NEW YORK – American cities don’t get any more urban than the Big Apple, which is where Volvo recently provided a deeper look into the U.S. version of its upcoming small electric urban CUV, the EX30.
On display and open for inspection of its interior, dash display and storage features was a pre-production version of the ’25 EX30 in entry-level Core trim. Volvo has announced a U.S. base price of $34,950 for this model (not including destination). Prices for higher trims (likely dubbed Plus and Ultimate if current naming conventions are followed) and the just-announced Cross Country trim (with all-terrain tires, more ground clearance and protective skid plates) have not yet been disclosed. The EX30 begins production later this year in Zhangjiakow, China, with U.S.-specification models arriving here in early 2024.
Volvo is making a big deal out of the EX30’s mid-$30,000 base price point, emphasizing that it is offering a fully electric small CUV for less than the price of most current gas- or hybrid-powered competitors from other premium brands. Those would include the Alfa Romeo Tonale, BMW X1 and X2, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA, to name a few.
Volvo’s smallest CUV arrives in a trim, city-maneuverable size. It’s 8.1 ins. (206 mm) shorter nose to tail than the compact XC40, yet offers seating for five passengers and up to 14.1 cu.-ft. (399 L) of cargo space behind the rear seat. The nicely contoured front bucket seats deliver the expected Volvo comfort and support. Headroom is generous, although rear seat legroom was a bit tight for this six-footer.
While the EX30’s Thor’s Hammer headlamps and C-shaped taillamps leave no doubt as to its corporate parentage, there are a few surprises inside. Centered in the instrument panel is a single, high-resolution, portrait-format dash display combining the functions of a driver gauge panel and a touchscreen (pictured, above) for infotainment, connectivity and other functions such as exterior lighting, climate control and exterior mirror adjustments. The instrument panel is shorn of all physical switchgear. Even the latch for the center-mounted glovebox is reassigned to the screen.
A similar cleanup job is evident for the doors, which have their power window and door lock controls moved to the center console (pictured, below). Even the base audio system speakers are moved from the doors to an instrument panel-wide sound bar.
The center console is a Swiss Army knife of sorts with a pair of slide-out drawers (one for front and one for rear seat passengers to use) and a floor-mounted storage box with bomb-bay doors to keep items stowed there hidden from larcenous eyes.
The EX30 will launch worldwide with a choice of two lithium-ion batteries, but U.S.-bound models will be equipped exclusively with the larger of the two, a 69-kWh extended-range version offering an estimated 275 miles (443 km) of range in the single-motor, 268-hp rear-drive version and 265 miles (427 km) for the 422-hp twin-motor, all-wheel-drive variant.
Volvo says the extended-range battery can be charged from 10% to 80% using a 153-kWh DC fast charger in less than 27 minutes or, using a 240-volt AC charger at home, from 0% to 100% in less than eight hours.
While the EX30 is no lightweight, tipping the scales at about two tons, instant electric-motor torque (253 lb.-ft. [343 Nm] in the single-motor version and 400 lb.-ft. [542 Nm] for the twin-motor) should get things moving in a hurry. Volvo claims the single-motor EX30 can accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.1 seconds while the twin-motor version can do the deed in 3.4 seconds. That will make the twin-motor EX30 the quickest Volvo in the lineup next year.
With a low price relative to other EV entries, standard extended-range battery with DC fast-charge capability, high usage of recycled and renewable materials, city-friendly size and lively performance, the new Volvo EX30 will likely shake things up in the premium small CUV segment.