When Volvo first announced it would build an electric crossover for Generation Z, a great number of people thought “Yeah, right.” After all, Volvos are luxury cars and Gen Z likely won’t be dropping luxury car money anytime soon. However, the 2025 Volvo EX30 doesn’t cost luxury car money. It’s a tiny, reasonably-priced EV that may soon be everywhere by virtue of affordability. Let’s dive in and see how Volvo did it.
At just 166.7 inches long, the Volvo EX30 is just over a foot shorter than a Honda Civic hatchback. However, it’s also surprisingly wide at 72.3 inches (80 inches including the mirrors), and reasonably tall at 61.1 inches. Although it shares a model prefix with the big EX90 electric crossover, think of the EX30 as more of a hatchback, especially since a ruggedized Cross Country version is on its way to take care of the crossover side of things.
Once you swap over to sunny, European hatchback-tinted lenses, the EX30 starts to make a bit more sense. Its color palette includes some unusually upbeat colors for Volvo such as the pastel Cloud Blue and the vibrant Moss Yellow, both of which are said to be inspired by Sweden’s coast. What’s more, this baby Volvo truly promises to be the baby of the range with an MSRP comparable to a similar gasoline-powered vehicle. More on that in a bit.
On the inside, Volvo appears to have saved costs by speccing a very simple interior. The EX90 gets a single 12.3-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard for infotainment and instrumentation, a column-mounted electronic shifter, a bank of window switches in the center console, and that’s it. Even the sound system array has been tucked up into the dashboard in a single soundbar, which carves out space in the door cards and reduces the number of wires in each door.
Unfortunately, the minimalist interior design comes with some drawbacks. There are no physical climate or audio controls, and Volvo’s gone down the same dumb road as VW by obfuscating rear window actuation behind a capacitive touch pad. Oh, and the glovebox door release is electronically-actuated through the touchscreen because of course it is. I guess electronic latches are cheap these days. At least Volvo had the common sense to retain physical wiper controls on the left steering column stalk, but still.
However, even though the EX30 is designed to be cheap, it doesn’t seem like a penalty box on first glance. Interesting materials pepper the cabin, from spotted trim to metal accents to blue textiles. It’s the same sort of philosophy that makes the Ford Maverick’s cabin cheap and cheerful, so I have high hopes for this baby Volvo. You can even get it in four interior colors, none of which are black. There’s a cool off-white called Breeze, a warm grey called Mist, a green called Pine, and a deep blue called Indigo. There’s no word yet on which exterior colors and interior colors go together, but yellow over blue would be a proper spec. Regardless of which upholstery color you choose, everything’s made with renewable and recycled materials, so there’s some feel-good in the fabric. Oh, and those four upholstery colors are paired with five user-selectable ambient lighting schemes including one inspired by the northern lights. Aurora Borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within an electric Volvo? Yes.
Interestingly, although many automakers are eyeing proprietary infotainment systems, Volvo is still taking a collaborative approach with a Google-based OS and Apple CarPlay available from day one, a great package that really seems to understand the needs of this car’s target market. Volvo cites mobile hardware giant Qualcomm as a key tech partner in the media release for the EX30, so it feels reasonable to expect a fast, fluid infotainment UX.
What about the bits that make it go? The base rear-wheel-drive model features a 69 kWh gross, 64 kWh net usable capacity Nickel Manganese Cobalt lithium-ion battery juicing a single electric motor to the tune of 268 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque. Volvo estimates EPA range of 275 miles, but this EV is about more than just range. Because it’s so small and uses so few resources, Volvo estimates the EX30 will have a well-to-wheel carbon footprint of fewer than 30 tons over 124,000 miles on the EU27 energy mix. For those in areas with greener grids, that number could be even less.
However, if you happen to be a speed merchant, take note of what Volvo calls the Twin Motor model, for it claims to be the quickest Volvo ever. It uses the same battery pack as the standard car but puts a second motor on the front axle for a combined output of 422 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero-to-60? A claimed 3.4 seconds, a tenth quicker than a Tesla Model Y Performance. All-wheel-drive models are also capable of DC fast charging at 153 kW, a solid figure, if not industry-leading. Regardless of which powertrain you choose, the EX30’s Google-based infotainment should make battery preconditioning easier. As soon as state of charge drops below 20 percent, the EX30 automatically pulls up a list of nearby charging stations on Google Maps. Once a charging station is selected, the car starts preconditioning its battery pack to better accept high-current charging. That’s smart. Plus, a built-in 5G modem means the EX30 should be connected to the internet for the life of most examples.
Oh, and we haven’t even reached the best bit of the EX30 yet — the price. This sensible Swedish EV starts at $36,145 including an $1,195 freight charge. That’s genuinely inexpensive by U.S.-market EV standards, however it likely won’t qualify for tax credits due to overseas production. Although pre-orders are open now, expect deliveries to start in Summer 2024, not surprising given the car’s 2025 model year. From what we’re seeing today, it seems like it could be worth the wait.
(Photo credits: Volvo)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.