Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Review in 2022 Best electric SUV: Performance, Range, Pricing and Verdict

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Intro

We’ve already driven an electric Volvo xc40, which was very good. It had a decent interior good range, and lots of safety equipment, but it was crazily and pretty pointlessly rapid. You could do naught 60 miles per hour in under five seconds, and it was also incredibly expensive, costing almost 60 000 pounds. Finally, a few years later, we got this new version of the xc40.

So in this review, we’re going to find out whether this cheaper, slower version is the pick of the lineup, and we’re also going to look at how it compares to all of its electric rivals.

So first, to remind you, this electric xc40 looks very similar to a fuel-powered version of this car, except it’s got a body-colored covered grille and also obviously a charging port where the fuel cap is on other versions of this car now the whole xc40 lineup earlier this year had a very subtle facelift.

So if you order a new xc40 today, it will arrive with slightly slimmer led lights and a slightly different front and rear bumper, but the changes are only cosmetic, and they’re not big or significant at all. This version, by the way, isn’t one of those new facelifted models.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Review
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric: image credits: volvocars.com

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Interior Review

The facelift hasn’t changed much in the interior of the xc40 either, and no matter which version of this car you get into so, whether it’s a mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, or one of these fully electric xc40s, the interior is going to look the same, and it’s nice.

So you’ve got a mix of really nice high-quality materials. It’s got this attractive layout. It feels well put together, better put together in most areas than the tesla model 3, and it generally feels like a high-quality electric car interior. Now there is one difference between the electric version of this car to the fuel-powered car.

So if you have a fuel-powered xc40, you have a start-stop button to start or stop the car, but in the electric xc40, you don’t have that, so that means that if you want to drive the car, you get to input your foot on the brake select drive or reverse and then away you go you don’t have to press any start-stop button. However, you can still see where the start-stop button would go on those other models, so all Volvo has done is stick a bit of plastic over it, which does feel a bit naff.

Volvo XC40 Recharge New gear selector

Now recently, they’ve changed the gear selector a bit in the early versions of this car; you’d constantly have to be double-tapping the gear selector to get it in drive or reverse, so that would mean that if you wanted to put it in drive if you pulled the gear selector back, it would only put it in neutral.

So you’d have to pull it again to put it in the drive. From there, if you want to put it in reverse again, you’d have to push it all the way forwards to put it in neutral, then all the way forwards again to put it in reverse. You are forever double tapping this thing which feels unnatural compared to how most other gear selectors work. That is different now, thankfully.

Because Volvo’s introduced this kind of two-step gear selector, you can pull it half the way back to put it in neutral and then back actually to get it in drive, and if you want to go from drive to reverse, you can push it all the way forwards. It’s very simple, just a small change, but it means it’s not as frustrating as it used to be in the xc40. What else is good.

Interior Quality and Tech

We said the quality is very impressive, it feels very sturdy, the driving position is great as well, so it does feel like you’re in an SUV, and this digital driver display is really good as well. It’s big, clear, has a good resolution, and has nice graphics. There isn’t too much in the way of customization, so you don’t have a choice of different layouts for the dials, but what you’re given as standard is still really good.

So it’s not a problem. The infotainment system is not the best in electric cars, but it’s not the worst. The reason it’s not amazing is that everything is controlled through this touchscreen, so even the climate controls are in here.

You’ve got to dive into a menu and then push on the screen, which while you’re driving is quite frustrating and complicated to try and do rather than just having some dials you can easily adjust. Again, some of these icons on the menus are a bit on the small side, but like the driver displays, the graphics are nice, and it is a responsive screen.

So it responds quickly to your touch inputs. Volvo also uses an android derived infotainment system, so you get google maps as standard, which is great. Rather than having a manufacturer’s sat-nav that is rubbish and doesn’t work, you get google maps which are very effective and very good. Also, as part of this infotainment system, you have google assistant through the voice command system.

So again, rather than having a manufacturer’s voice command system that is rubbish and barely works, you have a voice command system that lets you use many of the functions on the infotainment system very simply. One downside to this is that you don’t get apple car play, so if you’ve got an iPhone, you can’t plug it in here and then use Waze and have it running on the screen itself.

But Volvo has recently said that it will be introducing apple car play to its products in the future, and generally, this is a very good electric car interior.

Rear seat Space

It’s good in the back as well. I’m just under a six-foot driver seat in my driving position. I can set up straight, and there’s still loads of clearance above my head. Legroom is also really good, and this is quite a wide car, and it’s also got a wide rear bench.

So if you want to sit three people side by side in the back here, this is a pretty good electric car. The only shame is that you’ve got this big central lump in the floor, which is especially annoying because many other electric cars don’t lump.

They’ve got a flat floor in the back, so it’s a shame that the xc40 has that in the back here, and overall a q4 e-Tron is just a little bit more spacious in the back. A tesla model 3 is quite a bit more spacious in the back, whether you go for a fuel-powered xc40 or an electric xc40.

Boot Space and Practicality

Both are identical in the back is very good in terms of space at 452 liters. The Volvo xc40 has a boot that’s a little bit smaller than the new Nero EVs and the VW id4s, but it’s still pretty big and pretty practical as well. Now it’s a simple shape. It also doesn’t have a loading lip at the front.

So that means it’s very easy to slide stuff into the boot, and you can fit eight of these carry-on suitcases into the back of the xc40. That’s the same number you can fit in an Audi q4 e-Tron and a jaguar eye pace, but a VW id4 can fit nine of these suitcases into the back.

Something handy that you get with the xc40, though, is the boot floor can be folded up and slotted into place like this, which creates this partition that means anything behind it just won’t be flying around as you drive along. It also gives you these handy hooks to put your shopping bags on, and there is some underfloor storage here as well; on top of that, you get an electric tailgate with the xc40.

So it might not be the biggest boot in the electric car class, but it’s still a very good plus; with no petrol engine under the bonnet, the electric versions of the xc40 get this handy front storage compartment here, which is especially good because lots of other cars that started life as fuel powered cars that were then turned into electric cars don’t end up with this front storage compartment, but you get one here, and okay at 31 liters it’s not particularly big, but it is still a very useful space to leave the charging cables

XC40 Electric Motors

But anyway, why does this electric xc40 make so much more sense than the other version of the car we drove a couple of years ago? Well, this is front-wheel drive. The other electric xc40 you can buy is all-wheel drive, so if you go for that version of the car, you have two electric motors, one that drives the rear wheels and one that drives the front wheels. Still, here you’ve got one electric motor that drives the front wheels, so it doesn’t sound like a big change, and it also means that this car is less powerful, but crucially it’s also cheaper.

Performance and Driving impressions

This version of the Volvo xc40 isn’t exactly slow. You can do not to 60 miles per hour in 7.6 seconds, and to be honest, do you need to go any quicker than that in a car like this? Probably not, and this is a pretty good thing to drive, so there is a bit of body lean through corners because it’s a tall SUV, but it’s mainly well-controlled and feels relatively agile. The steering in normal mode isn’t particularly great. It’s very, very light and feels quite vague even around town, but there is something you can do to change that.

So let me show you on the infotainment screen here if you go to this small settings icon in the bottom right and then on this small menu here go to driving, and then what you have to do is scroll down to this bit at the bottom and click on steering feel firm to make the steering feel firm.

That essentially puts it in a sport mode that gives a bit of extra weight makes the steering feel a bit beefier than it does in normal mode, and that is a big improvement and to be honest, what we do is get in this car turn that on and then leave it there and forget about it anyway it is pretty good to drive it’s not a tesla model 3 in terms of fun.

But this is still pretty good. The main thing that stands out in the electric xc40, though, is whether you go for the all-wheel-drive version or this front-wheel-drive version, is how comfortable it is now. It doesn’t get any fancy adaptive suspension setup or anything, but it doesn’t need it because the standard ride that all these xc40s get is nice. It’s not too firm but not too soft; you’re well cushioned from everything.

But there is a downside because while it’s generally very quiet here, can you hear this? We’re just going over a rough bit of road, and the suspension is just thumping and thwacking away underneath us, so that isn’t great.

As we said, it’s generally pretty quiet here, so even on the motorway, there’s not much road raw or much wind noise. Still, suppose you get a bit of uneven road with a load of lumps. In that case, you hear the suspension working very hard underneath you, which isn’t great, but still, for most things, the xc40 is an electric car that’s good to drive comfortably, and buy electric car standards up at this price point very impressive indeed.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Range

Now, what about range? Well, it’s pretty good in the electric xc40, and the other thing to know is that whether you go for a front-wheel-drive version or an all-wheel-drive version, there’s hardly any difference officially; the xc40 with two motors is said to be able to cover up to 270 miles on a full charge and if you go for the single motor model the range only drops by seven miles you can expect more like 200 miles for both cars in genuine real-world driving conditions. However, that’s fairly decent by class standards but not as good as the model y or the VW id4.

Assisted safety

360° parking view

Our system allows you to park confidently in tight spaces thanks to four cameras that provide a 360deg view and flank sensors that increase awareness of objects around the car.

Reverse with confidence

Cross-traffic alert with automatic brake supports the driver when reversing with limited view. The system detects vehicles crossing behind it; if necessary, the auto brake can also be applied.

Ease stress in busy traffic

BLIS (blind spot information system) is active support for changing lanes. BLIS can adjust the steering to reduce the risk of collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes. This will help keep you and your family safe.

Trim levels

Now let’s give you more details on why this is the cheaper and better version of the xc40. So if you go for a front-wheel-drive electric xc40, there are three trim levels that you can choose from, which includes an entry-level trim that you can’t get on the all-wheel-drive version of this car.

So the cheapest front-wheel-drive electric xc40 is more than ten thousand pounds cheaper than the cheapest all-wheel-drive version of this car, even if you want to go for the mid-spec front-wheel-drive electric xc40 that is still 5000 pounds cheaper than the equivalent all-wheel-drive version of this car.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Pricing

Suppose you do want to buy an xc40. In that case, it isn’t cheap entry-level versions of this car that are similar to the Audi q4 e-Tron, but go up a few trims or go for the all-wheel-drive models. It doesn’t take long before it’s up in jaguar eye-paced territory. You get a host of impressive safety equipment for your money, though.

The electric xc 40 received the top 5-star safety rating from euro Encap. As for the trims, mid-spec plus looks the best in the lineup, adding adaptive cruise control and heated and electrically adjustable front seats to what you get in the entry-level trim. It also adds a reversing camera and a heat pump which helps heat the car’s interior more efficiently, helping improve the car’s driving range in cold conditions.

Verdict and Outro

So nice interior, decent range, comfortable the front-wheel-drive electric xc40 gets all the good bits of the all-wheel-drive electric xc40 but with a lower price tag, and yes, it’s not as powerful, but it’s still pretty quick.

So unless you have to have all-wheel drive, this is the electric xc40 to go for, and compared to other electric cars out there, there are some at this price point that is a bit bigger, some that are more fun to drive, but still this is a great all-rounder and a very worthy option.

If you want to read more about the xc40 and all the other cars that it’s up against then you can read our extended written reviews of every new and used car around on Electvehicles.com and also on our website you can get a great deal on your next car but before we go anywhere else to see all of our new car reviews as soon as they go live make sure you share to this Article.

Frequently asked Questions

Does Volvo XC40 recharge pure electric have Apple CarPlay?

Sat nav and infotainment
Mirroring of smartphones is not available at the moment ( Apple CarPlay will be coming in an over the air software update), however, you can download apps from your phone directly to the car. You also get Bluetooth, wireless charging and DAB radio.

Who makes battery for Volvo XC40 recharge?

Volvo Cars has signed long-term supply contracts with two of the world’s most prominent battery suppliers, CaTL of China and LG Chem from South Korea. These agreements will cover the supply of next-generation Volvo and Polestar models with batteries for the next decade, including the XC40Recharge 

How long does Volvo XC40 battery last?

Between 3-5 Years
The life expectancy of Volvo XC40 batteries is between 3-5 years . However, this can vary depending on their type, weather conditions, driving habits and other factors. Your XC40 battery can be extended by keeping it indoors, away from extreme temperature swings and harsh climate

Is the Volvo XC40 underpowered?

The Volvo XC40 is highly praised for its build quality and refined styling, as well as the extremely high safety standards. Its driving dynamics are not exceptional and the entry-level, underpowered T3 petrol engine are its main complaints.

What is the wait time for the Volvo XC40 recharge?

A 150 kW DC charging station can charge your battery in 32 to 37 depending on the powertrain. You can also charge it in 10 to around 88% in 10 or around 80 km range in 10 minutes .

What is the range of the Volvo XC40 electric?

223 miles
Standard equipment is a 75.0-kWh battery. The EPA has given the XC40 recharge a range estimate of 223 mi .

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