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Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin review

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin mixes design and performance in an attractive package.

Good Points

  • Attractive design
  • Good battery size
  • Outright performance

Bad Points

  • Non-adjustable re-gen
  • Average boot space
  • Expensive for its size

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Introduction

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the smallest SUV in the Swedish marque’s range. Thanks to its contemporary design and substantial battery, it packs a punch that provides an ample driving range. This dual-motor setup backs that up with a considerable amount of performance, making this one of the more interesting electric SUVs.

Design & Specs

It might not be all that large, but the Volvo XC40 Recharge has the same blocky and solid look as the larger XC60 and XC90 SUVs. If anything, it’s the most design-focused of the trio as this electric version differs from the combustion engine variant by having a grille that is blanked off and painted like the rest of the body. Black plastic cladding along the sills and around the wheel arches emphasise its SUV roots and give the impression of it sitting higher from the ground. The contrasting roof colour is a further nod to its premium status.

All XC40s come equipped with a 12-inch digital instrument display and a portrait touchscreen display with Google services built-in. Other standard features include LED headlights with a distinctive Thor’s Hammer lighting signature, 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and an electrically operated tailgate. A heat pump is fitted from the mid-level ‘Plus’ version upwards.

Volvo offers the choice of two powertrains with the XC40 Recharge. A single-motor version drives the front wheels with a 170kW (231hp) output and 330Nm of torque. This setup provides the Volvo with ample performance, including a 0-100km/h sprint that takes only 7.4 seconds. The dual-motor configuration is called the Twin and has a total power output of 300kW (408hp) and 660Nm, giving it impressive acceleration to reach 100km/h from rest in 4.9 seconds.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin logoBattery And Range

Volvo offers only one battery size for the XC40 Recharge, a 78kWh lithium-ion pack that provides a claimed driving range of 422 kilometres in the case of the single motor version. Volvo says that the combined energy consumption of the single motor is 18.7kWh/100km, which is a reasonably efficient figure.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin charging portThe claimed driving range for the XC40 Recharge Twin drops slightly to 417 kilometres, partly due to the increased weight of the second motor. Its claimed consumption figure is higher at 23.9kWh/100km, and having significantly more power on tap requires some restraint if you wish to prolong the distance between charges.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin gear stickWhen it comes to charging, the Volvo can rapidly charge at up to 150kW, meaning that it can replenish the battery to 80 percent in around 40 minutes. That charging time will take longer when using the more widespread 50kW DC chargers. The 11kW AC onboard charger will take 8 hours to charge fully.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin front seatsInterior Space

It may be the smallest car in the Volvo range, but the XC40 lacks none of the style or quality of the larger models. Front and centre is the touchscreen display in the portrait orientation and braced on either side by well-positioned air vents. Volvo’s native infotainment runs on a Google-based operating system that is immediately intuitive to use. The everyday tasks such as choosing radio or navigation functions are readily accessible on the home screen, though adjusting other vehicle settings requires a bit more digging through menus.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin screenVolvo fits a 12-inch digital instrument display which is very clear and is pleasingly free from visual clutter. The multifunction controls on the steering wheel are also sensibly laid out. Storage along the centre console is good, featuring two cup holders and a larger compartment underneath the armrest.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin back seatsThe boxy nature of the XC40’s design means that rear passenger space is quite generous when it comes to headroom, and there is a decent amount of legroom in the outer seats. The latter reduces slightly in the middle seat due to the floor design.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin boot spaceBoot space measures 414 litres, which is slightly less than the combustion-engined XC40. When you need some extra space, the rear seats fold flat, and the overall cargo volume increases to 1,290 litres. A second, smaller storage compartment under the bonnet measures 31 litres and has a separate cover. It is sufficiently sized for holding a set of charging cables; the only downside is that you first have to pull the release lever in the footwell to access it.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin frunkDrive

Considering that Volvo is a company that has worked tirelessly towards making its cars impressively safe over the decades, it seems odd for it to equip the XC40 Recharge Twin with so much performance. With 408hp, it accelerates to 100km/h faster than a Tesla Model Y Long Range, though its top speed is electronically limited to 180km/h. Volvo applies this limiter to all of its cars nowadays. Traction off the line is never in question thanks to the dual-motor setup, and the 660Nm of torque ensures the Volvo is never left wanting for power. However, using the full potential of all that power will make a sizeable dent in the overall driving range.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin back sideThe suspension is on the firm side but not to a level that will give cause for complaint. Combining this with a fair amount of sound insulation means the Volvo is generally quiet and refined even at higher speeds. A strong regenerative braking system can be deactivated, though Volvo doesn’t offer adjustable levels like other electric cars. When the regenerative braking is deactivated, the XC40 coasts when you lift off the accelerator pedal. One further plus to the XC40 is that it isn’t all that big for an SUV, so it becomes an easy car to manoeuvre in smaller spaces.

Volvo XC40 Recharge TwinVolvo XC40 Recharge Twin Summary

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin is a well-packaged electric SUV that comfortably justifies its premium status. Along with Pilot Assist, one of the best driver assistance systems, the XC40 has a great battery size and potential for range and performance. Its stylish design makes it one of the more appealing SUVs in its class.

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