Volvo’s electric lineup currently consists of two pure EV models: The XC40 and C40 Recharge. This week, I got to review the latter of those two. The Volvo C40 Recharge sacrifices some trunk space for a cool sloping rear-end — it’s a futuristic interpretation of a hatchback riding high like a crossover. As a fan of this era of Volvo design, I was taken not only by details like the Thor’s Hammer headlights but also the interior.
Key Features and Specs
- The car’s screens run Android Automotive, meaning Google Maps and Assistant built in. For me, this was a huge plus and was much smarter than OEM’s own attempts at homegrown infotainment
- Microtech textiles and blue vinyl interior stood out; alongside details like a backlit glowing outline of Abisko National Park in Sweden. Nice.
- Volvo has one of the few aero wheel designs that (in my opinion) don’t offend on looks. The five blade alloy look is high on both surface area and style appeal.
- The rear-view mirror visibility is terrible due to the aggressive rake. You will be depending a lot on Volvo’s (thankfully great) BLIS and safety systems.
- 226 mile range per EPA and only up to 150 kW Level 3 charging. There’s no super fast, 800V charging system to speak of unlike Hyundai group’s superb e-GMP platform.
- 0-60 is zippy in 4.7 seconds (I saw 4.78 seconds in my real-world test). Not bad! And because it’s dual motor AWD, tire grip is quick and confident. If the range works out for you, this would be a great EV for cold and snowy climates like Colorado in the winter.
My Take and Recommendations
When it comes to absolute range and charging speed the C40 shows its age — it’s using the group’s CMA platform seen in both gas and hybrid models. There’s a large driveshaft tunnel running through the center of the car and the weight of the vehicle and packaging constraints mean its range is limited to 226 miles — per the EPA with its standard 20 inch rims. During my efficiency and charging test I saw the range estimate stay conservative, which is a good thing in my book. But slow DC charging at well over 30 minutes to fill from 20 to 80 percent will be a deal breaker for hardcore road trippers. Next to bleeding-edge class leaders like the IONIQ 5 and Tesla’s best selling Model Y; the C40 just doesn’t compete by the numbers.
Nonetheless, if I had 60 grand to spend (the MSRP is $60,100 for our Twin Ultimate trim), there would be many far worse cars to buy for that price. If you like Volvo and their new styling direction and sustainable luxury appeal, the C40 Recharge makes a compelling case for itself. It is by no means the tech-leader or spec-king of the EV world, but it’s a stylish and good attempt at converting a legacy gas platform. I can’t wait to see Volvo’s forthcoming pure EV designs in the coming years. Watch the video below for the full scoop.