Volvo EX30 detailed review/opinion

All Volvo EX30 related discussions
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Post by ex30nl »

Disclaimer: my other car is a Tesla Model 3 Long Range 2019. I am not a Tesla fanboy; Tesla makes some VERY strange decisions, but they also do a lot right as they have a "fresh" look at how a car of the future should be. So the Tesla will be my comparison car.

Software version at point of writing: 1.3.1
EX30 trim; White, Plus edition, Rear wheel, Extended range (SMER)


Lots of small software bugs are still present with the car. If you are not the type of person "i paid xxxxx for this car, it should be purrrrfect!" then you should be able to live with these, assuming Volvo will fix them in a steady pace. I think most new cars will have their share of quirks, i'm happy that the EX30 should be a real "OTA updates" car which means you don't have to go back to the dealer and just click a button on your phone and enjoy new and improved features (for free!). I do hope Volvo will be at least 30% like Tesla and regularly update the car for the years to come and not be like "old car manufacturer" way of seeing a car as "basically finished" (read: almost abandoned) once the model hits the streets. If they find a good balance in this, i think it's somewhat acceptable that there are initial shortcomings.

## Locking / unlocking

In the "ideal" situation the car will "see" you when you walk toward it, greet you with the light pattern, and unlock. If you walk away it will then lock again. When it works like that it's nice, but there are a lot of times it won't work as good. Either the car won't see you, or will only see you after a considerable delay, or after you "touch" the inside of the doorhandle for some time. For example, if you are busy around the car but don't enter it, it will initially open and then lock again as you don't enter it, but if you then do want to enter it, good luck in getting it unlocked.

What doesn't help at all is that the transponder doesn't have any buttons on it. You are totally dependent on the presence detection for it to work. Why didn't Volvo just ALSO put buttons on it?! The same goes for when the other passengers are already at the car and you are not there yet; no way to open the car without walking up to it (fumbling with your phone for a minute doesn't count)

## Tailgate

The tailgate button will refuse to open the trunk pretty often; some days you have it every time, other days it works fine. The car itself unlocks, but you can't open the trunk unless you do so by pressing the button on the screen. Also; you need to hold the on-screen button for a few seconds before it will work. I think this is done as a safety measure, but in my opinion if you are in Park mode it should open immediately. The button itself seems just fine; i think it's a software/firmware bug

Half-bug; Volvo please offer at least an optional paid kick sensor

## GPS

Sometimes the GPS position shown on the map will be wrong; this happens if you start to drive the car. It seems to correct itself after some time, or if you park and re-enter the car again after a short stop.

## One pedal drive

If you like sudden surprises which might bump you into another car don't read on. But someone at Volvo in their infinite wisdom and search for "safety" has thought that if you have One pedal drive active, but you don't have your seatbelt on, that this will DEACTIVATE One pedal drive and will activate Crawl mode for your convenience. An ideal situation for this is the following; you have parked your car, get out and see it could benefit from a small correction, quickly you jump back in the car, put it into drive and.... the car starts rolling on it's own! Trust me, this is NOT pleasant if it happens to you.

The same, although in lesser extent, goes for reversing with One pedal drive active; then Crawl mode is always active - why, i don't know... At least make it a setting so people can choose to reverse the way they want.

Room for improvement

## Keyless entry

Why make a transponder without any physical buttons on it? It's certainly large enough for it to have lock/unlock and tailgate buttons. Now you are totally dependent on the proximity detection and that will not work perfectly in every situation. Another common case where a button is way better is when other passengers are already at the car and you can't open it for them with a click (and don't tell me you could do this with your phone; it takes too long for it to be a valid option for not having a simple button on the remote)

## One pedal drive

The One pedal drive has a very mild deceleration if you let go of the pedal. It's not enough to bring the car to a total stop in normal driving conditions. Sure; you can bring it to a full stop, but it takes way too much time/distance and forces you to also use the brakes. Also, when slowing down for a curve it doesn't slow down quick enough and you still have to use the brakes.

With my Tesla you can drive (almost) without using the brake pedal. You only really need it when there's an unexpected circumstance or when you are driving more "spirited". Driving like this is really nice once you get used to it, and you can get used to it within days. Once you are used to how it can be, the way it's done in the Volvo feels like a half-assed implementation. Maybe they did it like this to not "scare" dinojuice drivers coming over to EV, but then at least make it a setting of normal/high

## Center display

The display is OK, but it could benefit from some UI optimalizations;
- Switch the speed and gear selection; this way the speed is about 2cm closer to the drivers view. By the way, all the people claiming "why no HUD" now also have 2cm less "room" to complain about. I was used to the speed being where it is within a day in my Tesla; please TRY it before complaining....
- The temperature can't be changed without opening a screen (so 1 click extra), but the seat heaters CAN be changed without an extra click. I think this is not how it should be, as about half of the year i don't even use seat heaters
- No way to activate rear window heater without extra clicks
- Viewing of driving economics/trip meter takes way too many clicks
- (there is way more to mention but this is a start of some obvious things)

## Charging cable

OK... the results are in; Volvo has won the challenge for designing the absolute heaviest and most chonky AC charge cable. The cable is so thick and therefore inflexible and difficult to handle - who has approved this? Maybe they chose to just have 1 cable, regardless of if you have the 11kW or 22kW optional on-board charger? And the connectors also seem to be filled with lead. The quality looks fine, but for something you are going to handle a lot this is not really a joy to use. I believe it's 5m long; i rather have it 1m longer for situations where you cannot park your car close to the charger outlet (this often happens in one way streets or small/cramped parking spots)

## Charging features

I don't understand it; when you have an EV you are charging more often then you were when filling up gas in a previous car. So you use the charge port more often and it could benefit of optimization for this. And EV manufacturers try to make their EV models "futuristic". Then WHY use a manually operated charge port door and WHY use protective caps on the connectors? This might seem like i'm whining, but when you are used to how Tesla does it, you have gotten a taste of the "future" and then this feels like a step back.

For reference what Tesla does right; the port opens UPwards, so the big and bulky charge door is not sticking out the side of your car. It will open with a motor; you can open it on the screen before you get out, you can open it with a light touch of the charge port door (it's touch sensitive), you can open it with the button on your charging cable and you can open it from your app. Also when you remove the charging cable after charging is finished, it will close itself automatically. With Volvo (and most other brands) all this is done manually, and as an extra punishment you must also fumble to get the protective covers off and on the ports again. Somehow Tesla doesn't seem to need these covers, so why does Volvo need them? The charge port door has a rubber gasket on it so it's sealed of nicely you would think.

## Charging features #2

OK... this is REALLY stupid, but you can't view how fast you are charging (the Amps drawn). Anyone with an electric car can tell you that it's a must have to see if you for example get the 11kW from the street charger so it will charge at the speed you expect it to or that it is charging slower. Or with a fast charger if you are at a broken stall and should move a spot. Volvo will only tell you a time to completion... You should see the charging speed prominently both in the car and in the app. Tesla even shows you have many "kilometers per hour" you are charging with; also a good thing to know.

Also, the limiting of the charge current should be available to be set/updated from within the app.

## Mirrors while parking

My Tesla has a setting to tilt down the mirrors a bit when you put the car in reverse. This tilts the mirrors down just enough so you can see your rear tire and rim so you can see what you are doing and this way prevent rim damages and park way more easily.

## Shifting gears

To shift from Drive to Reverse and back requires you to put your foot on the brake pedal. In a Tesla you can just shift to reverse without the brake pedal, but only under a certain speed limit. When parking, when you shift gears a few times from D to R and back this way it's WAY easier to operate. I can evey keep my foot on the throttle in the same position and go seamless from D to R and back. Once you have experienced this, you really miss it as it is a way smoother and quicker way to shift gears while parking.

## Pedal response curve

The pedal response curve could be optimized some more. It could benefit from some more "room" at the lower end of drive and reverse throttle so you can drive more smoothly and make small adjustments more easily and predictably.

Also with One pedal drive the curve could be optimized some more so you can more easily and predictably control the deceleration of the car. (alongside with more agressive regenerative braking!)

## Pilot assist (or Tesla Auto Pilot "lite")

I have not used the Pilot assist feature that much, but i'm a heavy user of Auto Pilot. What i find strange;
- There is NO sound at all for activating or de-activating Pilot assist - why?
- There is NO sound when it degrades from green "full" mode to orange TACC
- The force to override the auto steering is so low you easily cancel it
- You change the set speed in increments of 5km with the buttons on the wheel. To change the set speed in 1km steps you need to HOLD the button. Good luck to try to make a 1km adjustment. I would find it WAY more obvious if it would work the other way around
- It doesn't really make clear to the driver when it "gives up" the automatic driving; often you only notice it because you start to get out of your lane too much

With Tesla Auto Pilot i have seen it gradually improve in the last years, although sometimes it got worse for some time and it still has it's quirks. I hope Volvo will manage to do the same...

## Wipers

I have not found a way to use the mist functionality for the rear wiper; you basically need to press the button twice (not a biggie).

## API access

There was a Volvo API access to allow access to your car data and controls from other systems like Home Assistant. But for EX30 this is not compatible anymore.... Why??? And will there be a new API and how long will it take?

## Car wash mode

Still a bit buggy; i have had a few times when starting a new drive that it prompted me to de-activate the carwash mode i used days ago. Also; it will still fold the mirrors even if you unfolded them manually if the car thinks it needs to lock itself... Also car wash mode need to have a dedicated button on the mode screen to fold/unfold the mirrors

## Bluetooth

Already said a lot of times but re-connecting your phone is hit and miss. And also; why requiring an extra press to Bluetooth devices screen to connect a phone; make it a pop-up when touching the phone area.

## Driver alert monitoring

I believe this is already on the list to fix but it's waaaaaay to sensitive. Also; dim the volume less of the media which is playing when issuing an alert. And change the shortcut steering wheel button so it can do multiple actions like; disable both speed alerts, attentiveness alerts and lane assist.

What would be even cooler; i believe the EU rules dictate that these safety systems need to be activated each new drive. But they may be deactivated by the action of the driver. So why not make this action putting the car into Drive? So that every time you put the car in Drive, it will also be the shortcut action to disable the safety systems; it will be compliant with requiring user action :-)

## Steering wheel buttons

A lot of people complain about the steering wheel buttons. I think they are OK but could use improvement. What's good to know it that (i think) the buttons operate like this; the icons are touch sensitive, so for a button press to register they need to sense your finger on the icon and see a press. Because the buttons are just 1 big piece of plastic it needs to know which icon you touch to know what you want to press.

But what i do find is that changing the volume with the buttons could use some more software optimization. Often you feel like it adjusts the volume too slowly from what you would expect.

Also what i miss is a way to play/pause the media from the steering wheel buttons. Maybe use a long click on "right/next" as play/pause?

## Audio volume when exiting car

When you park the car and open the door the volume of the media stays at the same level, up until you walk away and the car locks. This feel pretty dumb. Once you open a door the volume needs to be muted (like Tesla does this, so it will mute to very quiet initially but then you can still overrule it back to another volume)

## A/C temperature setting

It seems the temperature setting is not calibrated correctly (i have seen it mentioned by reviewers also). Where in other cars you set it to 21, you have to set it to 23 to achieve the same comfort.

## User manual

Believe it or not but some people actually try to read the manual ;-)

The built-in manual is nice and has potential, i however found it a bit basic with no real in-depth explanations of functions like Pilot assist. It also took a lot of clicking around to find all info about certain functions on several pages.

## Tesla goodies

It would be very nice if Volvo would add;

- Chime on green traffic light; not perfect but really nice to have
- Auto cancelling indicator lights (smart). So currently with half a click it will blink 3 times. With Tesla you can set the half click to be "smart", so if you take 10 seconds to change lanes, it will blink for 10 seconds, but if you do it in 5 seconds, it will cancel after 5 seconds, etc. It really works like it should in most cases and you can still do a full click or cancel the signal as you were used to
- Pin to drive: Especially when the Phone key finally arrives; i really like the idea of having a quick to enter pin code before i can switch gears in my Tesla. It offers a lot of extra protection for theft for just a little extra effort for the driver.
- Dashcam using built-in camera (i believe EX30 would only have front camera, but even then its really nice to have)
- Assign a name to your car. Yes it's cool to be able to name your car and see it in the menu and phone app
- Camping mode: activate it to leave A/C on and car unlocked when you leave the car (if people stay in the car and the driver leaves for a short time for example)

Good stuff

## Driving comfort

This car is a dream to drive. It feels very solid and quiet and the suspension is great. Only small downside is that for speedbumps it can be a bit jumpy in the rear. My 2019 Model 3 is now feeling.....meh (first world problems for sure!). Only thing is that for agressive acceleration it feels more confident and planted.

## Build quality and Design

The build quality seems overall great to me. The doors close like a bank vault, the handle to close them feels nice and the big metal unlock handle is a unique and cool design statement. The airvents also look cool and designed, and the button to adjust them may feel a bit flimsy, i think it is however solid and it works fine. The light accents at night are also nicely done (not cheap looking). People complaining "but buttons rule!!!" need to really try a car like a Tesla or EX30 for some time and see you don't really miss anything if the UI and UX has been done right, and what you gain is a way more relaxing and clean interior.

The frunk however locks at 2 places and the rightmost locks less easy (as reported by multiple people).

## Mirrors

The mirrors are cool i think; when adjusting the mirrors the glass doesn't move because it is 1 solid part with the mirror housing. The whole mirror housing will move when you adjust the mirrors. I haven't seen this in any other car but i think it is clever and the mirrors look cleaner because of it.

## Center display

The display is easy to use and while a bit smaller compared to my Tesla it doesn't feel too small in actual use. Also the UI is really quick and fluid.

## Charge port

The location of the charging port is the right one; just like Tesla does it. This makes it easy to use (it's on drivers side, and close to trunk where you get your cable from). Also when using Tesla Superchargers you don't take up 2 places like a lot of other brands make you do.

## Always-on car

Volvo has done this right; the car is always "on" from the moment you enter it until you exit it. No button to start or anything which makes you think back to your dinojuice car.

## Tip on tires

We had the dealer deliver the car with allseason tires; no more swapping and storing tires (and with our Dutch winters a safe option)

## Warranty and maintenance

I like that the car only needs it's first maintenance after 2 years. That's forward thinking with EV's being less dependent on maintenance. Too often you see that you need to bring in your car every year for required maintenance and to keep your warranty, only to discover that the dealer will change each and every filter at it's earliest date and charge you 4-500 (i'm looking at you Kia)

Also we were able to buy extended warranty from Volvo for a reasonable amount.

Not Volvo's fault but points nonetheless

## Spotify

It has logged me out 2 times already

## Vivaldi browser

This browser won't work while driving, off-course because of "safety"... But it feels really dumb like this. Maybe the passenger would like to use the browser while driving - not unsafe at all (for Tesla some games will initially block when driving, but show a button "i'm a passenger). Or at least do it as Tesla; no audio/video will play while driving. So you can still display a website.
Last edited by ex30nl on Tue Jun 25, 2024 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tivver500 »

Very good review and I agree with most of your points.
Have you sent this to Volvo? Or put it on one of the Facebook forums that Volvo monitor?

Keep us posted if you receive any updates please - well done!!
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Post by maxem »

Thanks for the detailed post. This is my first EV, EX30Plus ER, and it's good to see comparisons from people used to drice other EV's.

Luckily most of the stuff you mentioned can be fixed with software updates and I am hopeful Volvo will be like Tesla in that regard. Some of the issues are really annoying like locking/unlocking and one pedal drive without seatbelt. My car is now on version 1.40 and at least the Driver Alert Monitoring can be disabled now.
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Post by andrewex30 »

I haven't experienced all these annoyances, many have, but I find the judgment to be far too harsh. My biggest regret is the panoramic roof and the electric seats (I have the plus version). Can anyone who has a panoramic roof tell me that it is annoying with the scorching summer sun?
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Post by kildare »

andrewex30 wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2024 8:58 am Can anyone who has a panoramic roof tell me that it is annoying with the scorching summer sun?
Under full summer sun here there aren't particular problems with the glass roof regarding the passenger compartment temperature and sun irradiation.
The only caution is not to touch the internal glass surface because it literally burns...
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Post by ex30nl »

Tivver500 wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2024 8:34 am Have you sent this to Volvo? Or put it on one of the Facebook forums that Volvo monitor?
No, but i also have no expectations this should make a difference for Volvo if i submit it or not. If they do really care they would not be dependent on me submitting this but they would also check a forum like this one from time to time and get free input, seems easy to me.

But... that's just me. If someone knows of a good entrance with Volvo then feel free to refer them to this info. I just posted it on this forum because i liked the content i read and thought it would be good to offer detailed experience for prospective buyers.
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Post by ex30nl »

andrewex30 wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2024 8:58 am I haven't experienced all these annoyances, many have, but I find the judgment to be far too harsh. My biggest regret is the panoramic roof and the electric seats (I have the plus version). Can anyone who has a panoramic roof tell me that it is annoying with the scorching summer sun?
I do not mean to be harsh, just compare the car, tell what's good and tell what could be better. Maybe it's not too clear from my review but i really like the car a lot, i'm not writing this to warn other people, just that you may know how it really is to have this car, something you won't get out of a brochure or quick test drive.

I have both panoramic roof and electric seats in my Tesla. The roof is cool, but having to buy the Ultra trim to get it was not something we were prepared to do. And in summer the heat is not a problem. I bought sunshades for it but i never use them. Also keep in mind that roofrack options with panoramic roof are more difficult (at least with Tesla; you clamp it to the edges of the glass and lots of people shattered their roofs!).
Electric seat are nice and i miss them a bit, but on the other hand i don't change seat settings that often. But for a 45k car not to have them is....odd.
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Post by gloucester »

Welcome to this forum.

My brother has just swapped his 2020 Tesla 3 for a new 2024 Tesla 3 - he says it's MUCH improved.

I've only travelled in the back but I can confirm that the rear seat is much better than it was previously.
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Post by AndyP »


Got ALL those and a few more.







Cheers Andy!

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Post by ex30nl »

AndyP wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2024 8:25 pm


Wow, these are no joke. Probably also "just" firmware fixes but problems like these can get you into all kinds of trouble!
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