Auto review by Veeno Dewan
Volvo’s much awaited fully electric version of the Volvo XC40 SUV was launched last year and is the smallest of the Swedish car makers SUV lineup, the XC40 Recharge P8 is the first of five full-on electric battery EVs Volvo plans to launch over the next five years.
With an estimated 335 km of driving range between charges, the electric XC40 Recharge P8 draws its power from a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery combined with a pair of 201 horsepower electric motors mounted at the front and rear axles. A battery mounted under the XC40 stores and apportions the juice. Power output is a potent 402 horsepower with a whopping 486 lb-ft of torque!
New for 2022, is slightly reworked powertrain software to extend range slightly and a new 360-degree exterior camera system is now standard,
The XC40 Recharge can be charged with a 150-kW DC fast-charger for a quick 40-minute charge to an 80 per cent charge in just 40 minutes according to Volvo. A home fast charger unit cuts the time to a few hours for a full charge. A standard household outlet will require approximately 12 hours or more to top up the battery completely.
The XC40 cabin itself is very typical Volvo; with a wonderfully airy and unique looking interior. A plethora of bright metal detailing, tasteful charcoal nubuck leather seats and chrome detailing are also highlighting. A large sunroof, a power tailgate, and heated leather seats are standard. Packages offer such things as: heated wiper blades, rear seat heating, and a heated steering wheel. The Advanced package throws in a wireless phone charger, surround-view cameras, and Volvo’s active driver assist system that helps with lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control.
The dash features a large infotainment system, complete with the vertically aligned 9-inch touchscreen and a 12-inch display screen replaces the traditional gauges behind the steering wheel. It can be a bit intimidating at first to learn, but everything is on one of three major menu screens. You can also use voice control. The system is not without its flaws and there is a bit of a learning curve. Equipment includes Android and Google compatibility with Wi-Fi Connectivity. The seats as with all Volvo’s are superb, comfortable, yet supportive in all the right places. Rear cargo space is not hampered by the battery at 413 litres capacity , the same as the regular variants. There’s also a miniscule storage unit under the front hood, sized just right for the charging cable. The rear compartment is well appointed, it’s a good two-seater cabin back there – but three occupants will be tight. Rear cargo space is rated at 413 L with the seats up and 1,342 L with the rear seats down.
This being a Volvo safety is high. Volvo’s suite of safety features includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, rear collision alert, and blind-spot and cross-traffic alert. In addition to regular crumple zones the Recharge’s battery pack has its own crumple zones, and in the event of a crash will automatically disconnect itself from the motors.
On the road, Instantaneous torque from the two electric motors means the XC40 Recharge can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in a sports-car like 4.9 seconds according to Volvo! Yes, the acceleration is truly fast and the XC40 feels almost overpowered! There are two drive modes: “Normal”, and “One Pedal”, which slows the car once you lift off the accelerator. “One Pedal” mode rather vigorously reclaims kinetic energy to help recharge the battery, while “Normal” is the default for smoother, everyday driving. The XC40 offers good steering feel and control, the low center of gravity with the battery placed under the floor gives the Recharge a stable, poised feel. Also note, the XC40 Recharge’s regenerative brakes also produce power that goes back to the battery and have a more natural feel than other electric or hybrid vehicles. The XC40 Recharge offers a full-time all-wheel drive system and can even tow 2,000lb when properly equipped. Fuel economy is rated at: 2.8 / 3.3 / 3.0 Le/100 km city/highway/combined.
To sum up, the XC40 Recharge is precisely what a lot of people have been waiting for; a fully Electric powered SUV with decent enough range (For now) and all the versatility an SUV offers. Downsides are few – there is the price, a huge amount over the XC40 gasoline equivalent. Plus, there is extra equipment that should really be standard at this price point. Still buyers gain a fantastic vehicle from a premium auto maker. Highly recommended.
2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge: priced from $61,695 plus options.