Volvo EX30 Twin Motor Review: It’s unlike any Volvo you’ve ever imagined

Published Jul 4, 2024


10 years ago if I’d told you that for the price of a baseline Mercedes C-Class you’d one day be able to buy a boxy little Volvo that could accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds, you’d probably accuse me of smoking something extremely strong.

But here we are in the future, where German cars are ridiculously overpriced and battery vehicles are slowly infiltrating the market and piquing the interest of performance car fans.

Granted I still prefer the roar of a V8 any day, or even the sweet symphony of a good straight six, but accelerating foot flat in the new Volvo EX30 Ultra Twin Motor Performance, to give you its full name, is certainly an entertaining experience.

If you don’t hold on tight it’ll leave your organs at the previous intersection.

Optional Moss Yellow paint adds a unique touch. Picture: Supplied.

This Twin Motor flagship model, which produces 315kW and 543Nm, has the kind of sprinting ability that you’d usually associate with a supercar. And yet it costs just R1,055,900, at the time of writing in June 2024.

Mind you, even the humbler single motor model, starting at R791,900, is fairly brisk with its 5.7-second acceleration time.

As if to drive the performance aspect home even harder, the Twin Motor model we tested recently was painted in Moss Yellow, an iconic and attention-grabbing hue that harks back to the Volvo 850 T-5R of the 1990s.

The EX30 is really unlike any Volvo that’s ever come before it and the more I drove it the more I realised this is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Besides being extremely fast and electric, it has a futuristic looking interior brimming with innovative storage solutions, which we’ll get to later, and a great deal of it is hewn from recycled materials.

But plodding along the highway, en route to the 2024 Car of the Year announcement while wondering if this car was a prime candidate for the 2025 competition, it felt like something was missing.

Some of the older Volvos, particularly those S60s and S80s of the early 2000s, made you feel like you were wrapped up in a cocoon, isolated from the chaos surrounding you, and let me not get started on those cushy seats.

But the EX30 doesn’t quite feel like that. Of course it is quiet, being a battery car, and it’s certainly not uncomfortable, but then it doesn’t really feel any cushier than your average Chinese EV. The EX30 is built in China, by the way, and based on a model produced by parent company Geely’s Zeekr brand.

But with that also comes a whole lot of modern design innovation.

Step inside and the EX30 is almost ridiculously minimalist. There’s hardly a button to be found. Practically everything is operated by the tablet-like 12.3-inch (31.2cm) vertical touchscreen, which you even have to use to open the cubby hole.

The cabin takes minimalism to the extreme. Picture: Supplied.

The EX30 is brimming with storage spaces, featuring huge door pockets and a large storage bin in the lower centre console. Above that is a rather clever dual cup-holder console that slides out from the armrest. The lower part of the dash, just in front of that, has space for you to store two phones upright, with wireless charging for one of them.

There are some other ergonomic quirks, like the electric window controls positioned on the central armrest, but this is apparently to reduce wiring and this anti-wastage philosophy extends to many areas of the cabin. A prime example being the dash-mounted Harman Kardon Sound Bar that replaces the traditional speakers. The sound quality is decent, although you might want to turn the bass right down, but you don’t get an immersive sound experience like other high-end audio systems offer.

One can’t help but admire the amount of thought that’s gone into lowering this vehicle’s environmental impact.

That’s not to say it’s a threadbare package though. The Ultra is packed with high-end features, including a 360-degree camera, heated front seats and steering wheel, wool blend upholstery and panoramic glass roof. And let’s not get started on all the advanced driver-assist features, powered by a long range frontal radar, two rear side radars and six ultrasonic sensors.

The rear seating area is somewhat less impressive with limited legroom and no ventilation. The 318 litre boot will swallow a few smallish bags but it’s hardly holiday sized.

Finally, being an EV you’ll have to pay attention to the range readout. Volvo claims a WLTP range of up to 460km between charges. We didn’t conduct a full range test, but based on estimations, in the real world you’re likely to get closer to 350km, or possibly even less than 300km if you’re driving on the highway where there’s not much regenerative braking opportunity.


This new Volvo challenges every perception you’ve ever had of the Swedish brand. While it lacks the cushiness of older Volvos and it’s probably not a great family vehicle, the EX30 is a true sports car eater that’s also somewhat innovative in the way it’s put together.

IOL Motoring