Volvo EX30 detailed review/opinion

All Volvo EX30 related discussions
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Post by SP1959 »

It's good to see a post that doesn't concentrate on problems. Some readers to this forum might see only faults and bugs and think the EX30 is a bad car.

Prior to buying my EX30, have never driven a Tesla, or any EV, having moved from a manual pure petrol car.

This review highlights one thing for me. We are all different. We all drive differently and have different needs and priorities. We have different desires and expectations from our cars. One reviewers opinions may be completely different from another's, but they are both valid.

With that in mind, I would make the following comments in response to ex30nl's observations

## Bugs

I totally agree

## Locking / unlocking

I have the "ideal" situation. My wife uses the key fob, and it works perfectly every time. Hasn't failed to unlock on aporoach ever.

I prefer the key card. No messing round with Farraday pouches, no bulky lumps in my pocket.

However, seeing that some people have problems with the key fob, back up buttons might be an unfortunate omission.

## Tailgate

Mine works perfectly.

## GPS

Mine is always correct.

## One pedal drive

I agree that it was really stupid decision to make the car act differently depending on if you are wearing a seat belt. For drivers used to OPD this is totally unexpected behaviour, and an accident waiting to happen - caused entirely by Volvo's programming the car to move off before you have instructed it to do so.

ex30nl thought that the OPD deceleration was too light and insufficient to bring the car to a total stop in normal driving conditions, and also, when slowing down for a curve it doesn't slow down quick enough, requiring some use of the brakes. I disagree. For me it is just right. However I do agree that drivers with a more sporty driving style would want the OPD effect to be stronger. I agree that there should be a choice of setting - normal/high or even low/medium/high in the settings menu.

## Center display

I agree with ex30nl, but... When I am driving and wabt to change the temperature settings, I don't have to press any buttons. I talk to the car ("OK Google...") and the temperature changes without ne taking my eyes off the road ir my hand off the wheel.

Also, what is with the gear selection indication on the screen. When you get in it displays R-P-D. Then when you select "R" or "D" it shows R-N-D. What is with the "N"? EVs don't have a neutral. You cannot engage the "N", just move past it between "R" and "D" . Its like an obsolete throw back to an obsolete ICE automatic.

## Charging cable

As I have never used it, I won't add any comment.

## Charging features #1

I disagree with ex30ml here. I do not need a motor driven charging flap. More cost to make and more software to bug. After all, when I want to charge the car I have to get out, walk to the charger and activate it, lift the cable and carry it to the socket where I have to plug it in. I am then quite capable of opening the flap manually. In my view, automatic opening would be needless form over function, trying to be different without improving the driver experience.

I like that it flaps out not up. If I drive off with it open (Can I? I don't know), I will see it in the mirror. Maybe the wind resistance will even close it for me.

The rubber covers - I want them - especially the lower 2 pin DC one for CCS plugs. When my car is sitting parked outside in the rain on overnight charging with the Type 2 charger plugged in, I want to know that the 2 pins for DC (which are not covered by the Type 2 plug) are being kept dry. Maybe it is not necessary, but it is comforting.

## Charging features #2

I have never used a street charger, but I agree completely.

## Mirrors while parking

I agree here. I my opinion, this is the worst fault in the design. I included it my response to a Volvo survey, though naturally I didn't get a reply.

When parking beside a kerb in the street, you need to be able to see if you are 10cm, 5cm or 0cm from that alloy-scuffing kerb.

The camera view is too small and too distorted to be any real use for such a small measurement.

My last car had it, and in 5 years I didn't get a single scratch on the wheels.

## Shifting gears

I haven't found this to be an issue.

## Pedal response curve

I haven't found this to be an issue.

## Pilot assist

(There is NO sound at all for activating or de-activating Pilot assist) --- I agree.

(There is NO sound when it degrades from green "full" mode to orange TACC) --- I agree, a warning that ACC is slowing you down below your selected speed because you are now following a slower moving vehicle would be really good, then you could decide if you want to follow the vehicle in front at a slower speed, or go for an overtake.

(The force to override the auto steering is so low you easily cancel it) --- I agree.

(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.) --- I disagree here. I often want to change by 5mph or 10mph. One or two clicks is all it takes. I very rarely want to change by only 1 our 2 mph. Why make it harder to do the change I want in order to make it easier to do the one I rarely want? (I have never tried the long press for 1mph. It's easier just to use the right foot to increase speed by 1 mph, then 2 downward presses on the ACC control to cancel and then reset the ACC does that job just as well.)

(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) --- I haven't noticed this one.

## Wipers

I haven't found this to be an issue really, it's not needed that often.

## API access

My OHME Home Pro charger needs API access to work to its full potential, and there is no API access.

## Car wash mode

I hand wash so I have never used car washmode.

## Bluetooth

I agree here.

## Driver alert monitoring

ex30nl makes the statement/suggestion - "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"

All I can about this suggestion is that it is absolute rubbish.

EU regulations (and regulations in many non-EU contries too) have mandated certain safety devices (including headlights, brakelights, speedometers, seat belts, air bags etc). Nearly all are non-optional. In the case of some of the newer, more intrusive, higher-tech systems the EU had allowed for a driver 'opt-out". This opt-out cannot be by default, it must be made individually for each system for each journey (ie to opt out of 3 systems, it would require 3 unique button presses each journey). Furthermore, in the event of a serious collision (eg - air bag activation) the vehicle will retain information so that (provided the laws of the relevant country allow it) collision investigators will be able establish if any safety features had been disabled prior to the collision, and may then take that information into account when establishing responsibility and liability.

es30nl's suggestion clearly breaches EU regulations and would render the sale and use of the car in the EU unlawful.

It would also in effect be a deliberate software bug that always deactivates all the safety systems on every car irrespective of the drivers' wishes (except when in reverse). Imagine the forum complaints that would generate!

## Steering wheel buttons

Fair enough.

## Audio volume when exiting car

I'm not sure what the issue is here. You get out of the car and lock it, and the media switches off. Who cares if it switches off when you open the door or lock the door?

## A/C temperature setting

This does not appear to be an issue to me.
Most of us can't accurately estimate the temperature of the car in degrees by how it feels. If its too cold, we turn it up. Ifs too warm we turn it down. The number isn't very relevant.

## User manual

I agree.

I like paper, but it would be out of date at the next software update. However, as mentioned elsewhere on this forum, a full PDF manual for each software version would be great - we could then read it from end to end if we wanted.

## Tesla goodies

The only suggestion that would interest me in this section is a built in dashcam.

Good stuff

## Driving comfort

I agree.

## Build quality and Design

I agree.

## Mirrors

I agree.

## Center display

I agree.

## Charge port

I can't agree here.

75 countries drive on the left (with the drivers seat on the right). According to Wikipedia, thay account for about a sixth of the world's land area, a quarter of its roads, and about a third of its population. (Including the two most populous countries in the world (India and China - home of Geely), and also Australia, Cyprus, Japan, Malta, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and even the US Virgin Islands.) For these people the charging flap is not on the drivers side.

It would appear that most EX30 drivers keep the charging cable in the 'frunk' not the 'trunk', nowhere near the charging flap.

Many EX30 drivers have no access to Tesla Superchargers in their area and don't care about compatibility with Tesla.

However there is nothing wrong with it being where it is, and being at the back is much better (in my view) than being at the front as you can reverse into charging spaces and then face out while charging.

## Always-on car

I agree here.
2024 EX30 Ultra - single motor - extended range - Onyx Black (UK)

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Post by Ste007 »

Reverse - Neutral - Drive
EV do have and need a neutral gear. My understanding is that neutral is a requirement in some conveyor type car washes and would be a necessity if the car ever needed to be towed. It is not easy to select accidentally.
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Post by kildare »

SP1959 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 10:08 am What is with the "N"? EVs don't have a neutral. You cannot engage the "N", just move past it between "R" and "D" . Its like an obsolete throw back to an obsolete ICE automatic.
Neutral gear actually can be selected and is crucial in some situations, like towing the car.
You can select the neutral gear, N, by moving the gear selector to the first position, in either direction, and holding it there for a couple of seconds. The stalk always returns to its middle position between gear selections. ... 6870d1a409
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Post by SP1959 »

I stand corrected about neutral.

Thanks for enlightening me.
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Post by alphahere »

SP1959 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 10:08 am
Also, what is with the gear selection indication on the screen. When you get in it displays R-P-D. Then when you select "R" or "D" it shows R-N-D. What is with the "N"? EVs don't have a neutral. You cannot engage the "N", just move past it between "R" and "D" . Its like an obsolete throw back to an obsolete ICE automatic.
The all elusive 'N'. Until I figured in order to go into N, you have to move the stalk one click and hold it there a few seconds. Otherwise it just keeps switching between D and R.
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Post by ex30nl »

Hi SP1959, thanks for your extensive reply. And as you said is indeed totally true; everybody uses a car in their own unique way, ideally the manufacturer caters for the most common useage patterns by offering sensible settings.

Only thing i want to put into perspecitve is about my idea for bypassing the safety systems (not because i don't like safety but because they are often implemented badly and can end up increasing irritation and decreasing safety). I was not suggesting the idea of the gear stalk to be implemented for everyone. On the steering wheel buttons there is already a freely definable action button which you can assign to disable speed alerts. What i'm suggesting is to also enable the gear selector to be defined as a shortcut button so it can do the same thing. The button on the steering wheel is already legal, so i don't see why it won't be legal to have another button, in this case one with 2 functions in 1; selecting your gear and disable speed warnings at the same time. There is no legal difference if before you start driving you press one button or you press the other to disable speed alerts?

Sure, it's creative thinking, but do think it would be cool to have 8-)

And i don't know 100% for sure but i believe other brands also have these kind of shortcut buttons which can do multiple actions with 1 press (disable both speed alerts and lane assist for example). Kia, Renault and BMW might have this IIRC.

I would love to see a representative research from EU if safety requirements like this really help or are indeed done so badly (because doing it right is HARD) that majority of people either disable them or are distracted by them lowering their attentiveness instead of increasing it.
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Post by ex30nl »

SP1959 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 10:08 am
## Car wash mode

I hand wash so I have never used car washmode.
I also hand wash, but i'm used to use car wash mode in my Tesla because it makes sure everything is OK for washing.

And good to know regarding washing; as per the manual you should also avoid mechanical carwash for the first months to allow the paint to fully harden and not be damaged.
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Post by andrewollason »

Took delivery the other day and this is our first EV so lots of new technology to get used to. Your review makes for interesting reading. My initial impression is that the EX30 is an impressive drive. Easy to get along with and comfortable with it. We are coming from a diesel 2010 Mercedes so quite a change in style and technology.
The fact that we could both get behind the wheel of the Volvo and feel comfortable straight away says a lot. We tried a few ev’s and didn’t much like most of them. The Mercedes EQA came close but a lot of that was the familiar environment. The driving experience with the Volvo is very placid and reassuring which builds confidence. The HMI is good if a little daunting at first but then all new tech is a bit like that.
Not noticed many of the reported ‘bugs’.
The speed recognition is a bit random, not sure if it’s the camera or google messing about. I suspect google or software as my 2016 Ford gets the signs ok.
The proximity key seems a bit of a faff but the phone app is good and lets you unlock remotely. Will be nice once the iPhone digital key arrives.
Not sure Apple play is that much of a loss for us as we have used that in the past to get the active satnav.
We are not using the Volvo charging lead but I see what you mean, it’s a monster. Gave up trying to get it into the sandwich box under the bonnet.
Can’t be too critical at the moment as most things are down to finger trouble. Will see how we go over the coming weeks.
I don’t know what they were smoking when they decided to make it so fast though. My goodness it’s quick of the mark!
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Post by kildare »

andrewollason wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 4:07 pm I don’t know what they were smoking when they decided to make it so fast though. My goodness it’s quick of the mark!
Just like the sister Smart#3 BRABUS...;)
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Post by SP1959 »

Hi ex30nl.

I must say that I thought you did a very fair reveiw (even though I didn't agree with every point - but then two people never will) and a review that was badly needed as so much of this forum concentrates on the bugs (of which there are quite a few, and which can really bug those that have them) and not the really good things, of which there are many.

Got you now, you hadn't mentioned using the programable button in your review, which is what confused me.

Sorry about my over-reaction.

I also got a reply on my neutral gear comment.

That got me thinking about your idea. I believe that under the EU regs, if you unlock the car you could de-activate the optional safety features and they could stay unlocked until you lock the car again.

I also realised that the programable button could have up to 4 different functions, according to when it was pressed:

1: Normal use if pressed when the car is being driven.

2: Use 2 if pressed when the car is in "N".

3: Use 3 if pressed when the car is in "P".

4: Use 4 if pressed when the car is in "R".

If the software had this included, you could unlock, make all your required changes by pressing the programable button (still in "N"), move to "R", press the programable button, press "P", pressing the programable button, move to "D" and off you go, set up till you lock up.

Personally I think what is really missing is the ability to use the programable button to swap vetween pilot assist (ACC) and the speed limiter.
2024 EX30 Ultra - single motor - extended range - Onyx Black (UK)
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