Top Gear recently sent the new Volvo EX30 to duke it out with every other ~£35,000 ($44,200) electric crossover available in the UK. With comparisons aimed squarely at young couples or small families, this head-to-head competition focuses primarily on comfort, ergonomic design, interior space and ride quality. 

The Volvo EX30 immediately stands out from the pack by having the highest quality cabin materials and build quality. Ollie Marriage, Head of Car Testing at Top Gear Magazine, describes the interior as “a work of art”. The seats, air vents and even the door handles are all elegantly designed and are the “best-quality cabin here by a country mile.” 

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The Volvo EX30

With 275 miles EPA estimated range and 270 hp, the Volvo EX30 is a great new entry into the compact crossover segment. Top Gear's review team was most impressed by the smooth, quiet ride and well-thought-out interior.

Volvo_EX30_VapourGrey_02

Range numbers are solid with 298 miles of WLTP estimated range (275 miles EPA) for the single-motor trim. 

Performance is no slouch either. The EX30 has 270 hp and a 5.3 second 0-60 time in its single-motor configuration. There is also an optional twin-motor configuration, but Ollie suggests sticking with the single-motor. While there is a bit of body roll in the turns, the EX30 has a smooth ride and very little road noise. 

Smart #1 Pro (2023)

One of the more interesting competitors featured is the Smart #1, a joint project between Mercedes and Chinese firm Geely. With Volvo being owned by Geely, the EX30 is actually based on the same platform as the Smart #1. They share the same batteries and chassis, although the Volvo has a much better ride. 

The Smart has a lot of personality on the inside, with a well-designed, user-friendly cabin. Despite the Smart’s reputation for being small, this is the heaviest crossover of the bunch and has the most rear seat space. One correction, the reviewer states that the car has only 193 miles of range, but this seems to be a mistake since the WLTP estimated range is 273 miles

Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2021)

The Renault Megane is a size up from the EX30. The interior build quality is quite good, although not as smartly designed as the Volvo. Ollie criticizes the many buttons, three gear stalks on the right of the steering wheel, and protruding elements in the dash.

But more buttons are not always a bad thing. The steering wheel paddles for adjusting regen braking are a nice addition. The driving experience is described as more refined than the Volvo with less body roll and superior braking, even if the brakes are a tad touchy.

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The other cars discussed in passing did not make quite the same impression on the reviewer.  The Stellantis corporation triplets were the DS3 E-Tense, Peugeot 2008 and the Jeep Avenger.  They all share the same 50 kWh battery and the 150 hp motor. Of the three, the Avenger was crowned the best for being more attractive inside and out and much easier to operate.

As far as the BYD Atto 3, the Top Gear team had very few positive comments to share. The interior's “guitar-string door pockets”, “nasty air vents” and cutesy door handles are called out as gimmicky for the £37,500 price ($47,356). By comparison, the MG4 hatchback was a much better value, starting at under £30,000 for the standard range battery. 

For those wanting a practical, reliable vehicle with no frills, the Kia E-Niro will fit the bill. But Ollie prefers the Hyundai Kona since it is just as practical, but with a simpler, more functional cabin and an extended-battery option.    

In the end, Ollie narrowed it down to three of his favorite options. “If you’re a young family, have either the Renault or the Smart. Either of them will do you proud. If there’s just two of you, have the Volvo and you can coo over the quality together.” 

As far as his personal pick? “I’d have that EX30. It’s a good car.”

Gallery: 2025 Volvo EX30 First Drive

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