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HomeFeaturesFirst look at the new Volvo EX30 in South Africa – Photos

First look at the new Volvo EX30 in South Africa – Photos

The new Volvo EX30 has finally landed in South Africa after being unveiled to the world in June last year.

The fashionable crossover is one of Volvo’s most important cars to date as it is the Swedish automaker’s most attainable electric vehicle (EV) and will play a key role in attracting new customers to the brand and growing its market share in the ever-expanding electric industry.

It has already proven to be a solid success in South Africa with over 150 pre-orders placed in the last seven-odd months, with the strong demand allowing Volvo’s local subsidiary to secure a total of 500 EX30 units from its parent company for our showrooms.

This has put South Africa within the top 10 markets in the wider Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.

For those interested, there are five variants of the EV to choose from stretching from a low of R775,900 up to R995,900.

A lesson in packaging

The EX30 is a small SUV measuring just 4,233mm long, 1,837mm wide, and 1,555mm tall but it expertly uses the space it has available.

The interior packaging is nothing short of genius as Volvo designed it in such a way that it gives passengers every possible millimetre of room that is available.

The few physical controls present such as the window switches, USB ports, and 12.3-inch infotainment system, as well as the wireless phone charger, are all centralised so as to avoid having to route wires throughout the cabin and compromise on space.

As a result, the only things you’ll find on the doors are sturdy metal handles, a floating armrest, and deep storage pockets.

The gear shifter now takes the form of a stalk behind the steering wheel, and there is no dedicated driver’s display as all the necessary info such as your speed, gear, and remaining range are shown in the top section of the middle screen.

There is, however, a small panel behind the steering wheel with sensors for the driver drowsiness monitor and other in-cabin systems.

The floating centre console hides an expandable cupholder that can be turned into a storage tray, another covered storage binnacle is positioned below it right behind two phone holders, and the rear bench has its own storage area in between the front seats that can be removed if it gets too full – and when you do take it out, you’ll see a depiction of Sweden’s national animal, the Moose, in a countryside.

A fixed panoramic sunroof additionally provides an airy atmosphere while aiding in headroom for taller occupants, and the seats make full use of the ample vertical area inside the cabin to cover support back completely while being slim enough to not impede on practicality.

Even in the boot, which can swallow 318 litres, there is a little “Will It Fit?” diagram that shows you how much cargo you’ll be able to cram back there before the tailgate refuses to close.

The front trunk, however, is one of the smallest I’ve seen in an EV thus far.

Next-gen electric Volvo

The EX30 is quite clever, too.

It comes with an all-new infotainment interface that is far more intuitive (and better looking) than those found in its pricier siblings like the XC40 and XC60, running on Google’s latest Automotive Services software with abilities such as Apple CarPlay, Spotify, YouTube Music, voice control, real-time traffic info, and automatic rerouting.

Tunes are played through a nine-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo with a total output of 1,040W, headlined by an edge-to-edge soundbar situated right below the windshield on the dash.

There are five interior “mood lights” to suit your emotional state of being, namely Archipelago, Forest Bath, Midsummer, Nordic Twilight, and Northern Light.

Focused on safety, the EX30 brings no fewer than 11 advanced assistance systems including but not limited to intelligent speed assist, lane-change assist, park pilot assist, a 360-degree camera with 3D view, oncoming lane mitigation, and front cross-traffic alert with auto brake.

Furthermore, the new door open alert feature won’t let you open the door if it senses an oncoming cyclist or pedestrian until they have passed.

On top of this, the Volvo boasts digital key support that enables the owner to use their smartphone to access it, and the digital key can also be shared with up to four other people without relinquishing master control.

There is also an all-new app that was developed specifically for the EX30 that enables drivers to lock/unlock the doors, close the windows, locate the vehicle if they’ve forgotten where they parked it, schedule over-the-air software updates, and adjust the maximum charging level.

Looks-wise, this Swedish machine is like nothing else on the market today and that’s a good thing.

Its design is accentuated by intricate LED lighting fixtures on all four corners with fascinating animations – the headlights wink as you approach them – and the stout proportions paired with a low hood, raised tail, flared fenders, angular surfaces, and 18 to 19-inch alloy wheels lend it a sporty demeanour.

The interior is equally attractive and minimalistic, featuring an abundance of recycled materials in the pursuit of minimising the EV’s carbon footprint.

The carpet is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and the Denim Decor in certain models consists of 50% recycled denim fibres while the Flax & Particle Decor consist of 30% “recycled content.” Even the black bumpers are 30% recycled.

My only concern with the EV revolves around the durability of the eco-friendly door and dash inserts.

These have a distinctive rubbery look and feel to them but I am worried that they may start showing wear and tear quicker than something like leather or plastic and become shiny where your hands will regularly rub against them, such as around the interior door handles. Only time will tell, I guess.

A lesser perturbance is the fact that leg room in the backseat isn’t the best owing to the EX30’s short footprint and large battery pack beneath the floorboards which will likely result in discomfort on longer journeys but should be fine for a quick jaunt around town.

EX30 availability

A spokesperson for Volvo’s domestic wing confirmed to TopAuto that the first EX30 customer cars are expected to arrive in early April and that stock should be much more readily available now than a few years ago at the height of the semiconductor crisis.

There will still be an “initial backlog to work through” – meaning that buyers who place their order today will only receive their rides around June/July – but thereafter, the EX30 should be easily obtainable without too long of a wait.

It’s also worth noting that the EX30 will not be replacing Volvo’s other entry-level EV, the XC40 Recharge.

Rather, the electric XC40 and C40 models will be rebadged as the EX40 and EC40 in the near future, respectively, and therefore represent the next step up in Volvo’s EV stable.

Volvo EX30 South African launch


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