Volvo XC40 Recharge Review 2022

Volvo XC40 Recharge At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Volvo’s first purely electric car and it’s hard not to be impressed by the XC40 Recharge. As fast as a sports car and with a decent 259 mile range, it’s backed up by quality interior and plenty of tech. It’s just a shame that you pay a significant premium for all of this.

+Stylish electric SUV with 259-mile range and an excellent interior.

-Cheaper single-motor option has only recently been added to the range.

New prices start from £48,300

The standard Volvo XC40 bought the brand a new, younger audience. It also helps that it’s a brilliant car that’s one been one of the top small SUVs in the past couple of years.

With Volvo’s move to electric, we’ve seen the arrival of both a plug-in hybrid and an electric variant. Rather confusingly both have been badged XC40 Recharge, but we’re going to be focusing our attention on the electric version for our Volvo XC40 Recharge review. You can also check out our review of the petrol and diesel-powered XC40

Rather than play with the design too much of the standard car, Volvo’s kept the same sharp design for the XC40 Recharge electric SUV. The only tell-tale difference is the concave grille of the standard car has been replaced by a body-coloured panel that, if we're honest, cheapens the look of the car. You can see why they’ve done it though as there’s no need for one.

The electric Volvo XC40 Recharge has a range of 259 miles and power comes from a 78kWh battery located beneath the car's floor and capable of being charged to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes. The four-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge will have a total output of 408PS and 660Nm of torque that sees the electric XC40 cover 0-62mph in a rapid 4.9 seconds, while top speed is limited to 112mph. 

You can’t not be impressed by that level of performance, but it feels a little at odds with the rest of the car that exudes a relaxed and calm approach, both in the way it handles and looks. Slightly less emphasis on a headline-grabbing 0-62mph time and a little more range would really benefit the car. 

Inside, the XC40 Recharge has a cabin broadly the same as the standard car, which means plenty of premium finishes and comfortable seating, though there is a new Android-powered infotainment system.

The electric XC40 offers 413 litres of boot space, which is less than the 460 litres of the regular model. Although, due to the space saved by the absence of an engine, it gains a 31-litre ‘frunk’ storage area underneath the bonnet.

There are three models to choose from - Twin, Twin Plus and Twin Pro and prices start at a hefty £49,950. They are well specified though with our choice being the Twin Plus as it gets the balance of features pretty spot on. 

The XC40 Recharge is a very good electric car that’s hampered by the price. The twin motor model is expensive, and while some rivals like the Skoda Enyaq iV might not have the same brand appeal, the range is better and it costs less. Happily, a single motor option is now available which is more affordable. 

Looking for a second opinon? Read heycar's Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric review.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend an electric car with a high seating position?
"I own a Renault Zoe but would like to change to a car with a higher driving position. My wife has an Isuzu D-Max which is perfect for me. Does such a combination exist? "
I think you might struggle to find an EV with a seating position as high as the D-Max. Something like a Volvo XC40 Recharge could be a good compromise, though. This guide could be useful:
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which Volvo XC40 should I buy?
"Which used Volvo XC40 should I go for? I do mostly town driving, with half a dozen long trips per year. "
The T3 has all the power you really need and won't cost a fortune to run. PHEV will be very cheap to run and can fall back on its petrol engines for long drives, it only really makes sense if you have a home charger though. Same goes for the Recharge electric, it's 260-mile range means long drives will need a mid-trip recharge.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Will a PHEV recharge itself when driving?
"Do plug-in hybrids recharge the battery whilst moving like standard hybrids?"
Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) operate in the same way as standard 'self-charging' hybrids, recovering energy under braking and storing it in the battery. However, a PHEV will only add a few miles under common driving scenarios. And this means you need to recharge the battery via a plug to appreciate its full benefits when it comes to fuel economy and performance. I ran a Volvo XC40 PHEV for six months and got 90+mpg with a full charge. But when the battery was empty this dropped to just 33mpg. You can read about my PHEV experiences in my long term report, here:
Answered by Dan Powell
What hybrid should I replace my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with?
"I have a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. I have been happy with it, with the exception of the battery mileage - which dropped from 30 to 24miles within 2 years. I would like another hybrid. What would you recommend?"
The plug-in hybrid market has grown considerably since you bought your Outlander, so there are quite a few good replacements available. We'd recommend the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid or the new Toyota RAV4 Plug-in. You could consider upmarket alternatives like the Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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