• Sat. May 18th, 2024

2025 Volvo EX30: cool Cross Country, bad window switches and other in-person details


Jun 7, 2023
2025 Volvo EX30: cool Cross Country, bad window switches and other in-person details


MILAN — Volvo calls its new EX30 a “not-so-big, really big deal.” And while I hesitate to succumb to marketing taglines, after spending time with the company’s new EV in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday, I have to admit, Volvo’s got a point.

When it arrives in the U.S. early next year, the 2025 Volvo EX30 will be a new entry point into the brand. The base Single Motor Extended Range model will cost just $36,145 including an $1,195 destination charge, though the EX30 will not be eligible for the updated U.S. federal EV tax credit. Powered by a 69-kilowatt-hour battery, the EX30 will be available with either 268 or 422 horsepower – the latter is for the all-wheel-drive Twin Motor Performance version – and Volvo expects its subcompact EV to have a maximum driving range of 275 miles.

All of that makes the EX30 pretty compelling, and poking around the EV in person really seals the deal. As you’d expect from a modern Volvo, the interior is fantastic – sturdily built and covered in all sorts of soft materials. From the recycled fabrics to the visually appealing trim, the EX30 really punches above its weight in terms of luxury per dollar. Compared to something like a slightly larger Mercedes-Benz EQB, the Volvo looks and feels so much nicer inside.

It’s not perfect, though. Most of the car’s controls are housed in the central infotainment display. But at least the screen is nicely designed and quick to respond – thanks, Google software. I also hate, hate, hate the window switches, which are located on the center console. Volvo took a page right out of Volkswagen’s playbook and only installed two up/down toggles, with a haptic “rear” button that you need to push in order to use the same switches for the back windows. The VW ID.4 has this kind of setup, and it’s awful. For a company that usually does ergonomics so well, this is an uncharacteristically poor move.

The rest of the EX30, though? It’s a peach. I love the look in person, and it’s much smaller than it appears in photos – think Hyundai Kona. The 20-inch aero wheels might be a touch too big for a car this little, but that’s just personal preference. I also can’t wait to see one of these in Volvo’s new Moss Yellow exterior color.

In addition to the standard EX30, Volvo showed the upcoming Cross Country version on Wednesday, and wow, it’s a cutie. The increased ground clearance, purposeful cladding, skid plates and 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/55-series all-terrain tires really work on this subcompact EV. And Volvo thinks the whole Cross Country get-up applies itself nicely to an electric vehicle.

“I really like the idea of having Cross Country as part of the brand,” Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan told reporters in Milan on Wednesday. “When you have a fully electric car … and you want to go camping for the weekend, in this car, you open that tailgate, you stick a tent on the back of it, you use the HVAC system to heat or cool the car, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide. You can run a small fridge off of it, you can charge an electric bike off of it. You can do a whole bunch of stuff that you could never do because you’ve now got this massive electric power source that you never had.”

The Cross Country will go on sale roughly a year after the standard EX30, with production expected to kick off in late 2024. Butch all-rounder or city-slickin’ commuter – based on what I’ve seen of the EX30, this one’s sure to be a hit.

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