The newly revealed Volvo EX30 looks like it could be one of the very best electric car values on the market. Unfortunately for U.S. buyers, there’s no BMW equivalent in America. In Europe, the BMW iX1 isn’t exactly an EX30 fighter, as it’s a bit bigger and more expensive but it’s the closest thing BMW has. So let’s take a look at how the BMW iX1 compares to the new Volvo EX30, in terms of design and interior.

Obviously, we can’t compare how these two cars drive. The BMW iX1 isn’t available in the U.S., so we can’t test it, and the Volvo EX30 was just unveiled five minutes ago, so no one’s driven it yet. However, we can compare their designs, their interiors, and how their tech looks. So let’s check it out.

Up Front

The BMW iX1 has one of the best faces of any modern Bimmer, with sensibly sized and shaped grilles, slick headlights, and a handsome front bumper. However, the Volvo EX30 takes the ‘W’ here. The way Volvo ditched the front grille without looking empty is brilliant, its headlights feature a digital-looking version of Volvo’s fantastic signature “Thor’s Hammer” headlights, and the tallest points of its front fenders are above the wheel center lines, which is how proper front haunches are supposed to be. It’s a near-perfect electric crossover front end.

From the Side

Again, the BMW iX1 is one of the brand’s best looking crossovers, especially from the side. It’s sleek, sporty, and even a bit muscular looking. While it’s a bit generic, and would probably pass as a Hyundai or KIA design, it’s handsome and well designed. However, I gotta give it to the Volvo again. It’s just so perfectly proportioned, has a sleek roofline, and features cool fender flares. The ones up front remind me of the Range Rover Evoque (a compliment) and the rear ones are boxy and create powerful looking rear haunches. The iX1 is good looking but the Volvo is great looking.

Out Back

I feel like I’m repeating myself but the iX1 also features a nice looking butt, one that’s better than almost every other BMW SUV, perhaps better than every BMW SUV. Its taillights are simple and slim but handsome and the rear spoiler looks sporty. Again, though, it’s the Volvo that takes it. The way its taillight start in the C-pillar, disappear through the rear haunches, and the appear again in the rear quarter panel is very cool. It’s just so much more visually interesting.


So far this comparison has been a bit of a beating, however the BMW iX1 does fight back inside. Its cabin is really good, with really nicely laid out ergonomics, good technology, a ton of storage space, great seats, and a driver-focused cabin. The Volvo EX30’s cabin is really good and I’m a big fan but I get why folks might not love its ultra-minimalist approach. To me, Volvo does minimalism wonderfully, far better than brands like Tesla, as it’s simple but also premium looking. I also really like Volvo’s idea to ditch door speakers for a dash-mounted sound bar, as it eliminates the complexity of door speakers and wiring for something simpler. That’s a cool cost-cutting measure. However, I totally appreciate why many customers would prefer BMW’s more traditional approach. So it’s a tie here.


This is a clear win for the Volvo but that’s not an indictment of the BMW iX1. In fact, I’m a big fan of the iX1. However, the Volvo EX30 is just so damn good looking and one of the sharpest EV designs on the market, second maybe only to the Hyundai Ioniq 5. BMW needs to take a page out of Volvo’s book on how to design EVs because I’m not sure anyone’s doing it better right now.