Driving report: Volvo EX30 Single Motor Extended Range
The Volvo EX30 shares technology with the Smart #1. The electric crossover complements this with the classic attributes of the Swedish car manufacturer and offers an extensive safety package and an attractive design.
Clothes make the man, they say. This is also the case in the automotive industry. Especially when several vehicles share technology, it is almost essential that models from each brand differ visually as much as possible. A good example of this is the Smart #1 and the Volvo EX30. The small e-crossovers are both on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform with the suffix E, which stands for Entry, i.e. the small cars up to a length of around 4.30 meters. The two technology brothers differ significantly in appearance, as the Volvo EX30 follows the Swedish car manufacturer’s classic, simple design.
This also applies to the interior, which in modern Volvos is reminiscent of a Scandinavian living room. This is also the case with the small representative. We like the Scandinavian ambience, such as the chrome-plated door openers and fabric-covered seats. The interior is simple and is dominated by the 12.3-inch upright tablet touchscreen, which is used for most of the infotainment operation. The cup holders hidden in the armrest, which can be pulled out, are smart. Once they are stowed away, you have free access to additional shelves. The central glove compartment is a good idea, so the driver doesn’t have to strain to get something out. However, you can tell from the material that even in Sweden you have to expect a sharp pencil when using an electric vehicle. The proportion of hard plastic in the small e-crossover is also comparatively high.
The infotainment is based on Android Automotive, but the operation is not quite as intuitive as you would expect from a smartphone. If you don’t want to do without your iPhone, you can connect it wirelessly via Apple CarPlay. Compatible smartphones can also be used as vehicle keys. Wireless updates keep the software up to date. The fact that you have to adjust the mirror on the steering wheel satellites is no longer new for vehicles with Chinese technology. The windshield wiper is controlled with a continuous slewing ring without a defined end point on the left lever behind the steering wheel, which is unusual. You won’t find a classic speedometer behind the steering wheel; the speed is displayed at the top of the tablet screen. So you always have to look slightly to the right, not exactly ideal.
The seats are comfortable, but lack lateral support. The leg rest could also be longer. We tried out both versions: both the Power variant with all-wheel drive and 315 kW / 428 hp and the EX30 Single Motor Extended Range with 200 kW / 272 hp. Sure, the top variant has a lot of steam, accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and is the fastest production Volvo of all time, but with the single-engine variant, which completes the standard sprint in 5.3 seconds, You’re also traveling pretty quickly. The top speed of a Volvo is limited to 180 km/h anyway. In addition, there is the standard range of up to 476 kilometers (WLTP) thanks to the “large” battery with 69 kilowatt hours capacity (net 64 kWh). If you choose the 51 kWh batteries (49 kWh net), it is a maximum of 344 kilometers.
After 26.5 minutes, the 69 kWh batteries are filled from ten to 80 percent when charging with a maximum of 175 kW. Volvo states consumption at 17.5 kWh/100 km. During our test drive we achieved 17.3 kWh/100 km. When swimming along in traffic in an extremely relaxed manner, it was only 12.0 kWh/100 km. The Volvo EX30 is extremely comfortable, wobbles in curves and rocks on long waves. But that’s not unpleasant and is probably part of the concept. “We developed the EX30 so that it is a real Volvo, but not too tightly tuned,” explains vehicle dynamics engineer John Lundegren. The short wheelbase of 2.65 meters helps with agility. The steering doesn’t deserve top marks, feels synthetic and could be more direct.
A new Volvo comes with a safety package. The EX30 is no exception. So the Swedes are equipping the e-crossover with an improved version of the Pilot Assist robo-driving assistant, which supports the driver when overtaking trucks. The Volvo can also park itself. Cyclists will be pleased that the small Volvo’s sensors also keep an eye on the smaller two-wheelers when they get out and warn them as soon as a cyclist speeds up. An intersection brake assistant, which prevents collisions with oncoming vehicles when turning, complements the safety concept, which is primarily aimed at urban environments.
It is clear that there is no opulent space in a car with a length of 4.23 meters. You can make yourself comfortable in the front. It’s much tighter at the back. As an adult, you only want to travel short distances in the back. The trunk is also not generous with a volume of 318 liters. At least two on-board trolleys fit easily in it. If you fold down the backrests of the back seat, it becomes 904 liters. There are also seven liters in the frunk under the front hood for small items and other odds and ends. However, the price for the Volvo EX30 Single Motor Extended Range Ultra being driven is not exactly cheap at 48,990 euros. The entry-level “Core” variant with the smaller battery is available for 36,590 euros. If you absolutely prefer the powerhouse, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets and spend at least 48,490 euros. For comparison: The Smart #1 pro can travel up to 310 kilometers and costs at least 37,490 euros; if it has to be 440 kilometers, it becomes 44,990 euros. If the Volvo EX30 is too good for you, you should wait a little longer. A cross-country version will be released next year