Volvo XC40 Recharge hybrid interior, dashboard & comfort
The XC40 is a comfortable and spacious car with lots of kit – but it'll be improved when Volvo's new infotainment system arrives
The XC40’s cabin is as comfortable and spacious as all modern Volvos', with great seats and a clear view out being particular highlights; it’s very well designed, but there are some plastics that can’t match the quality of rivals from Audi or Land Rover, for example.
It has been around for a handful of years now but the XC40's interior still feels fresh and quite unlike its rivals. There's a simplicity that some will find appealing, while others will revel in the ability to go for interesting options like bright orange carpets and attractive wood veneers.
Volvo XC40 Recharge dashboard
The XC40's dashboard feels much like that in other Volvo SUVs – upright, simply designed and with a more vertical feeling than is the norm in its rivals. Much of this impression is created by the vertically aligned air vents and portrait-oriented infotainment screen, under which sit a few buttons for key functions like volume.
Otherwise, all of the car's functions are controlled through the touchscreen. It's easier to use than you might expect and it's easy to get used to – but some may prefer the more traditional layout in a BMW X1, for example. Other features include a clear driver's display in place of traditional analogue dials, a steering wheel with comprehensive controls for music and cruise control and even a crystal gear selector on higher-end Inscription and Inscription Pro models.
Equipment, options & accessories
The XC40 Recharge is offered in four trim levels: R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro. It's worth noting that the cheaper Momentum trim offered with other XC40 engines is not available as a plug-in hybrid.
Standard equipment is comprehensive, with all cars getting a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity and Volvo's On Call system for emergencies and added functions like vehicle tracking and sat-nav destination sharing.
Leather and nubuck upholstery is standard on R-Design cars, along with a range of black exterior styling parts, 19-inch hybrid-specific alloys and ambient interior lighting. The step to R-Design Pro adds desirable features including heated front seats and 20-inch wheels. Inscription and Inscription Pro cars are equipped in a similar manner, but with focus on luxury, with leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels and more.
The options list is sorted into packages, covering additional heating for seats, steering wheel and mirrors, driver assistance, practicality, extra seat adjustability or easier parking. The Lounge pack offers the most luxurious additions, including a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera and a 13-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Volvo’s infotainment system works well, but is starting to feel a little dated compared to more sophisticated offerings from the likes of BMW and Mercedes; as with other Volvo models, you need to pay £300 for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, but sat nav is standard. We’re looking forward to seeing Volvo’s forthcoming Google-powered system that’s due to be introduced on the all-electric XC40 Recharge P8.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe XC40 Recharge brings plug-in technology to the smallest Volvo, but it may be worth waiting for the fully electric version
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe XC40 is efficient and offers a good all-electric range, but you need to keep its battery topped up for the best economy
- 3Running costs & insuranceAs with so many plug-in hybrids, the XC40 Recharge makes the most sense for company-car users
- 4Performance, engine & driveIt's not the most thrilling car to drive, but the XC40 Recharge has a very well implemented hybrid drivetrain
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe XC40 is a comfortable and spacious car with lots of kit – but it'll be improved when Volvo's new infotainment system arrives
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityIt's one of the smaller plug-in hybrid SUVs around, but the XC40 is still a practical car for small families
- 7Reliability & safety ratingVolvo is famed for its safety record and there's not much to worry about on the reliability front either
- 8Living with itCan the plug-in XC40 cut it as a family car and a low-emissions commuter? We ran one for several months to find out...