Volvo EX30 Follows the Worst Trend in Window Switch Design

Like VW, Volvo is removing separate switches for the rear windows on the driver’s control panel.
Volvo EX30 Window Switches Hero
via Volvo

The 2025 Volvo EX30 is going to be a real winner for folks looking to get into an electric vehicle on a budget. With a base price of $36,145, it’s not quite in Chevy Bolt territory, but it is cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, which makes it a bargain to people cross-shopping the premium segment for something that runs on batteries.

The EX30 gets up to 275 miles of range, has an available 422-horsepower dual-motor trim, and is even rated to fast charge from 10 to 80% in about 26 minutes. There’s not much else you could ask for…except maybe the two window switches that Volvo decided not to include.

Despite having four doors, the Volvo EX30 only has two window switches mounted centrally on the center console. To actuate the rear windows, occupants must first press a button labeled “rear” which tells the car that you intend for the switches to operate the rear windows instead of the front. Volvo isn’t the only automaker to do this either; Volkswagen took the exact same shortcut with the all-electric ID.4.

Officially, Volvo says that the solution helped with aesthetics and space-saving. By foregoing a pair of switches, the designers were able to decrease the amount of space on the center console taken up by the controls.

“We thought it was a good solution,” Lisa Reeves, Volvo’s head of interior design, told The Drive. “Rear windows are low priority and it saved us some space on the center console.”

Another way that Volvo could have saved some space is by putting the window switches in the door, similar to how nearly every other automaker chooses to design their vehicles. After all, it calls its approach to interior design “minimalistic,” and while you can certainly still feel the Scandinavian influence in the car’s design language, let’s be real: minimalistic means cost-cutting. Putting additional switches in the door would mean a higher cost.

We aren’t just paranoid for thinking this, either. A Volvo spokesperson confirmed to The Drive that the move was indeed done with cost-saving in mind.

The EX30 is pretty dang affordable for what you get. At $36,145, it starts at $18,500 less than its bigger electrified brother, the XC40. As such, some compromises needed to be made in various areas. One of those cost-saving measures is to ditch the pair of two-way rocker switches in favor of one push button.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the rear passengers do get their own switch. The EX30 has a pair of rocker switches on the rear of the center console, consistent with the console-mounted front switches.

I know what you’re thinking—surely a window switch can’t cost that much, right? Well, of course. Replacing two of the four switches with a single button couldn’t have saved that much money, but every penny counts when creating an EV that starts at less than $40,000. And with the automaker setting a goal to transition half of its sales volume to EVs by mid-decade (which isn’t far off, mind you), it will need every bit of help to stay profitable as it builds economies of scale.

We can all agree that removing physical buttons from a car is one of the most obtrusive ways for an automaker to cut costs. While there is a certain styling benefit to having a sleek, minimalist interior, people still like the option to have physical buttons. Plus, some automakers believe that it’s safer than using a touchscreen.

Meanwhile, companies like Tesla have removed nearly all physical buttons that aren’t federally regulated. We’re talking about everything from the glovebox to the door handles, and the automaker isn’t done yet. Its upcoming Model 3 refresh, codenamed “Project Highland,” is expected to simplify the interior even further.

With all that being said, where will automakers draw the line with cost-cutting? We can only cut so many corners before cars start to feel like they’ve reverted to 1990s-level of interior quality.

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