Today Volvo unveiled the new EX30 electric, sub-compact SUV in Mzansi. It is Volvo’s entry-level electric car at this point in time and features some of the most advanced features the company has put inside a car. What is more intriguing in the pricing, which comes in at a level that is comparable to much smaller EVs in this market.

At 4.2 metres long, 1.8m wide, and 1.5m tall, the EX30 is pretty compact indeed, and will probably feel so for people taller than 1.8m. I sat in the front and rear and was fairly comfortable, being someone shorter than 1.8m. However, those brief moments were memorable, thanks to several interesting bits in the car. Like the dashboard, which is basically devoid of any buttons etc. Common functions are run through the tablet-like touch screen, which controls everything. Not a new industry feature per se; we’ve seen it in the Teslas as well. But it is pretty advanced in this segment. Some of the seat covers are denim, which is very cool.

Plenty of standard features will attract the right target audience, including 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, rear park assist, the heatable steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, 7 airbags and others. Higher models add more features as well.

The five models that go on sale here in Mzansi are the Core Single Motor, Plus Single Motor Extended Range, Ultra Single Motor Extended Range, Plus Twin Motor Performance and the Ultra Twin Motor Performance. We can start at the bottom.

Core makes 200kW and 343Nm of torque to the rear wheels. Volvo says it can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, while it has a 344km range. The Plus Single Motor Extended Range has a bigger battery pack that gives it 476km of range and a sprint time of 5.3 seconds, although power figures are the same as the Core’s. The Ultra Single Motor Extended Range performs the same.

Plus Twin Motor Performance and Ultra Twin Motor Performance have two motors and all-wheel-drive (AWD). Add to that is more power and torque – 315kW and 543Nm respectively -, dropping 0 – 100km/h acceleration to a mere 3.6 seconds and range is 460km. Already performance enthusiasts are excited by these figures, which encroach on the vicinity of serious super cars.

We will make up our own minds once we get behind the wheel of the new Volvo EX30. But if looks and paper details are anything to go by, it is worth a second look. Especially at these launch prices, which will most certainly go up in April or so.

Volvo EX30 Prices

Core Single Motor – R775 900

Plus Single Motor Extended Range – R865 900

Plus Twin Motor Performance – R935 900

Ultra Single Motor Extended Range – R965 900

Ultra Twin Motor Performance – R995 900

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