most of the time.

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Elsewhere, Bakker – as well as EX30 product leader Joachim Hermansson – insists that the simple cabin design is easy to get used to. “It seemed unusual at first, but at 500 meters it was normal,” says Hermansson. There’s no traditional instrument cluster, with speed readouts sitting above the navigation and media controls on the center screen. The high-resolution screen puts key information closer to your natural eye line than a Tesla might, though we’ll need to spend some time behind the wheel before making a final judgment.

The overall fit and finish easily matches cars at this price point, even as a late-stage prototype. In fact, a myriad of recycled finishes for the dashboard, seats and even floor mats will give customers a clean conscience and a premium feel – even if they’re trading in an XC60, for example.

Accommodation is another plus point. Despite its size, a six-foot-tall person can fit behind a similarly sized driver, and although the 318-litre boot may seem small, it doesn’t feel any more compromised than the class average. Under-hood storage means you don’t need to deal with loose charging cables either.

As we have already hinted, the entry price is eye-catching. Available in Plus and Ultra specifications at launch, the base model of the single-engine car will join the range soon, priced from around £31,500. As with Volvo’s range of electric XC40s, the mid-spec Plus car is likely to be the sweet spot, mixing a competitive standard kit list for a reasonable initial outlay.

model: Volvo EX30 Twin Performance Ultra
price: £44,495
Power generation: 64 kWh battery, two electronic motors
Power/Torque: 422bhp/543Nm
moving in: Single-speed car, four-wheel drive
0-62 mph: 3.6 seconds
maximum speed: 112 mph
Ranges: 286 miles
Shipping: 175 kW, 10-80% in 27 minutes
For sale: now

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