In-depth reviews

Volvo XC40 Recharge 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
  • Stunning performance
  • Google infotainment system

Cons

  • Expensive in launch trim
  • Not the most fun to drive
  • No Apple CarPlay at launch
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric259 miles7hrs 30mins (0-100%, 11kW)40mins (0-80%, 150kW)

Volvo’s smallest SUV has been around for several years now, available in petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid form as a rival for the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Jaguar E-Pace. In 2020, diesels were removed from the XC40 range; now Volvo has introduced this fully electric XC40 Recharge. It’s the brand’s first pure-electric car and a major step towards its plan to have a fully electric range by 2030.

With a 78kWh battery and a maximum range of up to 259 miles on a charge, the XC40 Recharge is competitive with the standard-range variants of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model 3, as well as the Mercedes EQA and the Audi Q4 e-tron. However, those are the official numbers, whereas we saw around 200-230 miles of range when we tested the XC40 Recharge; that's significantly less than the cheaper Kia e-Niro 64kWh can manage. 

The starting price for the electric XC40 Recharge is just under £50,000, as it’s currently only available with a dual-motor powertrain in Twin, Twin Plus and Twin Pro trim. This is an awkward price point, above its competitors but just below more premium electric SUVs like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron. But for the money you do get a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain that produces a combined 402bhp and can propel this compact SUV from 0-62mph in under five seconds.

Although that isn’t obvious when you look at the XC40 Recharge from most angles – 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 leather and soft-touch materials wherever you look. 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. 

But our advice would be to wait for the cheaper versions if you don’t feel you need the extremely powerful Twin powertrain that’s the only option for the XC40 Recharge right now. Until then, check out our list of the best electric SUVs and read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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