Recharge your wheels

Volvo is certainly not veering from its plans to sell only BEVs by 2030. With its entire range now consisting of only pure electric, or electric hybrid cars, an all-new model EV has joined the Swedish stable. Ben Selby reports.

Essentially an all-electric coupe-like version of the XC40 SUV, the Volvo C40 Recharge starts at $87,900 drive away for the entry level Plus feature here. Along with those handsome “Thor’s Hammer” LED pixel headlights, the C40 gets slick looking sloping back and LED taillight arrangement. It also sits lower by 56mm than the XC40 despite sharing the same platform.

The C40 Recharge Plus gets a 170kW/330Nm electric motor powering the front wheels from a 67kWh battery. You also have the option of the top spec Ultimate with an extra electric motor and 300kW of grunt, but this will set you back an extra $15k. Both models have AC and DC fast charging capability and Volvo claim 438kms of range on a single charge.

Get in and you realise the C40 Recharge shares aspects with its relatives from Polestar. The most obvious of these features is the lack of needing to press a starter button to get going. Simply hop inside, belt on, select drive, and you are off. The C40, impressively, just does it itself.

The interior of the C40 is quintessentially modern Volvo, but there is next to no leather here at all. The C40 is the first Volvo model to have a sustainable interior from the get-go. My test car even had dash trim which displayed a Google-like street view of Gothenburg (Volvo’s hometown).

Talking of the tech giant, the C40’s touchscreen infotainment system now incorporates Google Maps. The voice activation system also allows Google to act out voice commands relating to the car by saying things like, “hey google, turn the passenger seat heater on.” It also allows you to use Google Assistant and Google Play Store.

There is still a distinctly premium feel to your surroundings. Head and legroom up front are pretty decent and the same can be said for the rear despite its sloping coupe-like roofline. The only downside about its slippery looking rear is rear visibility which takes a tumble, i.e., it isn’t the best.

Throttling off for the first time, I found there to be no regenerative braking. That was until you activate “one-pedal drive” in the C40’s drive settings. While being a tad intense at times, you will never need to use the brake pedal in this mode.

The C40 also claws back points by being a delight to drive. It is relatively spritely and handles the bends well too. However, it is happiest sauntering along in a cruise using as little electricity as possible.

Despite just missing out on the Government Clean Car Discount, the Volvo C40 Recharge Plus is a solid premium feeling offering and worthy of your BEV buying shortlist.

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Plus

Fact file:

Price: From $87,900

Motor: Single Electric, FWD

Transmission: Single speed autotomatic

CO2 USE: 0g/km

Range: 438km WTLP

Drivetrain: FWD

Power: 170kW

Torque: 330Nm

Battery: 69kWh

0 – 100km/h: 7.4 seconds

Cargo Space: Front – 31L Rear 413L

Weight: 2000kg


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