Currently reading: Volvo EX30 sticks with original infotainment despite criticisms
Software tweaks for delayed European cars were ‘about debugging’, says Volvo, not usability improvements

Volvo is considering revisions to the controversial multimedia software in the new EX30 compact crossover - but not until it has received data and feedback from customers.

The new machine has been largely stripped of physical controls, with most key functions accessed through the large touchscreen. But the functionality of the software was widely criticised by reviewers when the car was launched.

Reports last month suggested that cars were being withheld from customers on European dealer forecourts while key software updates were performed, but the company has told Autocar that these were only detail improvements rather than changes to menu structure or functions accessibility.

Some left-hand-drive cars in European markets were delayed from getting to their owners while software was updated by dealers, Volvo said, but UK customer deliveries (which were always planned for early March, with the country’s registration plate change) haven’t been affected.

In-depth verdicts on the EX30, evaluated on UK roads, are due to appear next week. However, just because the car’s multimedia software is considered ready for customers, it does not mean it won’t continue to improve, according to Akhil Krishnan, global head of small car programs for Volvo.

“The software revision we’ve just rolled out ahead of European deliveries is what we call v1.21,” Krishnan said. “It was mostly about detail refinements, among which was making the car’s low-speed ‘pedestrian safety noise’ slightly quieter, because we had regulatory room to do that.

“Right now, we’re defining exactly what should be in v2.0, which will be offered on customer cars over the air later in 2024. We need more customer data and feedback before we make big decisions about the exact content of it - but we are considering top-level changes to what information can be displayed on the multimedia home screen, and also to the function of driver-customisable shortcut keys.”


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The EX30, Volvo’s first B-segment SUV, is intended to appeal to younger buyers than its existing models. Its interior design majors on the ‘centralisation’ of its secondary controls in order to reduce the number of components needed around the interior, thereby making it a more sustainable car. However, it was widely criticised in preliminary reviews in November 2023 for being too touchscreen heavy.

The car’s physical controls are limited to window switches, door locks and hazard warning buttons, with steering column switches controlling drive selection, indicators and wiper control. Headlight controls, door mirror adjusters, climate controls and driver assistance controls are carried within the multimedia display.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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Volvo go go 24 March 2024

Having had my EX30 now for nearly 3 weeks, the software issues are principally around connectivity. Apparently all EX30s are unable to connect to the internet or Apple car play. Please put pressure on Volvo to resolve asap, simply not good enough!

Peter Cavellini 25 February 2024

There was a time that all the functions you needed were on stalks behind the wheel, they had simple functions,up/ down, backwards /forwards etc, then on the dash your external lights simlpke, but nowadays we haven't got enough room for all the must haves we apparently all need, in days gone by if you had the Radio on you set the channel before you set off, if we must have umpteen functions why not voice operating?, maybe using a heads up display in front of you on the windscreen?, would that not be better?, what's the problems with this?

QuestionEverything 24 February 2024
Matt Saunders is right. I'm an Ergonomist and the lack of physical controls for frequently used features compromises safety. You have to take your eyes off the road ahead to make adjustments and that significantly increases the chance of having an accident. Relegating other controls to buttons on steering wheel instead of stalks on the steering column is also bad design. In moments when you need to make quick decisions and actions having to fumble around to look for a small button on the wheel is going to lead to trouble. You can't quickly feel for the stalk. These are really, really fundamental usability issues that should never have made it to the final design. It's really poor design and it's dangerous. I've no doubt the heavy reliance on touchscreens in cars will lead to fatalities.