Despite there being a larger selection of electric vehicles than ever before, they’re still pretty expensive. While there are some affordable ones, like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt, you have to spend a pretty penny if you want one that’s decently powerful or premium inside. BMW’s biggest issue with EVs is that they’re all expensive, with its cheapest i4 eDrive35 starting at $52,200 for 2024 model year cars. However, the new Volvo EX30 could become the new EV deal to beat, as it starts at just $36,145 in the U.S.
What do you get for that low starting price? Surprisingly, you get quite a bit. For starters, you get a 64 kWh battery pack, which isn’t large but it’s good enough for 275 miles of range, according to Volvo. That price also includes a single rear-mounted electric motor, making 268 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the aforementioned BMW i4 eDrive35 has 282 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque, and does 256 miles of range, all while costing almost $20,000 more.
It’s also a handsome little crossover, with Volvo’s typically stylish design language. It’s simple but stylish and, while it’s quite futuristic, it looks like its design will age well. Inside, you get a simplistic interior that does minimalism right. Forget Tesla, this Volvo proves how to do basic, minimalist interiors the right way. One neat features is the dashboard soundbar, which holds seven speakers and eliminates all of the door speakers. That carves out room in the door panels, making them thinner, thus providing more interior space and reducing the amount of wiring.
As for charging speed, the Volvo EX30 has a max speed of 153 kW, which is said to do the typical 10-80 percent state of charge (SOC) in 27 minutes. That’s not an uncommon speed anymore but than the quick charging time to its small-ish battery.
The only real downside of the Volvo XC30 is its size. It’s a tiny crossover, with only 14 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats. For comparison, the small BMW X1 has 25.7 cubic feet. However, if you look at the EX30 as more of a hatchback than a crossover, it starts to make more sense, especially at its price point.
There will be a more powerful, 422 horsepower dual-motor version, too. Volvo didn’t release a price for that but it’s said to get from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, which is quicker than the i4 M50’s claimed 3.7 second time.
While the Volvo EX30 is a very different body style than the BMW i4, it seats the same amount of people and has more cargo space, similar power, more range, and a similar charging speed for far less money. It also looks better and has a more interesting interior. It likely won’t handle as well, as Volvo’s typically lean toward comfort instead of sportiness, the i4 becomes a hard sell for EV buyers if its only advantage is sportier handling. Unfortunately, BMW doesn’t sell the excellent iX1 here in the ‘States, so the Bavarians can only blame themselves if small EV crossovers/hatchbacks like the Volvo EX30 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 start taking off while BMW is left behind.