Launch Report: Volvo EX30 presents premium B-SUV package

14 March 2024

The Volvo EX30 is a premium entry to the B-SUV segment. Autovista Group (now part of J.D. Power) experts from Austria, France, Spain and the UK, analyse the model with Autovista24 special content editor Phil Curry.

Volvo has long led the charge for sustainable mobility, through both electric drives and the recycling of plastics. It brings this vision to life in the new EX30, a B-segment SUV with a battery-electric drive.

The model allows Volvo to expand into a new marketplace, meeting a growing demand for small electric SUVs. As a premium vehicle in the segment, it allows the carmaker to appeal to buyers looking to stand out from the crowd.

In Autovista24’s latest Launch Report, the EX30’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are benchmarked against its key rivals. New price points are also outlined alongside forecast residual values.

A strong design

The Volvo EX30 is the brand’s smallest SUV. As a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), it enters a market that is becoming increasingly popular and even more congested with models.

So, standing out in the crowd is extremely important, and the Volvo EX30 achieves this. The smooth grille, a feature on BEVs due to the lack of large radiators, allows the brand’s badge to sit prominently.

On each corner, the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ style headlights sweep out and down the sides. This creates a recognisable lighting profile, making the model stand out both during the day and at night.

At 4.23 metres, this is the smallest-ever SUV Volvo has produced but its side profile belies this. The SUV’s tall side panels and doors are lined down toward the front end, providing a feeling of motion even when the vehicle is stationary.

Too minimalistic inside

Inside, the Volvo EX30 sports a minimalistic environment, with few switches and buttons. Instead, most of the auxiliary items are controlled using the 12.9-inch vertically-mounted touchscreen. This also includes the speedometer and driver information.

The EX30 does not have a dedicated driver cluster behind the steering wheel, and there is no heads-up display. This means the driver needs to glance downwards to get any information, and some of this data is buried in a multi-level menu system.

This raises some safety concerns which, for a brand as safety-conscious as Volvo, is a concern. These worries are also noted and addressed by the car itself, which activates audio alerts when it detects the driver’s eyes straying from the road ahead. This forms part of new safety systems designed to monitor driver behaviours.

The seating position is comfortable, and the front of the cabin provides plenty of room. The Geely SEA platform locates batteries beneath the floor, meaning there is no rear tunnel, allowing for more comfort. Yet the position of the front seats does impact legroom for taller passengers in the rear of the car.

Materials are not only of good quality but also contain recycled materials in-line with Volvo’s sustainable attitude. The carmaker states that 17% of the plastics inside the model are recycled, the highest percentage of any Volvo model to date.

Safety remains a priority

For its price point, the EX30 has a high power output, with the single-motor version producing 272hp and a 0-100kph time of 5.6 seconds. The model also offers a decent range, with the entry-level version capable of reaching 340km on a single charge. It provides a comfortable drive, although the twin-motor variant is heavier, which increases the body roll when cornering.

Aside from the issues surrounding the vertical touchscreen display, the EX30 builds on Volvo’s reputation as a brand that cares about safety. Most common assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings are available as standard across all trim levels. Meanwhile, the driver monitoring system is helpful if attention is diverted away from the road, for reasons other than adjusting the wing mirrors.

Overall, the Volvo EX30 is a strong entry into the B-SUV segment, one which will appeal to premium buyers looking for a smaller BEV to get around. Some of its flaws are fixable via over-the-air updates, and as the carmaker ramps up production, it is likely to take over as the brand’s most popular model.

View the Autovista Group dashboard, which benchmarks the Volvo EX30 in Austria, France, Spain, and the UK. The interactive dashboard presents new prices, forecast residual values, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.

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