Unless you’re looking at a Hummer H2 or a Peel P50, it’s hard to get a sense of how big cars are on the internet. Case in point: The Volvo EX30. This entry-level electric crossover starts at a mere $36,145 including a $1,195 freight charge, but for that sort of money, you aren’t getting a massive amount of metal. Sure, it’s classified as a subcompact crossover, but we’ll need a bit of comparison to see just how subcompact it is.
First up, let’s compare the Volvo EX30 to the popular electric sedan, the Tesla Model 3, in the perfectly to-scale image at the top of this article. I know, these two cars don’t compete in even remotely the same class, which means it isn’t a surprise that the EX30 is smaller, albeit taller, than a Tesla Model 3. The Volvo EX30 clocks in at a whopping 18.1 inches shorter than Tesla’s popular sedan, all while being half an inch narrower and 4.2 inches taller.
Yep, that’s a massive size difference, and it’s also massive if we look at the other extreme. The BMW i3 is a favorite around here for its geeky engineering, beautiful cabin design, and nifty range extended. While the EX30 does offer some of the discontinued BMW’s style factor, it does so in a noticeably larger form. We’re talking about a vehicle 9.4 inches longer and 2.4 inches wider than a BMW i3, although it has a roofline 1.1 inches lower than BMW’s carbon fiber electric city car.
The closest comparison on length to the EX30 is the Jeep Renegade. The Volvo EX30 is a mere 0.1 inches longer than the subcompact Jeep, despite being 1.2 inches wider and having a roofline 5.5 inches lower. The composite below uses the slightly lifted Renegade Trailhawk model, but otherwise, it’s a pretty good comparison between these small crossovers.
Mind you, Jeep Renegades aren’t battery electric vehicles, so another solid point of comparison is the previous generation Hyundai Kona Electric. The Volvo is ever so slightly bigger in most dimensions, carrying an extra 1.1 inches of length and 1.4 inches of width, but the Kona is a mere 0.8 inches taller.
So what about the EX30’s size in relation to one of the most popular EVs in America, the soon to be discontinued Chevrolet Bolt EV? Well, the EX30 is 2.7 inches longer and 2.8 inches wider than the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but its roofline is 1.8 inches lower than that of the popular Chevrolet.
It’s also worth noting that the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, essentially just a stretched Bolt EV, strikes a silhouette 2.8 inches longer than the Volvo, so this Swedish crossover splits the difference perfectly.
So, what does this translate to when it comes to interior room? Well, according to a spec sheet, the Volvo EX30 offers 32.3 inches of rear seat legroom, a whopping 3.3 inches tighter than in the Chevrolet Bolt and 1.1 inches tighter than the outgoing Hyundai Kona Electric. However, front seat legroom clocks in at 41.85 inches, an extra quarter inch over the Chevrolet and 0.35 inches over the Hyundai, so front row accommodations should be spacious.
Looking at things width-wise, the EX30 only offers a technical advantage over the Chevrolet Bolt in rear seat shoulder room of six millimeters. However, an extra half-inch of front shoulder room should help the first row of the Volvo feel more spacious than that of the admittedly narrower Chevrolet.
Intriguingly, front headroom is also comparable to that of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and about 2.3 inches greater than that on the outgoing Hyundai Kona Electric, so despite the Volvo’s low roofline, there should be room for most people to wear a hat.
If you’re thinking of picking up a Volvo EX30 as a family vehicle, just be advised that it’s on the tight side [Ed Note: But I drive an i3, and it’s plenty of space for four people, and the EX30 is larger, so it’s probably fine! -DT]. However, as a city runabout with the range to tackle medium-length road trips with a claimed range of 275 miles, it’s shaping up to be perfect on paper. Then again, cars aren’t driven on paper, so we’ll have to wait for a turn behind the wheel before passing final judgement.
Still, even if it’s likely not going to be eligible for federal incentives (but perhaps state and local), more entry-level EV options are always good since that’s a vastly underserved part of the market.
(Photo credits: Volvo, BMW, Jeep, Chevrolet)
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