Volvo XC40 Recharge Review
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
The XC40 might not be new to us here in Ireland but things have changed under the bonnet. Since we last reviewed the vehicle back in 2019 shortly before it was crowned Irish Car Of The Year, Volvo was busy changing the underpinning's to make it fully electric. This XC40 Recharge is the first of several fully electric Volvo's to come into production and it represents a significant step towards Volvo Cars’ ambition to reduce its CO2 footprint per car by 40% by 2025. In fact, by 2025 Volvo expects 50% of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, and the remainder to be hybrid. Right now if you fancy a fully electric XC40 Recharge you have two choices, the all wheel drive twin motor or the front wheel drive single motor. As mentioned both pure electric variants of the Volvo XC40 Recharge are based on the best-selling XC40 small premium SUV and crammed full of state of the art tech and quality materials throughout.
The exterior designed hasn’t changed much if anything. Yes there is a slightly different grill to denote it doesn’t need engine cooling but overall it’s the familiar package we initially liked so much. Inside things have stepped up a gear with a brand new infotainment system powered by the Android operating system. This new intuitive system offers any amount of personalisation and Google Assistant. This allows drivers to do so much on the move including navigation with Google Maps and Google Play. The XC40 Recharge also receives new software and operating system updates over the air, which means it will keep evolving and improving over time. Some of these tech and software upgrades have meant the range and drive-train has been improved. The standard equipment level for a connected and sustainable drive is Core but with an additional price walk of €5000 you can opt for the Plus trim level. Our test car had the Ulitmate spec for a further €1850 which allows you to experience the highest equipment level for best comfort, advanced connectivity and that famous Scandinavian style. It’s actually a nicer drive than any of its combustion powered siblings with incredible power delivery from the electric motors. We tested both the twin and single motor variant and whilst the power rush from the twin motor is addictive, the single motor variant is more than enough for a vehicle of this size.
The single-motor XC40 Recharge delivers 231 horsepower from a 69-kWh battery with an anticipated range of around 400 km on a single charge under the WLTP drive cycle. The battery can charge from 10 to 80% capacity in approximately 32 minutes on a fast-charging system. The twin motor version produces 408hp with a range of 418km and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 4.9 seconds. Mind you, we can't see punters getting the 418km range if you have been exploring sprint times at every opportunity!
The XC40 Recharge is equipped with several safety systems that work together to protect the vehicle's driver and passengers in the event of an accident. It has a number of sensors that react in the event of an accident and activate various safety systems, such as different types of airbags and seatbelt tensioners. Depending on the specific accident situation, such as collisions at different angles, rollover or driving off road, the systems react in different ways to provide good protection. There are also mechanical safety systems such as Whiplash Protection System. The car is also constructed so that a large part of the force of a collision is distributed to beams, pillars, floor, roof and other parts of the body. Lets face it, Volvo are known for their safety and purchasers of the XC40 wont be left wanting.
The single motor XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is available from €50,508, and like its predecessor comes with a Care Offer to include Service, Roadside Assistance, Warranty, and a €500 Insurance Contribution, included in the price. It is also eligible for the SEAI grant of €5,000 so the cost to the customer starts at €45,508. The twin motor starts at a fraction under €60,000 but quickly goes up as you pick from the various trim/spec levels.
We lived with the Volvo XC40 Recharge for a week and loved every minute of it. The interior and overall build quality is second to none and it manages it’s battery range particularly well even in cold conditions. Gone is the engine under the bonnet in favour of a convenient front load compartment, which now provides great extra storage for charging cables, which can often get dirty. Underneath the upper section with your charging cables and washer fluid bottles there is a lower section for the puncture repair kit. The two sections are cleverly divided by an easily removable load floor. Inside space is ample in the front and rear seats with no battery intrusion in the cabin or boot. In fact you can fold down the rear seats for optimal luggage capacity and with no lip to lift items over, it makes loading very easy! We think the single motor option is more than enough for most but by chance when we did have twin motor variant we had a little snow in the mountains to test the all wheel drive capabilities. You can see how that went and indeed watch our full video review on the link below.
Centre screen a little on the small side.
To see our full video review of the Volvo XC40 Recharge, please click here.
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