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- Highs Trendy design, powerful electric powertrain, thoughtful interior storage solutions.
- Lows Some rivals offer more driving range, heavy and feels like it in corners, high starting price.
- Verdict The XC40 Recharge is as practical and stylish as the gasoline-powered version it's based on, and its electric powertrain provides eco street cred.
With a whopping 402-hp and the instant torque delivery of two electric motors, the 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge is an eco-friendly SUV with some serious speed. Electric powertrain aside, the XC40 Recharge is just as practical and thoughtfully designed as the gasoline-powered model, with a roomy cargo area, clever storage cubbies, and an upscale look and feel that cements it as part of the luxury-EV niche. The Volvo is more handsome and offers better build quality than the Tesla Model Y, but its driving range isn't nearly as impressive. A host of desirable safety and convenience features is standard, including a semi-autonomous driving mode, but we're not sold on Volvo's new Google-based infotainment interface. Still, we think the XC40 Recharge is a good choice for most buyers looking to go electric tastefully.
What's New for 2023?
Volvo has given the XC40 Recharge a subtle makeover for 2023 that includes a revised front bumper and grille borrowed from the fastback C40 Recharge model. The C40’s more angular LED headlamps also migrate to the XC40 this year. On the inside, the XC40 Recharge gains vegan-friendly vinyl upholstery.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The XC40 Recharge is offered in three trims, but we'd go with the loaded Twin Ultimate model, which doesn’t cost that much more than the mid-range Twin Plus and comes with a host of additional equipment. The Twin Ultimate gets unique 20-inch wheels, automatic high-beam headlamps, a Harman/Kardon stereo system, adaptive cruise control, and a semi-autonomous driving mode.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
All XC40 Recharge models will come with two electric motors, with one driving the front wheels and the second powering the rears, giving it full-time all-wheel drive. The powertrain puts out a stout 402 horsepower and rocketed the XC40 Recharge to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds at our test track. During our test drive, we noted a compliant ride and a refined cruising demeanor; aggressive drivers may find the Polestar 2 a better fit. Regenerative braking allows for one-pedal driving, which is a desirable and convenient EV feature that we appreciate.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
A 75.0-kWh battery pack is standard equipment, and the EPA has given the XC40 Recharge a range estimate of 223 miles per charge. That range promise puts the XC40 Recharge in a position to compete with the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace, but at a disadvantage over the Model Y, which is capable of more than 300 miles per charge. The XC40 Recharge will be capable of charging at DC fast-charging terminals as well as at home chargers via a 240-volt outlet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The EPA has given the XC40 Recharge fuel economy ratings of 92 MPGe city and 79 MPGe highway. We are looking forward to evaluating the XC40's real-world MPGe and driving range on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, and we will update this story with results when we complete the test. For more information about the XC40's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The cabin of the XC40 Recharge offers everything we love about the standard XC40, including thoughtful cubby storage, a comfortable driving position, and spacious first- and second-row seating. In the transition to an EV powertrain, the XC40 has lost none of its cargo space, so we expect the Recharge model to hold the same number of carry-on suitcases as the gasoline-powered version. In our testing, the XC40 held 23 carry-on suitcases with its rear seats folded. In addition, the lack of a four-cylinder engine under the hood frees up space for a front trunk (frunk), which is the ideal space to store the XC40 Recharge's charging cables.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Rather than using Volvo's current Sensus Connect infotainment system, the XC40 Recharge offers a new generation of software developed in conjunction with Google's Android Automotive. The XC40 Recharge's corporate cousin, the Polestar 2, also offers such an infotainment system, which we found to be intuitive and snappy in its functionality, but the Volvo version suffers from small onscreen buttons that are difficult to actuate while driving. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster provides several options for customization. Despite the collaboration with Google, the new infotainment system will eventually provide connectivity options for both Android and Apple iPhone devices; a wireless smartphone charging pad is also offered.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Volvo will offer a host of high-tech driver-assistance features as standard, including automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. For more information about the XC40 Recharge's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volvo offers a well-rounded warranty package on its new cars, including a complimentary scheduled maintenance plan that spans three years or 36,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Battery components are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles
2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD
front- and mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$59,780 (base price: $55,085)
2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors
201 hp @ 13,900 rpm (each)
243 lb-ft @ 0 rpm (each)
liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 75.0 kWh
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/13.4-in disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Zero All-Season Elect, F: 235/45R-20 100H M+S VOL R: 255/40R-20 101H M+S VOL
Wheelbase: 106.4 in
Length: 174.2 in
Width: 73.3 in
Height: 65.0 in
Passenger volume: 96 ft3
Cargo volume: 21 ft3
Curb weight: 4791 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.3 sec
100 mph: 10.9 sec
1/4 mile: 12.9 sec @ 108 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.2 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 113 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.84 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
75-mph highway driving: 76 MPGe
Highway range: 180 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 79/85/72 MPGe
Range: 208 miles