Small But Mighty

FACT spent the day in Volvo’s new small electric SUV – EX30, that offers cutting-edge technology and Volvo quality at a great price.

Since their founding in 1927, Volvo have gone on to become one of the most well-known and respected automotive brands in the world and they are highly regarded for their competence in safety, design (incorporating their Swedish heritage) and performance.

This month, thanks to the team at Volvo Bahrain, FACT got behind the wheel of the brand’s first fully electric small premium SUV, the 2025 Volvo EX30.

Dynamic Exterior

The first thing we noticed as the car came into our view was that despite it being the smallest SUV in Volvo’s lineup, the EX30 is a unique creation that exudes performance-inspired styling from every angle. Designed to have the lowest carbon footprint of any Volvo to date, the EX30 efficiently uses renewable and recycled materials for around 25% of all aluminium and 17% of all steel and plastics components of the exterior. The car follows a Scandinavian design language with clean bold lines that’re complemented by a robust stance. At the front, the deftly sculpted bonnet flows neatly into the large blank grille that is strikingly punctuated with the Volvo emblem. While other familiar Volvo design elements, such as the Thor’s Hammer shaped LED headlights, help frame the confident face of the car. At the flanks, the athletic stance of the vehicle is underscored by bold lines and 19-inch wheels with a stylish glossy black finish. A wide panoramic glass sunroof interlocks with the compact SUV’s pillars contributing to the EX30’s eye-catching appearance. The well-balanced proportions continue at the back with C-shaped, stacked LED tail lights completing the rear look.

Progressive Interior

Shifting our collective attention to the interior, as we got inside the EX30, we were immediately struck by the elegant, minimal but very modern design of the cabin, which takes its inspiration from Scandinavian nature. Additionally, the model’s interior also uses recycled materials such as woven flax, upcycled denim, ground plastic and blended wool in various aspects like the doors, dashboard, seats, etc., for a greener footprint and a unique look. The front seats were uber comfortable, electrically adjustable sport seats with four-way lumbar support and a convenient memory function, the upholstery was in Nordico – a technically advanced material created from recycled textiles.

There was sufficient head, shoulder and leg room for both front and rear seats. Once seated, we appreciated the ergonomic squared design of the steering wheel which had plenty of switches for driver controls and also housed the gear selector. Adding to the practical storage solutions and further using the cabin’s space effectively – the glovebox is relocated to the centre of the dashboard under the main screen, and the centre armrest now also houses the window controls and a sleek sliding cup holder. The large panoramic glass roof allowed for sunlight to stream into the cabin making the interior feel bright and spacious and the luggage compartment offers 318 litres of space, that’s large enough for a few carry-on suitcases, this can be increased when the split rear seats are folded.

Advanced Infotainment & Technology

For the first time in our experience and as a bold choice, the EX30 opts to forgo the instrument cluster from behind the steering wheel and instead combines it into the main central display. The single vertically oriented 12.3-inch screen serves as both the infotainment and gauge display. It manages to proficiently display at-a-glance driver information and all control features on one screen, which took some getting used to but eventually proved convenient. This intentional setup plays into the minimal and elegant aesthetic of the overall space, which is enhanced by the five wonderful ambient lighting and sound themes that evoke different moods from Scandinavian landscapes. Also, the touchscreen delivers high-definition visuals and, most importantly, has a highly customisable fuss-free interface. Adding another layer of convenience were the Google apps and services that were built-in for the EX30. We were able to download apps from Google Play and use them alongside various other functions hands-free thanks to Google Voice Assistant. The system is also compatible with Apple CarPlay. Additionally, Volvo installed a Harman Kardon premium soundbar across the base of the dashboard rather than individual speakers throughout the vehicle, which was a nice touch.

Power, Performance & Safety

As with every vehicle we inspect, getting out on the road was our favourite part of the experience. First off, the EX30 has a convenient keyless entry and was ready to go once seated without having to press any buttons. We were fortunate enough to drive the EX30 Single Motor Extended Range variant. Its capable rear-wheel drive (RWD) setup produces 200kW of power with 343Nm of torque, allowing us to surge from 0-100km/h in a quick 3.6 seconds, that translates into a top speed of around 180km/h. As we further tested the nuances of the vehicle, we were left impressed with its great handling, proficient cornering and the keenly responsive braking that complements the powerful acceleration. Volvo have also stated that this EX30 variant, when fully charged, delivers a range of around 476km. The fast-charging public stations can charge 10% to 80% in a little over 25 minutes.

Like every Volvo, the EX30 is big on safety and in turn is properly fashioned with a full suite of safety and driver assistance features. It’s equipped with a door opening alert – one of several features of the Safe Space Technology – a new advanced driver alert system and much more.

Our Verdict

The Volvo EX30 is a superb compact electric SUV with impressive range and strong cutting-edge tech features combined with Volvo quality, safety and design, that’s provided at an accessible price. ✤