Home » The $35k Volvo EX30 Is So Good You Should Order One Before Reading This Review

The $35k Volvo EX30 Is So Good You Should Order One Before Reading This Review

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There’s a lot I don’t know about media relations from a manufacturer’s perspective. But it’s always struck me as a little discordant and strange when a carmaker launches a new electric vehicle – a thing that’s supposed to help the world reduce carbon emissions – and instead of bringing the car to journalists somewhere vaguely proximate to where they live and plug in, it decides to fly hundreds of them by wide-bodied airliner from each of the far corners of the globe at enormous expense to experience their new machine in a locale hugely distant from everyone’s home, needlessly burning millions of passenger miles’ worth of jet fuel in the process while adding an attendant carbon-footprint the size of Rhode Island to the world’s list of CO2 worries.

That said, like good manners, moral flexibility can be a critical tool where both one’s livelihood and personal enjoyment are involved. And the visual and gustatory appeal of three days in glamorous Barcelona, Spain, and its surrounding environs cannot be denied. So, when Volvo invited The Autopian (and approximately 370 other journalists, in waves) as its guests to the world launch event here for its new EX30–an all-electric baby SUV with an astonishingly (by today’s electric car standards) low price–there was nothing to be done but pack a bag.

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We like Volvos, as a rule, and how bad could this cheapster (starting at $34,950, less applicable state tax credits, plus federal ones for leased vehicles) be? Yet the better question was, it transpired, how good could it be? Well, spoiler alert, because the short answer is very, very… good. So good, in fact, if you’re considering buying one, go right now and get that deposit down before you even finish reading this review, lest you get left behind.

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“An espresso shot of Volvo. Small, intense, essential,” reads the EX30 press material. Which, if somewhat abstruse, is not inapt, assuming the espresso in question is of the creamy smooth variety, with no harsh aftertaste. It looks like a 21st-century Volvo, handsome and chic, distinctively Swedish in affect with a minimalist interior in the modern idiom.

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Yet this new entry-level model is also very much a product, too, of Volvo’s association with its Chinese owners, Geely. Miraculously seeming to combine the best of both worlds, it appears and feels essentially, Volvonically Swedish, but sports the price tag and EV smarts of something made in China, where it’s built – though unexpectedly strong demand led Volvo to announce recently that it would also begin building the new model at its plant in Ghent, Belgium. Short for parking ease (less than 14’ long with a wheelbase of 104.1 inches) but with five seats and unexpectedly decent comfort, the EX30 scans as cute yet sophisticated, bang up to minute yet soothingly familiar, and, above all, supremely smooth and pleasant to drive. Indeed, factoring in the value equation, it might well stand now as our favorite electric car, ever.

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Certainly, a good part of its driving appeal owes to its comparatively light weight. At 3,858 lbs for the single motor, rear-wheel-drive version (4,150 lbs for the dual motor, all-wheel-drive EX30 Twin Motor Performance with standard four-wheel drive, priced from $47,900) the entry-level model weighs nearly 800 lbs. less than Volvo’s larger (but still small) SUV, the XC40 with single motor, a fine-driving machine in its own right. But you can feel every lost pound in added ride comfort and nimble response. Electrically assisted power steering is alert and satisfying, livelier and more invigorating, in fact, than that of any of its larger relations. 

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As a driving experience, there is little penalty versus the larger XC40, excepting perhaps slightly more wind and road noise, the XC40’s interior materials imparting a slightly more upscale feel as well as additional quietude. But with ever more carmakers accepting appallingly harsh ride properties as the cost of giving consumers and designers the ever-bigger wheels they crave, the EX30 stands head and shoulders above the pack. Somehow, its 19” (and optional 20”) alloy wheels are somehow made to participate – along with the compact SUV’s front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspensions – in a display of composed ride comfort so good it recalls the soothing properties of the great magic carpet ride exemplars of yore, from before the days of dubs for everyone.

Volvo engineers attribute the EX30’s substantial and most beneficial weight saving to its smaller size versus its larger brethren, its electric-motor-only architecture (the XC40 can be had with a gasoline or electric motor) and a smaller battery, just one of the advantages of a lighter car being that it expends less electricity on the march, its smaller, lighter power repository enabling up to 275 miles of range, not far off the XC40 Recharge single motor’s potential 293-mile range, all at a price $15,000 less injurious to the wallet.  

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Less than a foot shorter, the EX30’s load space of 14.1 cubic feet with the rear seat up doesn’t compare badly with the XC40’s seats-up 16 cubic feet. But with the rear seats down the XC30’s 31.9 cubic feet is decisively outclassed by the taller (65” versus 61.2”) XC40’s whopping 57.5 cubic feet of luggage space. The XC40 offers more ground clearance, too – 8.3” versus 7.0” for the EX30 and it will tow 3,500 lbs., where 2000 lbs. is the claim made for the smaller machine. But the value is heavy.

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There is, for instance, no disappointment in learning that the EX30 single motor’s standard 200kW/268 horsepower and 253 lb/ft of torque takes but 5.1 seconds to haul it to sixty, which is fast enough for us. The doppio-motored AWD Performance models assembles 315kW/ 422 horsepower and 400 lb/ft of torque and passes 60 mph in a supercar-fast 3.4 seconds. Both cars are speed delimited to a top speed of 112 mph. Frankly, unless our home was in the snow belt or our goal was nauseating friends and family at will, the smaller, cheaper, slower single motor rear-wheel drive model would suit us just fine. 

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Rambling around the mountain roads outside Barcelona, the EX30 charmed with its clean and airy interior, accentuated by a fixed glass sunroof, which is standard equipment in the Plus and Ultra trim packages, but not available in the base Core spec. Though there are few traces of metal inside the cabin when it does appear–the door pulls, for instance–it feels substantial and elegant, delivering maximum class in a minimal way.

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It doesn’t reek of cheap plastic inside, even if 1/6th of all the plastic in the car is made from the cheapest plastic of all – the recycled stuff. You can read about the EX30’s many other green credentials, in manufacture and its eventual disposal elsewhere, but from an environmental perspective, suffice it to say it’s easily one of the most carefully thought-out cars on the market today.

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Criticisms? We have a few, largely revolving around its utterly huge and somewhat impenetrable, center-mounted interactive screen. With hardly any buttons to operate controls, screen-living will likely prove a needless distraction, at least until drivers grow accustomed to it. We understand that it was the subject of much debate internally, so maybe Volvo will think better of it at the EX30’s first refresh, although one suspects that the cost-savings associated with ditching rafts of switches and manual controls may have dictated the big screen; Volvo proudly boasts that EX30 was an exercise in how to make a quality car more cheaply.

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Among its few traditional controls, the directional signals on the steering column did not self-cancel easily, though the wipers worked as intended. We also wished we could have turned up the regenerative oomph of the one-pedal braking though, in fairness, maybe we might have if we’d ever gotten to the bottom of that control panel’s many screens and menus. Wind noise from the exterior door mirrors seemed excessive to my co-driver, though it could just have been the fact that we were in pre-production models or that everything else about this car was so quiet, with only the sound of astonished words of praise left to fill the cabin. 

The EX30 is a winner. But it did leave us wishing that Volvo soon chooses to make a plain old car on this platform. If they did, we’d fly to the far corners of the earth to try it and we promise we wouldn’t even mention the environmental impact.

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Why The $35,000 2024 Volvo EX30 Is Such A Big Deal For A Small Car

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Ryan L
Ryan L
7 months ago

RWD is a no go where i live. Seems like a neat car but with the dual motors it’s still pretty darn spendy.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryan L

I obviously don’t know your circumstances, but a great number of people who insist on AWD grew up in a 2wd car 20 years ago, and it was just fine.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’ve taken more than one RWD car skiing, over mountain passes etc (with snow tires on) and sorry but I will still take an AWD with good all seasons.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
7 months ago

I’ve had really good luck with front wheel drive cars on good all seasons, chain up if necessary. Chains are a lot cheaper than AWD

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I mean chains do work really well but they are a PITA to use as anything more than an occasional emergency backup in my opinion. And, yes totally agree a person can get by with 2wd in inclement conditions if they want. But AWD just makes winter life easier and in most cases it’s not adding nearly a 1/3 again of the vehicle’s purchase price to get it. At the end of the day I’ve just had way more white knuckle driving experiences in the snow with two wheel drive cars than AWD cars-if the awd is equipped with good tires. Seen plenty of 4wd pickups (who seem to attract the worst snow drivers) in the ditch to know 4wd/awd alone won’t keep you safe.

Ryan L
Ryan L
7 months ago

if you’ve driven cars with electric motors and you’ve gotten stuck on the ice. before you know how impossible it is to get unstuck with that binary torque curve.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryan L

I have not-my brother was driving an older Tesla model S dual motor around salt lake city for a couple years and seemed to think it did ok but sadly I never got the chance to drive it in snow. I would think the regenerative braking is a major place in snow no skidding locked up wheels? But that is interesting your point about the instaneous torque making it hard to manage-I know the Teslas at least have a snow setting to dampen down the accelerator pedal response and I would assume change the stability control to an optimized setting though that’s putting a lot of trust in a company that started in California.

Ryan L
Ryan L
7 months ago

My dad has a dual motor model 3. Its GTG with snow tires. Its not too bad with all seasons. I’ve no experience with a single motor tesla but I know here in MN 9 out 10 are dual motors.

My Prius is not great with high mileage efficiency tires in the winter, its GTG with 3 peak or blizzaks

Jamie Kitman
Jamie Kitman
7 months ago

Sadly, most Americans take AWD as their license to skip snow tires. That’s assuming they’ve heard of them or, if they have, understand their enormous benefits. The counter-argument to yours is that I’ve seen an incredible amount of SUVs (although not as many as in the 90s) on their roofs during inclement weather because the operators were lulled into false senses of security because their car seemed impervious to snow, only to learn that it still braked like a regular car and that once they’d lost it, it was still governed by the same laws of physics.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  Jamie Kitman

100% agree a lot of people get away with utter crap tires due to AWD-last bad snow storm I drove through here in Western WA, nearly every car on it’s roof or in the ditch was a truck or SUV-as I slowly wafted by in my rwd BMW on snow tires. And I also think in general sadly the desire for AWD and SUVs has is ironic given they’re inherently less safe on ice and snow, given that they are typically 1000+ lbs more weight to bring to stop on snow vs a car.

Ryan L
Ryan L
7 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I live in Minnesota. Chains and studded tires are not allowed.

I’ve driven a Z28 in the late 90s in the winter – it wasn’t great. But you know what that had – it had a combustion engine and a manual transmission which gave it a torque curve.

My wife has a prius and while it’s fwd – the on/off torque aspect of electric motors means that snow tires are a must or you might get stuck in the snowpiles at the end of the driveway.

Ryan L
Ryan L
7 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

when used for emergency temporarily. I’ve chained up going over fourth of july pass in WA and lolo pass in MT – it’s not that much fun putting them on and taking them off in the winter and the weather was not nearly as cold as it gets in Minnesota.

I’ll reiterate that while it’s possible to “make do” you want at least three peak all season tires and ideally dual motors and dedicated snow tires in any sort of vehicle in Minnesota with electric motors.

Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
7 months ago

Out of curiousity, I went on Volvo Canada’s site to check out local pricing.
The base model is $56,500CAD. If Volvo Canada was using current exchange rates, the car should be $47,900CAD. Uh, thanks for that.
For comparison, the significantly larger Tesla Model Y base model is $57,990CAD.
I then played with my Fisker Ocean reservation and can get the base model for $45,599CAD. With the options I want (winter package, tow hitch and a real honest to goodness paint colour), I’m at $50,244CAD.
All of these cars qualify for the Canadian Government Rebate so knock $5000 off any of the above prices.
I’m not sure what Volvo Canada is thinking with their pricing? I suspect I will not see many EX30’s in Canada at that price point.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
7 months ago

Tesla will probably drop the Model 3 to match the new Volvo but Tesla is not on my radar because of the Musk factor (Musk musk?).

Fisker is a gamble in so many ways, but it might be real this time.

Last edited 7 months ago by Mr. Canoehead
Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

I’m not too worried about the Fisker quality wise. It is made and partially engineered by Magna Steyr. (Magna owns something like 10% of Fisker.)
Magna Steyr makes other rather high quality cars including the Toyota Supra and even the Mercedes G-wagen. I don’t know anyone saying those two cars are horrible quality. Magna Steyr knows how to make cars.
Fisker also is well capitalized this time – so they have a better chance than most startup car companies as long as they stay focused.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago

The pricing is quite wild, this jumps it up an entire category in Canada, and neat as it is that’s directly in the heart of the most heavily populated EV category.

PlugInPA
PlugInPA
7 months ago

Did anybody ask Geely/Volvo if they could guarantee no forced labor is used in the China plant where they will be producing this for sale in the USA? Did the slavery issue come up at all among these waves of journalists?

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
7 months ago
Reply to  PlugInPA

I suspect asking about that would blacklist a journalist from future Volvo events, as sad as that is to hear.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
7 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Exactly. They would be banished from any Geely event. The car review ecosystem relies on a complaint media.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
7 months ago

I really don’t understand “It’s great, except for the one thing where all the controls live.” If I’m constantly frustrated at the UI that does not make for a good driving experience even if everything else is good.

NAJ
NAJ
7 months ago
Reply to  Beasy Mist

The first thing I did is scroll to the interior pics to see if HVAC controls had been relegated to the stupid touch-based UI. Since that appears to be the case, I didn’t bother to read the review.

Lokki
Lokki
7 months ago

Volvonically Swedish, but sports the price tag and EV smarts of something made in China, where it’s built.

It’s a Geely, with some Volvo frosting slathered on it; very much a Saab by GM.
I just spent some time at the Tokyo Mobility Show, examining a Geely that they hope to sell in Japan. It was okay to look at which is all you can really judge at a car show, but I wasn’t getting getting traditional Volvo safety and durability vibes from it. Perhaps tacking a Volvo badge on it would add those qualities just like putting Saab badges on a Chevy Trailblazer did.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
7 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

My favorite German car is the VW Routan

Jamie Kitman
Jamie Kitman
7 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

Like you, my expectations were low. Then I drove it. It has no Saab 9-7 vibes.

Tbird
Tbird
7 months ago

Good to see Jamie joining your stable of contributors. Been reading him for years now.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
7 months ago
Reply to  Tbird

My favorite automotive writer/band manager.

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago

The Equinox EV can’t come soon enough for GM. I’d be interested to see how these compare, since they’ll have a similar starting price. I expect the 1LT Equinox will not be as nicely equipped as the EX30, but it’s going to be larger with a more traditional interior, and should qualify for the tax rebate.

Last Pants
Last Pants
7 months ago

Two notes.
1. That shut line on the hood is kinda jarring.
2. Headlights look like male robot genitalia.

Anders
Anders
7 months ago

There’s a good reason why you can’t get in brown as with the stubby proportions it would look like a giant IKEA meatball.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
7 months ago
Reply to  Anders

Haha. That reminds me if the effect of pairing certain colors with other poorly-proportioned cars. The first-gen Buick Encores remind me of baked potatoes in silver and raw in brown.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
7 months ago
Reply to  Boxing Pistons

They’re also a proper looking egg in white.

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago
Reply to  Anders

It’s something that isn’t mentioned in the article, but the color choices are really limited for this. It’s silver, white, bright yellow, and a light blue. There’s 4 interior colors though. The yellow is bold, but I wish they had a couple other more interesting options.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
7 months ago
Reply to  3WiperB

I can’t complain about that when so many models these days come in Black, Deep Black, Pearl Black, Grey, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Stormy Grey, Other Grey, White, Really White …

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  3WiperB

it’s like here’s two boring colors, and two polarizing colors. You can look like every other car on the road OR stick out like a sore thumb. How about like a nice green or dark blue or even a real red. I would never ever buy a daily in yellow, and while it looks good on the car I wouldn’t buy baby blue either.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago

I have a general question about electric cars.

Do the brake lights activate when regenerative braking is used? Particularly on cars that have strong enough regen braking to bring the vehicle to (or nearly to) a complete stop?

Thomas Kilger
Thomas Kilger
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

In my experience being behind several different electric cars, I would say no, they do not. Which I think is a MAJOR flaw

Anders
Anders
7 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Kilger

Well, Tesla’s do.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
7 months ago
Reply to  Anders

Which is one reason I hate following Teslas because it always look like they’re trying to brake check you.

First Last
First Last
7 months ago

Teslas seem to activate only once you reach a certain level of deceleration. This is super annoying on a flat highway when following a Tesla whose driver isn’t driving a consistent speed. I regularly find myself using my brakes behind Teslas whose brake lights aren’t lit.

Ben
Ben
7 months ago
Reply to  First Last

If someone lets off the gas in an ICE ahead of you they will slow down too and their brake lights won’t turn on either. I can’t speak to whether the Tesla’s threshold is set correctly, but there are going to be circumstances where the car ahead of you slows down without brake lights.

Also, keep in mind that there’s a delay between when the car in front starts slowing down and when you notice, so you may have to hit the brakes even if they aren’t slowing that quickly. I run into this with all cars pretty regularly when I’m stuck behind someone varying their speed. You have to leave a pretty large following distance to have enough buffer to react without any brake usage.

First Last
First Last
7 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Oh sure, it can happen with an ICE vehicle too. What I’m saying is that Teslas slow down faster than a typical ICE, and noticeably so. Following a Tesla down a long grade I can’t match a Tesla’s speed without using the brakes, even after downshifting my slushbox into the lowest reasonable gear.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
7 months ago
Reply to  First Last

for real this happened to me the other day, behind a Tesla in the left lane cruising 75 mph on the freeway and all the sudden their brake lights come on, even at a safe follow distance got my pulse going. Or they had it on “autopilot” I got away from being behind them and saw this happen several more times since they were keeping pace with me.

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Usually. There’s a level of deceleration in the US that requires brake lights to activate. So the first Gen Volt didn’t activate them when in the “L” transmission mode that activated heavier regen when you lifted from the accelerator, but would when you pressed the brakes. I think all activated them when you press the brake pedal (which is still regen for the majority of the braking). I would assume the cars that have a 1 pedal driving mode activate the brake lights.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

They are supposed to, but the settings involved vary. Kia and Hyundai had to do some reprogramming, because theirs were unacceptable for a bit (if I recall correctly, it was the one-pedal driving mode that had been a problem–it would only activate brake lights with the pedal fully released, which is certainly too late).

With modes that are not one-pedal driving, the brake lights may activate without the brake pedal if there is enough deceleration, and they’ll certainly come on with the brake pedal (which won’t necessarily engage braking beyond regenerative–it’s the reason EV and hybrid owners are encouraged to brake hard once in a while to prevent rust and debris build up in the brakes).

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  Drew

One pedal driving was the mode I was most interested in. It would seem obvious that any time you use the brake pedal they would activate, regen or not.

But I’ve read that a lot of electric cars have that one pedal driving capability, and it made me wonder what would happen if you brought your car to a complete stop without touching the brake pedal? Would approaching cars be aware you were fully stopped? Aside from your car getting closer.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yes, if you take your foot off the accelerator, the brake lights absolutely illuminate. The problem that a few had, since fixed, is that they did not illuminate as you eased off the pedal without fully releasing it (so your fully stopped example would still have brake lights, even before the fix). To my knowledge, all EVs will now illuminate the brake lights upon a certain level of deceleration.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  Drew

That’s interesting! Thanks for the info!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

That, and the ability to adjust the level of regeneration braking, were high on the list when my sister was shopping for a BEV. Polestar2 has both-at least in the higher trim she settled on.
It’s quite nice—a bit too posh for me as I’m accustomed to shitboxes. This EX30 is more my speed. Literally: 0-60 under 6 seconds is perfectly acceptable in my—rather shabby—book: I don’t need it to be under 5.

Genewich
Genewich
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

They do on the Mach-E in one pedal mode. The regen when not in one pedal is about like lifting your foot off the gas in an ICE car, so it does not in those modes as far as I can tell.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
7 months ago

Dumb question: Is there enough rear weight bias that, with snow tires, the rear only model would still do well in the snow to avoid the large extra cost in the dual motor model?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

That’s a damn pertinent question, not dumb!
With the chassis having been engineered specifically for BEV, and a motor out back with the batteries placed centrally, I’d bet it’s decent. This is just an uninformed guess, though

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

I don’t think it’s dumb – at the least, I had the same question. You could put a couple tubes of sand in the trunk (which works great for pickup trucks), but that’s all fun and games until a tube tears and dumps sand everywhere in your trunk.

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

The nice thing with EV’s is that they are so heavy that they do great in the snow with snow tires. My Gen 1 Volt was a beast in the snow with Blizzaks on it. So much so that I would have to turn the traction control off when driving in snow or the car would cut power too aggressively. I would expect there are plenty of batteries contributing weight over the rear wheels on the ex30.

Thevenin
Thevenin
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

Not sure if it answers your question, but the EX30 RWD is a smidgeon over 4000lbs, and since it’s an EV you should expect very close to 50:50 weight distribution.

Mike B
Mike B
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

I was thinking the same thing. RWD and that EV tq seems like a recipe for sketchy winter handling. The cost of the dual motor is a turnoff, in my eyes it destroys the “value” aspect of the car. For almost 50k, I want an actual dash with a display in front of me.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike B

What about EV traction control?

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
7 months ago

This car would be seeming perfect for me, as someone who recently lost their V-50 to Valhalla, and currently has an e-golf (just about the same size as the EX-30), but there is one major flaw that will keep the e-golf in the family instead of this. The giant tablet to control everything is where I draw the line. Yes this is how they make it cheap enough to compete, but buttons and easy access to re-gen level changes make all the difference to me. If Jamie is right and they add some physical controls to the mid cycle refresh they may find me as a customer, until then I’ll keep looking for C-30s and V-70s to fill my Volvo hole.

Scottingham
Scottingham
7 months ago

Seems to me like the perfect opportunity for 3rd market add-ons.

Like all those virtual cockpit peripherals you can get for your flight sim…

Why can’t I buy a set of physical buttons that can attach or adhere itself somewhere logical that links up to the car for dedicated access?

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
7 months ago
Reply to  Scottingham

It’s not a terrible idea, and I have seen some people doing similar things to Teslas, however for me to like this idea it would have to be hard wired and not just a Bluetooth switch. If I’m going to pay more to get the interior controls right, it better be RIGHT, no connection errors or dead batteries for me.

Scottingham
Scottingham
7 months ago

I’m with you on that. Batteries are a hard pass as is BS Bluetooth that seems to fail constantly, somehow, still, in 2023.

RataTejas
RataTejas
7 months ago

C30. That is all.

First Last
First Last
7 months ago

This whole thing about touchscreens being so much cheaper than buttons gets repeated a lot by car journalists, but how true is it actually? I mean, all the wiring and controls behind the buttons still has to exist, so really we’re talking about 25 cents worth of plastic for the button itself? Maybe a dollar for the whole mechanism? This car is $5k less than its competitors, and I can’t imagine the button savings is worth more than a couple hundred bucks all-in. Maybe some car engineer can straighten me out on that.

Robert L
Robert L
7 months ago
Reply to  First Last

Part of the cost savings is that removing the knobs and switches means that there is very little distinction between right hand and left hand drive models, so there’s a bunch of manufacturing/assembly line savings in addition to the actual controls.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
7 months ago

Still trying to understand the fawning over this vehicle, when it seems marginally better than the Bolt at a few things, and about $15k more expensive when you factor in the tax credit.

I’m excited to see more affordable EV’s, so this is great. But a lot of this already exists in a much cheaper package…

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

Not to defend this vehicle in any way, but the Bolt comparison comes up a lot, and I think it’s fair to note that GM is selling them at a hefty loss, and the $27K base or whatever it is does not reflect the actual cost to build the vehicle.

Presumably this is a sustainable and profitable product, and should be compared to other profitable products.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I mean it’s easy to make a profit when you use slave labor rather than union labor

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

I had no idea slave labor was such a problem in Belgium:

“…sports the price tag and EV smarts of something made in China, where it’s built – though unexpectedly strong demand led Volvo to announce recently that it would also begin building the new model at its plant in Ghent, Belgium.”

It seems the spirit of King Leopold II lives on.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

….are they going to distinguish between which one is built where? Of course not…and those sweet sweet profits are still going right back to China either way.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

We shall see how many “sweet sweet profits are still going right back to China” after they pay Belgian workers EU labor rates with EU mandated benefits as well as all the other EU socialist agenda taxes, fees and whatnot.

RataTejas
RataTejas
7 months ago

There’s a sticker on every door that tells you. Just like the v60. Do you get the Belgian one or the one from South Carolina.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Why? What do you care if Volvo makes a profit or GM takes a loss?

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

His point was sustainability of the product line. Why would GM continue to build Bolts if they lose money? If you want appealing EVs to exist (or any other vehicle or product), you have to consider whether the company is making a profit or loss.

I don’t want to buy an unprofitable EV because I don’t think financially unsustainable products are good for the future of EVs or other environmental causes.

Last edited 7 months ago by Stig's Cousin
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Why would GM continue to build Bolts if they lose money?

There are a few reasons I can think of:

Because Tesla built everything they made at a loss for a whole decade and today they’re eating GM’s lunch.

Because they have to make SOMETHING to develop their EV manufacturing and the Bolt is the cheapest product they can get away with.

Because they can’t get away with ICE only models for much longer.

Because they already TRIED to kill the Bolt and the outrage was there

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

There are a lot of good reasons to temporarily lose money on products. I agree with everything you wrote.

However, losing money to strategically is very different from losing money because a product is inherently unprofitable. It might have been the right idea to underprice the Bolt (I’m not convinced of that given the bad press when they cancelled it), but EVs as an industry cannot indefinitely lose money and still exist.

Last edited 7 months ago by Stig's Cousin
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

One might say the same of the oil industry. How profitable would that have been had the American military and political machine not protected and subsidized it so heavily? Hell we toppled entire countries to keep oil cheap! I wonder if anyone would have been able to afford to own a car at all if they had to pay out of pocket the real price of gas and diesel.

That or fuel efficient public transit would be a much bigger thing. Or maybe luxobarges and massive SUVs would have never existed and instead we’d all be riding around in 1000 mpg Toecutter edition family trucksters.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I don’t think it is fair to compare the oil industry as a whole to one car model. Many oil companies went out of business along the way as they couldn’t make money, with or without subsidies. It appears EVs can be sold profitably even without subsidies (Tesla models 3 and Y are profitable per unit sold).

You could certainly make a case that it is worth increasing subsidies for the Bolt to give consumers at least one affordable EV option. However, that is not how subsidies work at this time. Unless the rules change, GM (and other car companies) can’t continue to sell vehicles at a loss and expect to continue to exist.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I was thinking EVs in general. Profitability is an issue for more than just the Bolt.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

This is why I think it is reasonable to consider the profitability of individual models when comparing two vehicles. Individual models are sold in the same regulatory/subsidy environment. If the rules don’t change, a profitable EV will continue to be sold and an unprofitable one will not be. Hence, I don’t think it is fair to compare the relative value of the Bolt vs a (hopefully) profitable EV like the EX30.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I think the actual plan was for GM to get Bolt buyers as conquest sales and then shift them to the (potentially profitable) Equinox EV when they want to upgrade. Basically get people to associate GM with EVs, and then when Ultium was ready you’d be able to keep the party going but make money this time. That was clearly the intent when they cancelled the Bolt the first time.

That the Equinox EV isn’t on lots yet – is it even coming any time soon? – threw a wrench in that plan.

I remain suspicious of the Ultium project.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
7 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I presume that was what GM intended. An unprofitable Bolt makes sense as a loss leader to build interest in a second vehicle. I presume the problem is that EVs are hard to make and GM was overly optimistic with their timeline to create a profitable, modern EV. The same thing could also be said for Nissan. I guess the Ariya is currently for sale, although I haven’t seen one and the Leaf has been past its prime for years.

Citrus
Citrus
7 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

I actually have seen an Ariya! It looks… Like a Nissan CUV.

Given how far the Ultium stuff is behind when it was supposed to show up I do honestly think that program is way more of a disaster than GM is letting on. Everyone seems to be outpacing it, production of the few models that have been released has been sporadic, and they have been doing a big marketing push for cars that don’t exist – see the massive amount of product placement for the Blazer EV in Barbie.

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

GM has already announced the discontinuation of the Bolt at least once.

I don’t care one way or another who makes a profit. However I don’t think it’s fair to compare a car that is basically on clearance to a brand new model.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

So what other EVs to be available in the US of that size and cost would you suggest as a benchmark?

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Probably the H/K offerings, but I am certainly no expert on small EVs.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Nor am I. I drive so little and electricity costs so much where I live I can’t even justify buying a $5k used Leaf much less a $35k EVolvo.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The Hyundai Kona Electric is similar in proportions, but at least until this model year was a shared platform with the gas model and FWD only. I haven’t done much digging into the new one. But would probably be a decent comparison.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Maybe the Niro EV?

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Why does it matter if it is profitable?

These are established automakers. It’s not like they are going to go out of business because a product isn’t making money.

Also, “presumably” profitable is not saying much. 100% chance this car costs more to manufacture then they expect once they really get into it.

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

No, but an eight year old product on clearance that will be discontinued imminently is not really a fair basis of comparison to a brand new model just released.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Consumers compare what is on the market. I don’t think they care how long it’s been out there. Just that the product itself is comparable. I’m not sure how this EX30s underlying architecture, battery, and charging technology compares to the Bolt. I think that is a more salient detail.

Heck, most Dodge products out there are warmed over versions of 10 year old cars. Doesn’t mean you can’t compare them to cars that are only a couple years old.

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

I guess I’d compare it to something like a going-out-of-business sale at a furniture store.

Yes, the people lucky enough to get in there and get something at a cut rate deal come out well, but everyone else shouldn’t take the clearance prices as what should be realistic going forward.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

yeah, we’re in that twilight stage where the end is near. And it doesn’t help that production is still limited and they are hard to find so it feels a lot like they are already a discontinued product.

I’ll be interested to see where GM prices the new bolt when it comes out. They’ve set quite a precedent with the value with this one.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

That’s for people like Sandy Munroe to care about. As a consumer / car enthusiast, it’s not even on my radar.

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

I suggest you buy a Bolt pretty quickly then.

Drew
Drew
7 months ago

And the Bolt has user-friendly buttons and switches. I just don’t see this being the best choice.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
7 months ago

It seems that, despite all the bitching about it in the first two paragraphs, a free trip to Spain is a very effective way to produce favorable reviews of one’s product.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
7 months ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

This type of event is pretty standard for the industry. If your comment were fair, then all cars would have great reviews.

Thevenin
Thevenin
7 months ago

when it seems marginally better than the Bolt at a few things

The biggest flaw of the Bolt is charging. 10-80% takes about 73 minutes, and while I know some intrepid electronauts are out there driving their Bolts cross-country, its anemic charging speed is the one reason I’m in a PHEV today.

The EX30 gets 10-80% in 28 minutes, almost ⅓rd the time. That moves it from second-car territory to primary-car territory.

Jamie Kitman
Jamie Kitman
7 months ago

Having driven and championed the Bolt, I can say from experience that this rides, handles and feels all-around better. And given that the Bolt was evidently a horrific money-loser for GM (the only plausible excuse for their having canceled it just as its sales took off,) it apparently won’t go away so soon.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
7 months ago

With the Equinox EV now jumping to $35k, I’m probably going to get this as my next car instead, after they switch to the NACS port

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
7 months ago

 …former band manager (They Might Be Giants, OK Go, Violent Femmes, et cetera)…

Holy shnikies, you could write a review of No.2 pencils and I would read it. Friggin’ impressive life you got going on!

As far as the Volvo, it does give off a bit of a “sorority girl’s birthday present” vibe with respect to the styling, but overall it seems to be an upper-echelon entry into its segment. I wouldn’t buy one, however, I’d totally respect the choice of the Delta Delta Delta girl’s dad who did.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Love the Femmes! Saw them live in 2018 as the opening act for Echo & the Bunnymen. They kind of stole the show to be honest. Their set was very high energy and I’ve always appreciated how unapologetically weird they are. I also enjoyed the extra instrumentation they brought to their live show…I believe they refer to it as the Horns Of Dilemma?

Also loved the sorority girl comment. I remember when my wife and I were house shopping we knew we were screwed when we’d walk out and see a pearlescent white luxury car waiting to view the house after us. 9/10 times it was a 20 something blonde white girl and her irritable looking dad. Good luck competing with that…daddy’s got a cash offer and he’ll gladly pay six figures over asking if Kayleigh wants it badly enough.

Last edited 7 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
7 months ago

Totally. I was driving south in Florida one time in a pack of about 6 cars that were taking turns being the lead as we were all cooking along at about 90 mph. One of the cars was a white I-Pace with dealer plates. The two (I dare say stunningly hot) blonde girls presumingly heading back to either UF or FSU didn’t take the hint when the rest of us dropped back to 70 mph when Waze signaled a speed trap. As we passed them pulled over by the trooper, the only thought I had in between the laughter and the “DOH!” comment was “Daddy ain’t gonna be happy about that!”

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago

I’ve been saying all along that this could be a game changer and this seems to confirm that. I’m happy to hear that it’s a fun, clever, well screwed together little runabout. The 265 miles of range on the all wheel drive one aren’t really going to cut it for me personally, and the 275 on the single motor isn’t anything to write home about either…but this is clearly intended to be a city car and in that application I’m sure it will be great.

My only real concern is the country of origin, and it’s a pretty big concern. I’d worry about quality and reliability…and of course there are a lot of ethical question marks that come with buying something Chinese. I’m sure I’ll get poo poo’d for this comment and I’m sure I sound like a Boomer, but I’d definitely feel a lot better about buying a Swedish Volvo than a Chinese EV that has Volvo badges and design cues slapped on it.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
7 months ago

The Polestar 2 and Buick Envision have both been reliable so far. China has come a long way in its ability to manufacture quality

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

I know. Who in their right mind wants a fancy car built by those beer swilling Belgians?

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They’re building them in both Belgium and China. How do you guarantee you’re getting a Belgian one, especially if you’re ordering one with your desired specs? Just because some of them are built in Belgium doesn’t mean you can wave aside the Chinese origins of the car, or guarantee your particular car was morally built.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Try looking at the VIN.

DadBod
DadBod
7 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

The Belgian ones come with mayo instead of ketchup

EXL500
EXL500
7 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Now I want steak fries with mayo.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
7 months ago

Having read the Chinese Buick article first, I can’t help but notice that this is a Chinese market vehicle being pushed as a Swedish EV. The only things that are Volvo besides the badges are the Thor hammer inspired lights, the vertical taillights and perhaps some extra safety features. It’s a tupperware bin on wheels inside with an Ipad slapped on the dash. If this is the future of human transportation appliances then count me out. I’ll drive something older with actual character.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

“It’s a tupperware bin on wheels inside with an Ipad slapped on the dash”

Its as Swedish as an IKEA flat packed couch.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
7 months ago

I think this is the perfect vehicle to introduce the brand to new people, not everyone knows about Volvo compared to BMW or Audi (At least in the US)

I am waiting for an electric wagon, a Volvo EV60? to replace my Polestar 2

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
7 months ago

Yes, the best of both Sweden and China…

The brand value of a country with strong values of economic equality and workers rights.

The production cost of China, where none of that applies.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
7 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

This is what’s giving me pause too.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
7 months ago

Well, here we go again with the stupid touchscreen pasted to the dashboard. I know I’m not the only person who doesn’t like that, but apparently we are in a quiet minority.

I want physical controls for all functions. A touchscreen is more likely to fail and is a distraction to use because muscle memory is not effective without tactile feedback.

If I’m lucky, this fad will be long over by the time I’m back in the market for a new car.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

We may not be quiet on these comment sections, but the suits in corporate don’t read the comments, and voting by buying an older car doesn’t register with them either. We’ll be shopping old cars with knobs together. They will be older, but hopefully still reliable.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

We’re not a quiet minority, from what I’ve seen, the majority of new car buyers don’t like screens and would rather have buttons. The car companies just don’t listen to us because screens are cheaper than buttons, so they make more profit on cars with screens, and we keep buying them anyway because we’re addicted to shiny new things instead of maintaining old things.

Hoversquid
Hoversquid
7 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

They do listen! A tiny bit.
At the very least, Honda has made their most recent cars less touchscreen -dependent and publicly acknowledged that physical controls are important to a good driving experience.

Unfortunately it seems to be a particularly popular fad with electric cars, thanks to Tesla.

MrLM002
MrLM002
7 months ago

Does it have stupid electric only door handles?

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
7 months ago

No comment on the size of the backseat? That’s probably my biggest question at this point. If it’s got a usable backseat then I am interested, if not then not so much. On that note, awesome to see you contributing here Jamie! I hope this isn’t a one and done for you.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
7 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Random sidenote for Jamie, my 306 GTi-6 that you were looking at buying before I blew the engine is almost back on the road finally. Next week with any luck

Jamie Kitman
Jamie Kitman
7 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Now there’s a car.

Alex Zaretskiy
Alex Zaretskiy
7 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Fantastic article on this topic last week.
https://www.theautopian.com/heres-how-small-the-refreshingly-affordable-electric-volvo-ex30-actually-is/

After reading those numbers, I pulled my reservation. As great as the Volvo seems, the backseat is hilariously tiny compared to our existing cars and would not sadly work with two child car seats in the back.

Jamie Kitman
Jamie Kitman
7 months ago
Reply to  Alex Zaretskiy

Your call but having raised three children, I’d maintain that the child seat is the best highest use for a car lacking substantial legroom in the rear. The children’s legs are pivoting at the knees in ways where max legroom is not required. And four doors make loading them up so much easier. My back is still hurting from the early New Beetle I had on long-term test w two infants in safety seats.

Alex Zaretskiy
Alex Zaretskiy
7 months ago
Reply to  Jamie Kitman

Oh I believe it – I’m just also being cognizant of the enormous rear-facing / infant seats that we are currently dealing with.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
7 months ago
Reply to  Alex Zaretskiy

Yeah I saw that one with all the numbers, I’m just looking to see how that plays out in real life because the write up the drive posted today claims it’ll hold 4 adults on a road trip comfortably but I’ve yet to see a single pic of the back and it’s frustrating. I think Volvo restricted what they could talk about on this one or at least that’s how it seems from the fact that no one is mentioning that

John S
John S
7 months ago

“ (4,150 lbs for the dual motor, all-wheel-drive EX30 Twin Motor Performance with standard four-wheel drive, priced from $47,900)”

I’m wondering if there is any way to clarify this sentence so that the readers know that it has dual motors thus driving all four wheels?

Legend of Z3lda
Legend of Z3lda
7 months ago

I’m keeping my 1990 Volvo 240 wagon for fun but I’d really like a slightly bigger car than our 2015 i3. The back doors are a pain with 2 kids, and it’s always a tight squeeze getting to LAX with all our gear. Full electric range is down to about 50 miles now so we have to run the REX a lot. I was really hoping BMW would have something like the EX30 but they’re on a different path it seems.
I’ll have to check out the EX30 when they become a little more available.

Jakob Johansen
Jakob Johansen
7 months ago

Pricing varies regionally, but compared to the old model 3, it is just to expensive here in Europe.
With the new 3 now available, it is not even in my list of cars I consider anymore.

I drive a boring SUV
I drive a boring SUV
7 months ago
Reply to  Jakob Johansen

Yup, published list prices in Spain, taxes included (not registration):

EX30 Plus single motor extended range version, 344km (WLTP) – 39,735€
Model 3 single motor standard range version, 513km (WLTP) – 39,990€

For the extended range versions (480km the Volvo, 629 the Tesla), the price difference is 45,603€ vs 49,990€, harder tu justify unless you really need the extra range, but still very competitive.

Tesla prices are pretty much unbeatable at the moment…but the Volvo comes with indicator stalks!

However, that might not be an issue any longer in the near future:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35gikWMPGho

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