Volvo XC40 Recharge electric review

Despite it being based on an existing petrol-engined model, there’s plenty to recommend about the Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Excellent refinement
  • Google infotainment system
  • Dual-motor has stunning performance

Cons

  • Hefty starting price
  • Not the most fun to drive
  • Rivals offer longer range
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Single-motor286 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)27mins (10-80%, 150kW)
Twin-motor312 miles12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)27mins (10-80%, 200kW)

While Volvo is working on expanding its electric-car line-up, the Swedish brand's very first EV was this: the XC40 Recharge. The zero-emissions version of Volvo's smallest SUV has been around for several years now, but it's still a solid rival for other premium electric family cars like the BMW iX1, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Audi Q4 e-tron, to name but a few.

In order to stay competitive against its newer rivals, the XC40 Recharge line-up received significant range boots for 2023. The entry-level, single-motor version can now cover 286 miles on a charge, according to Volvo, while the dual-motor XC40 Twin now boasts a range of 312 miles.

The twin-motor's all-wheel-drive powertrain still produces 402bhp and can propel the XC40 from 0-62mph in a shocking 4.9 seconds, however, the single-motor variant has been switched from front to rear-wheel drive and makes 235bhp in all, so 0-62mph takes over seven seconds.

The performance either version offers isn’t obvious when you look at the XC40 Recharge from most angles as you might struggle to tell the difference between this electric XC40 and the regular model. That's by no means a criticism, though; Volvo has been producing excellent-looking cars one after another recently and this is yet one more.

The ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlight signature is there, along with the clamshell bonnet, sculpted bodywork and the rising rear window line. At the back, the Volvo’s large L-shaped tail-lights remain and only a small badge gives away the fact that this car doesn’t have a combustion engine at all – well, that and the lack of an exhaust pipe. The grille is the most obvious difference from the combustion-engined versions.

Inside, the XC40 Recharge features Volvo’s tablet-style infotainment screen running Google's Android software, which we enjoyed using. On top of that, you get excellent interior quality overall, with soft-touch materials wherever you look. You won't find any leather though; instead the electric XC40 uses wool blend upholstery alongside other sustainable materials. 

Combined with comfortable suspension, excellent refinement and its superb interior, we think the XC40 Recharge is an ideal long-distance electric cruiser. That’s why, if you’re after a stylish, practical, comfortable and luxurious family SUV, the electric Volvo XC40 deserves shortlisting, especially following the range boost both versions received. Take a look at some of the Volvo’s closest rivals on our list of the best electric SUVs, or read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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