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2025 Volvo EX30 First Drive: The Pocket EV (Luxury Format)

2025 Volvo EX30
Photo: B.Charette
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Benoit Charette
Volvo is counting on this small SUV to double its sales of electric vehicles

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2025 Volvo EX30.

Barcelona, Spain – Volvo is thinking big when it comes to electrification, and one way it’s doing that is by going… small. Meet the EX30.

Within two years, 50 percent of the Volvo fleet will be electrified; by 2030, the entire lineup will be electric-only. That’s the plan. From now on, everything new from Volvo will be powered by electrons. The EX30 is the first to come; it will arrive in the summer of 2024 as a 2025 model.

It is the smallest, fastest and most powerful SUV in the brand's history.

2025 Volvo EX30, rear
2025 Volvo EX30, rear
Photo: B.Charette

Design of the 2025 Volvo EX30

Small, you say? Yes, this pocket SUV is 4,233 mm long, 1,837 mm wide and 1,555 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,650 mm. Minimum curb weight is 1830 kg. Its lines are strongly inspired by the forthcoming EX90 model, with a grille featuring a closed bumper, Thor's hammer-shaped headlamps and split taillights in a similar layout.

The EX30's profile features a rising beltline ending in a thick C-pillar to help conjure that floating roof image, while the hood plunges more dramatically with sturdy wheel arches and very short overhangs adding to the sporty styling. Industrial precision in a city car format.

2025 Volvo EX30, interior
2025 Volvo EX30, interior
Photo: D.Boshouwers

Interior of the 2025 Volvo EX30

The EX30's dimensions might be modest, but it offers a genuine sense of spaciousness to its occupants. This effect comes largely with the jettisoning of any centre console, replaced by a large storage area that extends across the width of the dashboard or almost.

The only drawback is that cargo space is limited to just 318 litres. There’s only so much you can do.

The installation of a new sound bar, by Harman Kardon in the top-of-the-range version, frees up the space usually reserved for speakers in the front doors. To further streamline things, the shifting lever has been moved to behind the steering wheel.

The EX30 features a large vertical central screen via which is accessed all commands you can think of: climate, radio, navigation, etc., etc. The odometer is at the top of the screen, navigation in the middle and climate control at the bottom. In the background, you have submenus for all the other functions.

You might need a few weeks to master what at first feels like a totally unergonomic tangle. And there’s no recourse to any physical button or control.

Meanwhile, light pours into the cabin, courtesy of the vast panoramic roof of the top-of-the-range Ultra edition. The interior finish exudes quality, with meticulous, tight fittings and the ingenious use of recycled materials, including 25 percent recycled plastic. However virtuous that is, we did find that plastic hard and a bit cheapish to the touch.

2025 Volvo EX30, multimedia screen
2025 Volvo EX30, multimedia screen
Photo: Volvo

Technology and safety in the 2025 Volvo EX30

The EX30's multimedia package, the result of a collaboration with Google, is articulated with ease in a 5G network, its surveyed landscape guided by Google Maps scrolls, while a repertoire of applications is at hand out thanks to the Google Play Store marketplace. Here you'll find Spotify and YouTube, among others.

Apple fans take comfort, you’ll still be able to access Apple CarPlay via a wireless connection. Several USB-C sockets can be found throughout the cabin. The multimedia system's responsiveness is exemplary, but its user-friendliness, as mentioned, is so-so. You'll have to learn to master the context-sensitive bar at the bottom of the screen, where you'll find shortcuts to the most frequently used functions.

The EX30 is able to receive over-the-air software updates.

Customers can choose between four distinct interior themes and five different ambient lighting themes, each associated with a sound ambience.

Other highlights of the EX30 tech-wise include a digital key compatible with a wide range of phone makes and models, and a dedicated application offering all relevant car-related services (charging, location, locking/unlocking and heating.

The EX30 offers numerous driver assistance systems common to most top-of-the-range models. Among the new features available on this model are Pilot Assist, which helps drivers change lanes once a turn signal is on, and the latest generation of Park Pilot Assist, which manages parking almost autonomously.

There's also an exit warning system, which send visual and audible signals to alert occupants to the presence of a cyclist when a door is being opened. Want more? There’s a new automatic braking function to avoid accidents at intersections.

2025 Volvo EX30, profile
2025 Volvo EX30, profile
Photo: B.Charette

Versions and configurations of the 2025 Volvo EX30

Volvo offers two powertrains with the EX30. The single-motor option focuses on efficiency and range, while the dual-motor variant prioritizes performance.  

Pricing for the single-motor, RWD base version starts at $53,700. To this amount must be added $3,512 in freight, preparation and dealer fees.

The next up the pecking order is the Core model at $56,900, followed by the Ultra model at $59,100.

The twin-motor model comes in two versions. The Core version is $59,900 and the Ultra model costs $62,100.

All models are eligible for federal and, where applicable, provincial subsidies. In Quebec, these total $12,000. Although the price is competitive for a luxury model, it should be noted that the base model starts at $34,700 USD south of the border. With the current exchange rate, that works out to about $47,700 in Canadian dollars, significantly lower than our actual $53,700 MSRP. Of course, Volvo points out that the Canadian model is better equipped, but that still leaves us wondering.

2025 Volvo EX30, front end
2025 Volvo EX30, front end
Photo: D.Boshouwers

Powertrains of the 2025 Volvo EX30

Both versions are equipped with a lithium-ion nickel-manganese-cobalt battery with a total capacity of 69 kWh and a useful capacity of 64 kWh. With this, the EX30 Single Motor Extended Range offers 268 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque for a range of 442 km.

The EX30 Twin Motor Performance is further on the horizon, but it will add a front-mounted electric motor, which means all-wheel drive, and output climbing to 422 hp with 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s serious power for such a small vehicle, and this is, Volvo says, the fastest vehicle it has ever produced. This dual-motor model offers an estimated range of some 422 km.  

Both EX30s offer DC fast charging, with outputs of up to 153 kW. Volvo says that when plugged into a station offering the EX30's maximum charge rate, it takes around 27 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent capacity.

For added convenience, you can use the display screen in the car to program the time you want the car to start charging, the charge level and the amperage you prefer to use. There's also a heat pump and battery pre-conditioning for easier recharging.

The 2025 Volvo EX30, on the road
The 2025 Volvo EX30, on the road
Photo: Volvo

Driving the 2025 Volvo EX30

Driving pleasure depends on the version you choose. The single-engine model offers a smooth, quiet and well-balanced ride. The twin-engine model is capable of 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

Volvo has been able to keep the weight down to around 1830 kg, so there's no feeling of heaviness behind the wheel, as is the case with many electric models. The compact size also makes for a lively, dynamic ride that does the model credit. The suspension is firm, but not uncomfortable. The large windows also offer excellent visibility.

For maximum adrenalin, we took advantage of a few highway stretches to put the twin-engine version in Performance mode and see what the EX30 can do. What it does, is give you enough power to make a sports car blush.

In regular mode, it's the rear motor that kicks in first, followed by support from the front; the effect isn't quite as impressive.

The rear seats welcome passengers with warm hospitality, offering sufficient comfort for two adults. Thanks to generous headroom and legroom that invites relaxation, the journey promises to be a tranquil one. The more modest middle rear seat is best only for short trips.

2025 Volvo EX30, three-quarters rear
2025 Volvo EX30, three-quarters rear
Photo: B.Charette

The final word
Volvo is counting on this small SUV to double its sales of electric vehicles, which is ambitious. The EX30 will go on sale in late spring as a 2025 model; it will be manufactured at Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium.

We wish Volvo had been able to offer an even more affordable model, given the price on the American market and also given that the European market benefits from a more affordable LFP battery model. Price is a really big key to increasing the pool of EV buyers, and in this respect Volvo could have done better.

Questions about the 2025 Volvo EX30

At first glance, one wonders whether such a small SUV is suitable for families. The interior is full of secret hiding places, including the sliding centre armrest, under which you can stick phones and keys. The trunk, meanwhile, reveals an adaptable floor for extra storage. A welcome surprise nestles under the front hood, where a 7-litre storage space conceals the charging cable, so it doesn’t clutter up the trunk.

Our initial energy-use figures may not be indicative of long-term efficiency, but they are impressive enough.

We spent the morning of our test drive behind the wheel of a single-motor model with energy consumption of 13.2 kWh/100 km, this with 75 percent of our time spent on secondary and city roads and 25 percent on the highway.

In the afternoon we were let loose at the wheel of a twin-motor EX30, and even with that model’s 422 hp, average energy consumption was 16.6 kWh/100 km. Clearly, despite its rather square shape, the model cuts through the air with efficiency, and the relatively reasonably sized battery limits weight gain, further improving energy efficiency.

Strong points
Powerful (2 motors)
Practical size
Unique styling

Weak points
Infotainment system requires adaptation
A base price that should have been lower
No interior handle to assist boarding

Competitors of the 2025 Volvo EX30

2025 Volvo EX30, from above
2025 Volvo EX30, from above
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Benoit Charette
Benoit Charette
Automotive expert
  • More than 30 years of experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 65 test drives last year
  • Attended more than 200 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists