Phew! The future of Volvo still has wagons in it | Top Gear
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Saturday 2nd December

Phew! The future of Volvo still has wagons in it

The EX30 is a weeny SUV that’ll bring new people to Volvo. But not at the expense of its bread and butter

Published: 22 Jun 2023

You could fairly identify Volvo as an SUV brand nowadays. Most of its sales are in that market and its most significant new model in some time – the EX30 – is unmistakably crossover shaped. We’re delighted to report its estate cars remain safe, though.

"Volvo is not a company that disregards it heritage," says its head of global offer, Warren Davidson. "SUVs are extremely important to us but they’re not the only part of what we do. We’ve done beautiful wagons for years."

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The latest generation Volvos sit atop a scalable Geely platform that brings both the flexibility and economies of scale that’ll keep the kind of cars we love viable for production. Expect a fully electric wagon in the near future, too.

"Some of our competitors have moved away from this kind of car but we still see a strong market for it," adds head of strategy Erik Severinson, who also claims those economies of scale are what’s given the EX30 such a low entry price.

"The EX30 will bring a lot of people into a Volvo for the first time," Erik says. But does it have to be an SUV to achieve that reach? "Generally, SUVs are the big sales trend. The family car is an SUV in most places in the world and Volvo is a family brand."

That also means reframing the wild 3.6sec 0-62mph time of the top-spec EX30 Twin Motor – Volvo’s quickest ever car. "We have amazing acceleration in an EV that’s small and light. But if performance also encompasses other things – top speed, sharp handling – this is not a performance car.

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"Polestar is positioned to a different customer who looks at acceleration alongside other factors. But this is a true Volvo. Acceleration is important from a safety point of view for quickly overtaking another car. We don’t see it as contradictory to our safety heritage."

So does the existence of Polestar allow Volvos to be more, well, ‘Volvo’? "Yeah, I think so," says Erik. "A Volvo is a family car. We care about people, the planet and personal mobility. We don’t have performance in our purpose, in that sense. Polestar offers a different thing. We can be more ‘Volvo’ if we’re not focusing on those customers."

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