The Volvo EX30 all-electric crossover will have a few notable milestones when it comes to market next summer. Volvo promises it will be the most sustainable vehicle it’s ever built. It will be the brand’s least expensive all-electric vehicle, starting at $53,700 before federal and provincial incentives. It will also be the smallest SUV ever built by Volvo and, interestingly, it will also be its quickest vehicle ever.
So, this little crossover has a lot on its shoulders for the Swedish brand when orders open this fall. And no wonder; with Volvo’s commitment to having 50 per cent of its sales all electric by 2025, and all of its vehicles EVs by the end of the decade, it has to make them accessible and, of course, desirable, to the masses. The EX30 will be a good start, though it’s not without its foibles.
At a recent display in Toronto with its all-electric Volvo brethren, the EX30 was visibly smaller than the next step up in Volvo’s EV SUV lineup, the XC40 Recharge, which is 20 cm longer and three cm wider. But it continues an evolution of the brand’s EV design, with a variation of the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, a sleeker front-end design and a stout, powerful-looking body.
It will be offered in two different drivetrains, though both will share the same 64 kWh (useable) battery. A single-motor rear-driver will have an estimated range of up to 442 km, with 268 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. A Twin Motor AWD version will get two motors, a range of up to 426 km and will put down 422 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This is the quick one, getting to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds.
The Twin Motor variant gets a charging capacity of up to 153 kW, meaning it takes just over 26 minutes to go from 10 per cent to 80 per cent charge with the appropriate Level 3 charger.
Inside, the EX30 will be offered in four different styles, or as Volvo calls them, ‘rooms’ – Breeze, Mist, Pine and Indigo – all with a mix of heavily recycled materials, including polyester, wood, denim and flax. And while they all offer a mix of stylish colours (though mostly greys and blues), the interiors are even more austere than you’d expect in a Swedish vehicle.
Gone is the driver’s instrument cluster, with driving information instead moved to the central, 12.3-inch infotainment screen, which also controls the climate and other features. You won’t find many switches here, save for on the steering wheel.
The infotainment runs on Android Automotive, but does support Apple CarPlay with wireless smartphone integration.
To cut costs, the individual door window controls have been moved centrally, and the door speakers have been moved to a post-to-post surround at the bottom of the windshield.
Two cupholders slide out from the centre console, which sits above a spacious cubby for bags. Seat materials in this display vehicle feels like a premium faux leather. Interior space, however, can be tight for five; while front passengers will be alright, shoulder room could be tight for three in the back.
The rear offers 318 L of cargo space, with a floor that can be lowered for more room. There’s even a visual display of what you can fit in, which reminds me of an Ikea instruction manual, without the funny guy. There is a frunk, though it’s just big enough to fit a charging cable and a few smaller items.
Also helping on the sustainability front is the fact that Volvo uses 25 per cent recycled aluminum for the chassis and exterior, 17 per cent recycled steel and 17 per cent recycled plastics overall.
Of course, being a Volvo, safety here is paramount. The EX30 comes with the usual raft of driver aids along with a few other novel features; there is a system that detects upcoming bicyclists to prevent ‘dooring’, and the EX30 is the first Volvo to feature it’s updated Park Pilot Assist, which can move the SUV into parallel, curved, perpendicular and diagonal parking spots on its own.
Built in China, the Volvo EX30 is a subcompact crossover, so paying almost $50k (after the $5,000 incentive, of course) can be a little jarring. And that’s just the starting price; no other pricing has been revealed as of yet, and there will also be a Cross Country variant on the horizon. But it’s all electric, it offers some notable features, and it’s a stylish little runabout with good power and range.