Home » Here’s How Small The Refreshingly Affordable Electric Volvo EX30 Actually Is

Here’s How Small The Refreshingly Affordable Electric Volvo EX30 Actually Is

Volvo Xc30 Tspv
ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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.

Bmw I3s At Chargefox Airport West Vic 00002

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Volvo Ex30 Renegade Comparison

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.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

2023 Bolt Ev Front Three Quarter Driving On An Overpass

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.

Volvo Ex30 Interior

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Volvo Ex30 Exterior

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)

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

ADVERTISEMENT

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
118 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
59ctd
59ctd
7 months ago

Seems like all tablet interior design

59ctd
59ctd
7 months ago

What is with the tiny rear side windows, low roof line and huge rear pillars on many new vehicles?,

59ctd
59ctd
7 months ago

Does it have any blind spots at all due to those massive rear pillars and tiny windows?

59ctd
59ctd
7 months ago

So that vehicle looks stupendously stupid. Do people not know how to tell if a vehicle has blind spots or massive rear blinders like this one has?

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith
7 months ago

Editorial notes

1) I don’t trust David Tracy’s judgement on comfort.

2) don’t claim it’s family friendly unless you have installed two carseats in the back (one rear facing)

3) if the article is mostly just number comparisons, just make a damn table.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
7 months ago
Reply to  Abraham Smith

I didn’t have my i3 when the child was rear-facing but I’m here to say that for a front-facing tot the i3 is brilliant. The suicide doors and easy-flip seat make loading & unloading a breeze even if they’re being intransigent. Plus which the rear windows are slightly lower than the front so the child can see out. Ringing endorsement.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
7 months ago

At $6,000 more than a WRX or Miata, this is pretty lame. A stick Versa for $19,000 less would be a better commuter car.

For suburban families, a full-size crew cab pickup can be had for this kind of money with rebates and dealer discounts.

This is for a very narrow niche of urban professionals who are too good for public transportation and create massive emissions with their lifestyles and global travel, but need to show off how much they care with a vehicle whose manufacture creates more environmental destruction than the above-referenced full-size crew cab pickup.

EVs are truly the “thoughts and prayers” of climate change.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
7 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

You sound very jealous, extremely bitter, and narrow-minded, too. There are a lot of great reasons to like EVs that don’t include virtue signaling.

Why not just let others buy what they like with their own money instead of making a big show trying to virtue signal in opposition?

Every credible expert in the field disagrees with your assessment of the value of EVs as a means of reducing climate change.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
7 months ago

People on this site say “virtue signaling” a lot.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
7 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

I paid $2,000 more for my most recent vehicle, so I am certainly not jealous of this.

It is annoying that I and other American taxpayers have to subsidize this virtue-signaling and status-chasing consumption.

Certainly if I was a member of the working poor I would be annoyed to see the government giving people $7,500 to buy near-luxury cars.

Nobody credible thinks we are going to consume our way out of climate change.

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
7 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

This won’t be granted your $7,500.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
7 months ago
Reply to  DONALD FOLEY

I wish that was true but it’s not because it qualifies under the lease loophole.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
7 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

7500 is a tax credit. You don’t get 7500 for free. Average person who can afford a new car pays waaaaaay more than that every year in taxes.

John Metcalf
John Metcalf
7 months ago

This is on my short list of next cars. Looked at measurements against our 2010 Honda Insight and 2014 Prius C.

Length – short than the Insight, longer than the C
Width – wider than both
Height – taller than the C, but only by a couple inches (significantly taller than the Insight.)

Overall, this would be very compatible size-wise to what we’re used to.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
7 months ago

Ever since the Geely buyout, it’s much more accurate to call this Chinese than Swedish, so that’s what I’ll be doing.

This is a Chinese EV in a Swedish suit.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
7 months ago

Yes indeed, after reading about Chinese buicks and no gauges with needles and all screens, this is absolutely a Chinese market style vehicle. Nothing at all related to the Volvo I know and remember from childhood. That interior is as gross as a Tesla, Just one computer screen to run it all.

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago

The Chevy Bolt has a shocking amount of backseat legroom, more than my Outlander PHEV which is a midsized SUV. The flat floor and thin front seats make for good interior space. Its amazing, considering how small the exterior is.

Tony D
Tony D
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

Got one as a rental – also a shockingly small amount of cargo space behind that seat. I think I was able to fit one backpack and a suitcase.

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony D

Did you lift the false floor? The area where the gas tank should be is an open space. Yes, there’s a tradeoff, but its a decent trunk for a compact.

Tony D
Tony D
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

I did not. Good to know for round 2.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago

As someone who, back in the day, often rode around in the back seat of a Gen 2 F-body or a (gulp) 944, I agree with David that this rear seat should be “fine”.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
7 months ago

Kids have to sit in car seats way longer and modern car seats are huge. Plus people are keeping cars way longer. Young couples are typically at the age where they are co-signing on a new car. Just follow consumer behavior, that’s why CUV’s are huge.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
7 months ago

Hmm…..That $7500 tax credit can still be rolled into leases. If the residual is good these could be an attractive lease.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
7 months ago

Another thing to consider, along with the fact that the domestic content requirements do not apply to leases, is that the kind of urban professional that considers a $36,000 hatchback refreshingly affordable likely makes too much income to qualify for the EV tax credit.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
7 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

That lease credit is income agnostic since the vehicle is technically a commercial vehicle under lease to the driver. The leasing company gets the credit, not the driver. The intent is to make the lease more in line with ICE vehicle leases.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
7 months ago

I have been obsessively comparing this against everyone I can think of for months. Very excited to see your full review on it Monday. It’s on the list of 4 potential next cars.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
7 months ago

I have a reservation on one of these and went to a dealer preview event last Friday to see it in person. Boy was I shocked to pull up to parking lot attendants directing traffic, a 40-minute wait just to sit in it, and a full catering spread! Seems there is a lot of interest in this and the EX90 based on attendance.

The rear leg room is basically nonexistent so would never consider road tripping with adults in the backseat. Works for me though since it’s just the wife and a dog.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
7 months ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

What we need are 2 and 3 doors again.
Because what’s the point of a set of rear doors (and their added weight, and expense) when we don’t use the back seat but occasionally?

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
7 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Because nobody buys three door cars. You might not need to carry the passengers, but the extra doors are handy for chucking stuff on the back seat.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
7 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

“…nobody buys three door cars”
*looks across the street at Mini & Fiat*

Ford: “Nobody buys sedans anymore”
*looks across the street at Hyundai and Nissan*

It’s the mid-late 70s and early 80’s again – When prices are too high for people to buy what they think they want, it’s time to give them what they need instead.

Hatchbacks are pretty handy too – and if there’s a cargo cover and you’re parked in many American cities or outside an American motel, it’s much less likely you’ll come back to broken glass and empty car than if you leave things chucked in the back seat.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
7 months ago

The absolute worst thing Tesla has done is set the trend that it’s ok to have such fucking awful interiors

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
7 months ago

*glares at 1st Gen Prius and Yaris*

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
7 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Ugly is a choice. Empty is just super cheap

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
7 months ago

I’m just guessing here – but a $37K Electric Volvo took some cost-cutting to achieve.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
7 months ago

I mostly don’t understand why people hate Tesla interiors with such passion.

Yes it’s dumb that the speedometer isn’t in front of you, but it’s not dumber than every Jeep 1946-1986 or every Beetle 1938-2004, and I don’t hear people complaining about those interiors.

Yes it’s dumb that the climate and radio controls aren’t physical knobs, but to me that seems like it’s in the realm of “dumb”, not “such fucking awful”.

Other than those, the rest seems fine. Or is it ugly because there aren’t leather seats and fake wood door panels? Are Tesla interior haters all just Mercedes customers?

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
7 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

The Beetle has the gauges behind the steering wheel, did you mean Mini?
For what it’s worth I think the Mini gauge is stupid too, but I give it and the jeep a pass because they are super basic/cheap. The jeep wasn’t even designed for driving on road. They also had wildly diffrent dashboards. The giant expanse of empty plastic in this and a model 3 just look terrible. At least put some kind of decorative strip to brake up the surface.
But it’s the lack of buttons this is truly stupid. This Volvo looks like it has capacitive steering wheel buttons too, which completely defeat the point of steering wheel buttons

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
7 months ago

I know we’re taking mostly relative to other things, but if anyone just wants to know how big it is in absolute terms, the EX30 is 166.7″ long, 72.3″ wide, and 61″ tall.

That’s 6″ longer than a Honda Fit, yet the Volvo has 7″ less rear legroom. I don’t get how the back seat is so small. The Bolt also wasn’t luxurious, but it was reasonable in rear seat size. A four seater that really only fits two people is kind of a waste; that’s really my only holdout for going all in on this thing.

Nick Slater
Nick Slater
7 months ago

Rear legroom volume listed by manufacturers is famously unreliable as they are not consistent in how they measure it. I have a new 4Runner which is listed as having 32.9 inches of rear legroom. It is very comfortable for 6 footers in the back. The Tacoma is listed as 32.6 and is dramatically smaller in reality. My wife has a Volvo XC 40 EV that is listed as having 36 cubic inches but it feels slightly smaller in the back than my 4Runner.

118
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x