Jonny drives Volvo’s cheapest and fastest new car
Volvo’s upcoming EX30 EV promises to be a gamechanger for accessible but premium-feeling electric SUVs. Naturally, Jonny Smith gets behind the wheel to find out if it lives up to such bold billings.
An SUV you say? It doesn’t look like one. Well, as Jonny explains, that’s because it isn’t. The EX30 is too low, too short, and the majority will be exclusively rear-wheel-drive, so what’s with the name? Jonny’s answer is simple: it’ll boost sales.
Truth be told it doesn’t matter which category the baby Volvo falls under, it’s a homerun for the Swedes either way.
It’s immediately apparent that every inch of the new EX30 has been carefully considered. A dainty exterior footprint doesn’t translate into a cramped cabin, as Jonny explains that thanks to a clever redesign of the door cards — moving the speakers and window switches in-board — passengers have oodles of room to play with.
This form follows function theme continues with the exterior. Speaking directly with Volvo’s design team, Jonny discovers how they managed to successfully retain a distinctive character in the front end without resorting to a superfluous radiator grille purely for style’s sake.
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With three different levels of electric thrust available (all offering spritely performance) Jonny opts to test the model which he believes will be the sweet spot in the range: the extended range rear-wheel-drive version. Despite not offering the monstrous 3.6 second 0-60 mph time of the fastest dual motor car, the mid-range EX30 is still properly quick at 5.3 seconds for the same sprint — and offers nearly 300 miles of real-world range.
Jonny is equally impressed by the Volvo’s serene ride comfort and noise isolation, although he caveats this by highlighting that silky smooth Spanish test roads aren’t a true reflection of how the car will handle crumbling British tarmac.
At this point it’s clear the EX30 has managed to get under Jonny’s skin, but the cherry on top comes with the car’s competitive £33,000 starting price. Superb value for any EV, let alone one this capable and with a premium badge on the nose.
While there’s precious little Jonny can fault with the Volvo, one fly in the ointment is the placement of the car’s speedometer. Located within the central infotainment screen, the Late Brake Show host is irritated by the way he is forced to turn his head and take his eyes off the road to view it. Clearly, a simple head-up display would have been a better solution, but we can forgive the EX30 of this one foible.
With so many strings to its bow, you’ll need to watch the video to find out why Jonny believes Volvo has created a market disrupter.