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2025 volvo ex30 Ron Sessions
EX30, Volvo’s smallest entry, is shorter than Nissan Leaf.

Volvo EX30: Less is More (For Much Less)

Volvo’s newest, smallest, and least-expensive crossover SUV EV is also the brand’s quickest.

BARCELONA, Spain – Volvo’s latest battery-electric vehicle, the EX30, is diminutive in stature but not in performance; from its propulsion to its Google-driven UX.

As with all BEVs, the EX30 offers generous low-speed torque, which enables the small Volvo to quickly zip into small holes in heavy traffic. What is surprising, though, is the instant surge of torque pressing us back in our seats when the accelerator is pressed, even at highway speeds. This is true for both the Twin Motor Performance AWD model, as well as the Single Motor Extended Range rear-drive version.

Here’s the fun part. According to Volvo, the single-motor EX30 can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.1 seconds, while the twin-motor model (in Performance AWD mode) can do the deed in as little as 3.4 seconds. Powering the former is a rear-mounted electric motor producing 268 hp and 253 lb.-ft. (343 Nm) of torque. The AWD version adds a 168-hp, 147-lb.-ft. (199-Nm) front motor for a total of 422 hp and 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque.

Volvo says the single-motor version feels so peppy because the system is calibrated so that the twin-motor’s second motor only kicks in if there is a loss of traction at the rear wheels, which helps conserve driving range.

Ron Sessions2025 volvo ex30

Outside the city limits, the EX30 exhibits a quiet demeanor on winding mountain roads and brief sections of limited-access motorways. With no heavy engine or transmission weighing down the nose, the chassis feels nicely balanced front to rear, and the summer performance tires deliver pinpoint steering response and satisfying grip.

The EX30 offers good brake response with nicely blended regenerative and friction braking. One-pedal drive, selectable via the center screen in vehicle settings, has a single, medium setting that’s aggressive enough to slow the vehicle when backing off the accelerator, but isn’t so abrupt as to brake-check a following vehicle. In all but the quickest stops, the one-pedal setting will bring the EX30 to a complete stop without the driver pressing the brake pedal.

Our test drive wasn’t long enough to challenge the 265-mile (426-km) range of the twin-motor EX30 or the 275-mile (443-km) capability of the single-motor model, let alone capture real-world miles-per-kWh numbers. Volvo says it is still finalizing the vehicle’s EPA estimated consumption figures.

Volvo states each can be charged to 80% in as little as 28 minutes with a DC fast charger. Early production EX30s will arrive with a CCS charge port and an adapter for use with the Tesla Supercharger network. Later on, the little Volvo will switch to the Tesla-type NACS charge port, eliminating the need for the adapter.

Small Outside, Big Inside
Spanning just 166.7 ins. (4,234 mm) nose to tail, 9.7-ins. (246-mm) shorter than a Nissan Leaf, the all-new EX30 sport-utility is an unlikely offering from a luxury brand.

The trim size of the EX30 is a bonus on the mostly busy, narrow streets of Barcelona that are teeming with pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and aggressive taxi and bus drivers. Volvo’s smallest model has good sight lines to the front and sides and is equipped with an extensive roster of standard safety and driver-assistance technology, including blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning systems.

In the driver’s seat, the EX30 doesn’t feel small. Front seat headroom and legroom are more generous than in the larger Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. There’s an ample amount of easy-to-access storage in the center console for beverages, phones and road-trip odds and ends.

Ron Sessions2025 volvo ex30 interior

Volvo didn’t cheap out on the front seats, either, imbuing them with the brand’s usual blend of comfort and ergonomic support. The rear seats, however, are not meant to accommodate 6-footers.

The biggest takeaway from the interior is how clean and minimalist, in the Scandinavian way, the dash and door panel designs are, especially in a luxury-branded vehicle. Where rare woods and animal hides might populate a traditional luxury vehicle, the EX30 makes use of eco-minded plant-based, responsibly gathered and recycled materials.

All switchgear and hard controls are incorporated, along with the infotainment and navigation systems, climate control, and vehicle settings. into a single 12.3-in. (31.2-cm) center display. Except for buyers coming out of a Tesla with a similar single-screen design, looking to the right instead of straight ahead for driver-related information and relying on the center screen to control headlamps, outside mirrors, hazard flashers and even the glovebox opener may take some getting used to.

What works brilliantly is the EX30’s Google-based interface which brings up-to-date Google Maps for navigation and Google Assistant for voice control. Wireless Apple CarPlay is onboard as well. That said, a larger screen with more room for important messages and bigger icons would make it easier to locate and tap on the fly in a moving vehicle.

Volvo’s new-age CUV is a good match for a crowded urban environment. But it’s also a sporty ride for dashing around back roads and quietly whisking along at freeway speeds solely on electrons.

Including the $1,295 destination fee, prices for the surprisingly affordable EX30 single-motor start at $36,245 for the base Core, $40,195 for the well-equipped Plus, and $41,895 for the top-of-the-line Ultra. Twin-motor AWD models, available only with Plus or Ultra trim, add another $6,000.

Ron Sessions2025 volvo ex30

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