2024 Volvo EX30 – Volvo’s New ‘Affordable’ Mini Electric SUV. What happens when you take a relatively big luxury car and make it smaller and more affordable? You might expect to lose a certain amount of style and performance, but Volvo’s new EX30 is a car of contradictions.
The EX30 is Volvo’s smallest and least expensive SUV, but it’s also the fastest accelerating car the company has ever made thanks to its 3.5-second zero to 60 mph (3.6 to 100 km/h) time. And from what we can see it sacrifices nothing in terms of design. We’d go so far as to say it’s the best looking car the firm makes.
If you’re thinking that Volvo already has the small SUV thing covered with the XC40, you’re not thinking small enough. While the 174.8-inch long (4,440 mm) XC40 rides on a 106.4-inch (2,702 mm) wheelbase, the EX30 measures just 104.3 inches (2,650 mm) between axles and only 166.7 inches (4,233 mm) from bumper to bumper. It also comes with a smaller price. An entry-level EV version of the XC40 costs €44,822 / £46,505 in Europe and $53,550 in the U.S., but the EX30 starts at €36,000 / £33,795 in Europe and only $34,950 in America. That looks like a great deal, especially for U.S. drivers.
That money gets you into a base Plus-grade car with a single, rear-mounted motor making 268 hp (272 PS / 200 kW) and 253 lb-ft (343 Nm), and delivering surprisingly strong performance given its price and lowly position in the lineup. Zero to 60 mph takes 5.4 seconds (5.7 to 100 km/h) and the fairly small 54 kWh LFP battery can cover 200 EPA miles (or 214 miles / 344 km WLTP) and charge at 134 kW, taking it from 10-80 percent in 28 minutes.
Using a lithium-ion phosphate battery in the base car was key to getting the entry price down, but buyers looking to cover more ground between top-ups can upgrade to the £38,490 Single Motor Extended Range. Doing that swaps the LFP battery for a 69 kWh NMC unit that improves performance, range and charge times. The zero to 60 mph time falls to 5.1 seconds (5.3 to 100 km/h), the driving range grows to 275 EPA miles (298 miles / 480 km WLTP) and the max charge rate increases to 153 kW, though the larger battery capacity means the 10-80 percent fill-time is around the same at 26.5-28 minutes.
If performance is your thing, however, you’ll be wanting to step up to the £40,995 EX30 Twin Motor Performance. A second motor, this one acting on the front axle, lifts power to 422 hp (428 PS / 315 kW) and torque to 401 lb ft (543 Nm), cutting the 60 mph time down to 3.4 seconds (3.6 to 100 km/h). The Performance draws on the same NMC battery as the long-range, single-motor EX, but there’s a tiny penalty for the extra weight and acceleration. The driving distance drops slightly to 265 EPA miles (286 miles / 460 km WLTP), though we can’t see that putting anyone off from upgrading to the speedier EV.
All three powertrain options are available in base Plus trim, which, looking at the generous kit list, is probably all most people will need. You get 18-inch wheels (19s on Extended Range and Performance), contrasting color roof, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control with steering assistance, heated seats and wheel, a zillion electronic safety aids, a heat pump and 11 kW charger, a stonking 1,040 W Harman Kardon sound system and 12.3-inch portrait touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Google Assistant.
But the Extended Range and Performance are also available in Ultra guise for a £3,500 premium, that extra cash adding a 360-degree camera with 3D view, automatic parking, 20-inch diamond-cut alloys, dark tinted glass, panoramic roof, electric seats and a 22 kW on-board charger for speedier home top-ups.
Those are the models that are available to order from today in Europe and pre-order in the U.S. for delivery in early 2024, but that’s not quite the full EX30 lineup because Volvo has revealed that it will be adding its famous Cross Country theme to the SUV in 2024.
Details are sketchy at this stage but Volvo says it will feature more ground clearance and a choice of black 19-inch wheels or 18-inch rims with ‘bespoke’ (presumably chunky off-road) tires. It will also come with skidplates on the front, rear and side, black panels on the front bumper and rear hatch and Cross Country branding in the form of a small Swedish flag on the hood.
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