2025 Volvo EX30 First Drive Review: Small Electric Package, Big Value

Fun fact: Volvo’s quickest car yet is also debuting as its cheapest.

byChris Tsui|

What if I told you about a new car that costs less than $50,000 fully loaded, gets from zero to 60 mph in a Rihanna-vanquishing 3.4 seconds, and can seat four adults and their luggage in perfect comfort for a weekend out to the beach? No, it's not a new Ford Mustang. It's the 2025 Volvo EX30.

Yep, an electric crossover and a luxurious Swedish one at that. At just $36,245 to start for a less potent single-motor model, it's an even greater value proposition considering it's also not bad simply as an EV. Expected to get up to 275 miles of range, the EX30 is pleasant to drive and comfortable to ride in. Some unfortunate usability quirks mean it isn't flawless (more on that later), but for those looking for a practical, stylish, spunky EV for the everyday grind, the EX30 deserves your curiosity.

2025 Volvo EX30 SpecsSingle Motor Extended RangeTwin Motor Performance
Base Price (as tested)$36,245 ($42,395)$46,195 ($49,195)
Powertrainsingle-motor rear-wheel drive | 69-kWh batterydual-motor all-wheel drive | 69-kWh battery
Torque253 lb-ft400 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,858 pounds4,140 pounds
0-60 mph5.1 seconds3.4 seconds
Top Speed112 mph112 mph
Seating Capacity55
Cargo Capacity14.1 cubic feet behind second row | 31.9 cubic feet behind first row | 0.2 cubic feet frunk<<
Towing Capacity2,000 pounds2,000 pounds
Estimated EPA Range275 miles265 miles
Quick TakeIf you ignore the touch-heavy UX, it's hard to argue with as a daily driver EV.<<

Believe it or not, the Volvo EX30 is the brand's smallest-ever SUV. Measuring just 166.7 inches end to end, it slots underneath the XC40 and when it goes on sale early next year, it will be the cheapest car Volvo sells.

From the outside at least, it certainly doesn't look cheap. Sporting a new, vaguely 8-bit interpretation of Volvo's Thor's hammer headlight motif and a split rear taillight treatment that kind of reminds me of the Cadillac Escalade IQ, the grilleless EX30 is compact and punchy in its proportions. The cars provided for this test may have been all grays and whites, but there will be baby blue and pastel yellow options, too.

Don't let its entry-level status fool you into thinking that it's slow, either, because it is quite the opposite. In fact, the EX30 has one more Volvo superlative up its sleeve: in dual-motor form, it is the Swedish automaker's quickest accelerating car ever. Hitting 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, the EX30 Twin Motor Performance gets to 60 just as quickly as a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and, more relevantly, 0.1 seconds quicker than the Tesla Model Y Performance.


Where its position as the low-cost Volvo does indeed show, however, would be in its interior, and to fully understand what I'm talking about, we need to understand and agree on one thing: physical buttons are expensive. Nearly everything including the opening of the glove box, audio volume, and even the adjustment of mirrors is done within the menus of the vertically oriented, 12.3-inch touchscreen. And the physical buttons that you do get are simplified. Reminiscent of the Volkswagen ID.4, there are just two window switches in the middle that you have to toggle between front and rear. Volvo has even condensed the seat adjuster, controlling everything with one, big multi-way knob instead of multiple, seat-shaped switches like you get in most other cars.

Look, I get it. The touchscreen solution undoubtedly contributed a lot to Volvo's ability to sell this car for what it's asking and also comes off as fancier showroom fodder in the eyes of the average buyer. But in terms of usability, it simply isn't better. On the brighter side, at least gear selection is still done by a stalk, and Android Automotive OS with built-in Google Maps integration remains a decently conceived system.

As a design, the EX30's cabin is best described as pared-down and sustainable-chic. A "debris" trim on the single motor car is apparently made of recycled window frames while this same area is filled with a very cottagecore weaved material in the dual motor version. My favorite part of the cabin, however, has got to be those big, metal door handles that feel hefty, expensive, and high quality.

Remember the days when 400-plus hp was reserved for supercars? Well, those days are long gone because 422 is now available in the subcompact, entry-level Volvo. Out on the road, the EX30 Twin Motor Performance feels every bit as quick as its 422 hp, 400 lb-ft, and 3.4-second 0-60 time would suggest. It's ridiculously fun. Purely based on sensations in the seat of the pants, the base, 268-hp EX30 is no slouch either and its lack of a motor in the front (cutting 282 pounds) also makes it feel a tad more eager being chucked into corners.

Arkaitz Olarra

Steering was extremely light—too light, honestly—even in its "firm" steering mode (the firmest of three), although when I brought this up, Volvo engineer John Lundegren said that the final product will steer one notch firmer in this mode and that what I experienced in these late pre-production cars would be equivalent to the normal steering mode in the final EX30s.

The brakes, meanwhile, are strong and the pedal feels relatively nice and solid—not overly spongy or long in travel—while the ride is appropriately smooth and compliant. Pair that with comfortable, surprisingly well-bolstered seats, and the EX30 can be a formidable road trip car.


Speaking of, Volvo is estimating 275 miles of range on the single-motor base car and 265 miles for the heavier and more powerful dual motor. Alright figures considering the single-motor Model Y is rated for 260 miles while its dual-motor Long Range version boasts an official 330. The upcoming Chevy Equinox EV, meanwhile, promises 319 miles.

For the battery geeks out there, this is enabled by a 69-kWh battery (64 kWh is usable) that can charge at up to 153 kW. Volvo estimates 26.5 minutes to DC fast charge from 10 to 80% while 11-kW can apparently get the EX30 from 0 to 100% in as little as 8 hours.

Starting at $36,245 for the single motor and $46,195 for the Performance, the Volvo EX30 is proof that electric cars—a luxury crossover, no less—don't have to be ultra expensive anymore. Remember: the average selling price of a new car today is about $50,000. For reference, the Tesla Model Y starts at $45,380 before incentives while Chevy recently confirmed that the non-luxury but slightly bigger Equinox EV will start at $34,995. It also undercuts both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 by not-insignificant margins. And, at the end of the day, the EX30 is a Volvo. That name's still gotta count for something, right?

As a value proposition, the 2025 Volvo EX30 is an intriguing one. I mean, being the quickest Volvo ever while simultaneously being the cheapest of its era has gotta put it in some sort of standing with future Volvo collectors. It's also seriously fun bombing down highway ramps, passing Porsches with ease in an unassuming, tiny Volvo crossover. The strongest case against it, however, would be its touch-heavy interior. Opening a glove box shouldn't have to involve software and dropping a rear window shouldn't require two presses.

If you can live with that stuff, though, the EX30 could be the perfect gateway into urban EV ownership, particularly in base form. Scandinavian styling, 275 miles on a charge, 5.1 seconds to 60, and a practical crossover body for 36 grand? You could do a lot worse.


Got a tip or question for the author about the EX30? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com

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