Fuel prices lately have driven both the economy and drivers crazy. EVs have been growing in popularity without a doubt as technology continues to improve. Volvo has been one of the most aggressive automakers in the transition to electrification with plans to phase out gasoline powered cars by 2030. The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge is their first full EV leading the charge. The conventional XC40 has has been one of their most popular models since its introduction.
Visually, there is not much that distinguishes the Recharge from the standard gasoline XC40. The main identifier aside from the badges is the body coloured front grille cover. Eliminating large openings in the front is a common theme in most EV designs. The XC40 looks as handsome as ever with its contrasting black roof and diamond cut 20-inch wheels.
Its boxy profile is broken up with a high rear shoulder line and short rear overhang for an athletic stance. An appearance package adds brushed aluminum front and rear skid plates as well as lower door trim to enhance the rugged appearance. The clean lines and rugged additions make the XC40 one of the most handsome luxury crossovers on the market.
The interior is classic Volvo with its simplistic Scandinavian design. A large infotainment screen dominates the center with basic buttons below. Large vertical vents with a chrome design elements break up the simple and straight lines. Materials are high quality with minimal hard plastics used, but liberal use of gloss black makes it hard to keep the interior looking clean. Wool fabric inserts on the doors are unique and modern. The 12 -inch digital gauge cluster completes the high-tech interior theme.
The interior is spacious and cavernous thanks to the XC40’s high roof, however rear leg room is something that can be improved on. The high rear window lines make the rear seats feel a lot less cavernous than the fronts. Cargo space is decent, but is not that much bet over a regular hatchback. It’s a bit disappointing considering the XC40’s size, but it remains very usable with a flat floor for easy loading, leaving plenty of room for your grocery runs and hockey bags.
To satisfy tech attached drivers, the XC40 has a Google-based infotainment system built in to enhance connectivity. Best in class Google Maps is built in with hands free control enabled by google assistant. Finding charge stations is quick and easy, alleviating any range anxiety. You don’t have to worry about the maps going out of date with automatic over air updates that going keep improving your Volvo’s system. On the downside, no Apple CarPlay is available, though Volvo has been saying for over a year that “it’s coming”.
Our tester is the top of the line Ultimate trim which comes equipped with a Harman-Kardon premium sound system. The quality sound quality is immersive creating sound hall experiences with its surround sound set up. A panoramic sunroof gives the open sky experience as your ears are massaged by your favourite music. The Volvo has its all to make for a Zen space while dealing with your daily commute.
Safety is in Volvo’s DNA, and the 360-degree parking camera system allows you to see all the obstacles around the XC40 to maneuver tight spots with confidence. Collision avoidance tech, radar cruise and blind spot information systems are all on board to keep the driver and passengers safe from dangers all around.
The XC40 is excellent in doing all the standard car stuff making it an excellent daily driver, and the Recharge takes it to the next level with the full electric drivetrain. With a range of 359 kilometers on a full charge, it is comparable to many combustion vehicles range with a full tank of gas. With a fast-charging station, it can get to 80 percent charge as quickly as 33 min. The battery tech has developed to a point where range anxiety is a non-issue, for those who have regular and consistent access to reliable charging.
During our week of testing the XC40 consumed electricity at a rate of 26-kWh/100km. This means I was able to do my daily commuting for three days, doing about 180km using about 60 percent of the charge. Only because I don’t have a charger at home, I had to take the XC40 out to a charge station. A 20-minute stop gave me 40% charge.
Another benefit of the EV powertrain is extremely quick acceleration, with the XC40 Recharge capable of getting from 0-100km in only 4.9 seconds, thanks to 402 horsepower output from the all-wheel-drive drivetrain. This is a commuter car which accelerates as hard as a Porsche 911. The instant torque makes it feel much faster than it really is, but the feeling is comical and addictive. The Volvo also has great chassis tuning and comfort, a seriously impressive combination.
The XC40 Recharge starts at $59,950. Our tester with the Ultimate Package, Appearance Package, and optional 20-inch wheels comes in at $76,475. A similarly equipped Tesla Model Y is priced much higher at $82,990, however it brings with it range of up to 512km, with seriously compromised build quality. Audi also offers the Q4 e-Tron, which is $72,740 with similar range and equipment.The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge is an excellent choice in an exploding segment for the automotive industry, designed with intuitive operation in mind making for a seamless transition from gasoline to electrification. The regular XC40’s excellent livability is only enhanced by its electric powertrain.