Test drive: Volvo XC40 Recharge, bold and expressive design meets compact efficiency | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine


Versatile, stylish, safe, eco-conscious and family friendly, Volvo’s XC40 Recharge has claimed its place as a firm favourite of discerning buyers searching for a perfect automotive all-rounder.

Meeting the Volvo XC40 Recharge is an impressive first experience as you take in its sleek, clean and classy design. A raft of features really highlight the streamlined coupe styling of this excellent electric crossover. These include the vertical design LED rear lights which, on unlocking the car, illuminate it section by section creating a gorgeous graphic to welcome its drivers and passengers. Also, the distinctly Volvo pixel LED Thor’s Hammer headlights and the colour coded blanked off grill make the car look modern, fresh and capable, whilst hinting to its excellent safety credentials.

Slip inside and you’ll discover the XC40 is luxurious and comfortable and a pleasing place to spend time in. It’s also created with the environment and sustainability firmly in mind. To the uneducated eye, the high-quality interior looks like it’s made of traditionally ‘normal’ materials such as leather. But, in fact, the whole interior is actually animal-leather free, and the carpets of the car are made of partially recycled materials too.

Volvo XC40 Recharge side view

As you’d expect from Volvo, the range and quality of state of the art technology is excellent. Highlights include the central infotainment screen and digital driving display which have crisp graphics, fast processers and an intuitive and an easy to use layout. Perhaps not a surprise when you find out it’s a Google operated system. This navigation system allows you to view all the nearest charging stations to your current location and set the route accordingly. In addition, it also displays all the information you need about the charging station from speed of charge to the opening hours, meaning you can truly make a stress-free, reliable and informed decision. This is of particular reassurance to those who’ve previously shunned fully electric and electric crossovers because of the fear of travelling somewhere, running out of power, and then not being able to charge to return home.

On a functional basis the XC40 interior ticks all the boxes too with thoughtful features such as huge front door bins (aided by the relocation of lower door speakers to the dashboard). The boot is also a very good size at 413 litres, with an unobstructed loading bay and split folding rear seats that go completely flat. This is not all though, as one of the perks of the XC40 being fully electric is that you have space in the front where an engine would normally be which is perfect for storing charging cables.

Volvo XC40 Recharge rear view

Buyers have two battery choices when purchasing the XC40 Recharge. Either a single motored XC40 (front wheel drive) with 231hp and a 0-62 time of 7.4, or a four-wheel drive dual motor variant with a huge 408hp and 0-62 time of 4.7 seconds. Despite the dual motor variant consuming more energy, it has a larger useable battery size at 75 kWh vs 67 kWh for the single motor. Volvo claims both variants have the capability to do around 270 miles on a charge which is really good, with the dual motor doing a fraction more. Charging from 10-80 percent can be achieved in just 32 minutes on a 150KW DC fast charger.

Out on the road the XC40 is a super car to drive and be a passenger in. Thanks to a well-insulated cabin and zero-engine noise the XC40 is supremely quiet and makes every journey feel easy and stress free. This is accentuated by the fuss free driving experience – there is no power button just a sensor on the driver’s seat so you can just get in, slot the car into drive and away you go.

Volvo XC40 Recharge interior

The XC40 is an engaging drive. It’s swift, smooth and handles any type of road with ease. There’s surprisingly little body roll despite the car’s height, and, in both battery configurations there is always plenty of instantaneous power from the torquey electric motors. Our test car also had an excellent 360-degree parking camera which is ultra-high definition and makes parking stress free. A highly recommended option.

Over all, the Volvo XC40 Recharge delivers an excellent driving and ownership experience. It’s the perfect car for busy family life – or for a daily commute. And for the many who really want a car which reflects their wish to be as eco-conscious as possible across all aspects of their lives. Prices start from £47,100.

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