DTqO7Lcu 2024 Volvo C40 Recharge 2
2024 Volvo C40 Recharge 2

Volvo C40 Recharge: Fast and family friendly

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge 9

What is it?

The C40 Recharge coupe and XC40 Recharge SUV are Volvo’s first dedicated electric vehicles.

Both arrived here in June 2022 and were upgraded in July 2023.

Both vehicles come with the choice of the Pure with a single rear-mounted motor or Twin Pure which adds a second motor mounted at the front and brings all-wheel drive.

Our test vehicle was the C40 Recharge Twin Pure.

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What’s it cost?

C40 Recharge’s shape is relatively subtle and doesn’t shout out that it’s an electric vehicle.

From the front to the B-pillar it’s quite tall in the manner of an SUV, behind the B-pillar it slopes down in the manner of a coupe . . . interesting.

It doesn’t have a radiator grille because there’s no need for one, but it has a sort of grille shape at the front.

The “bonnet” is quite high and provides handy extra storage space in the front or frunk (front trunk).

The normal Volvo Hammer of Thor headlights give the electric Volvo a look that’s instantly recognisable.

The doors have neat inserts that not only add to the style, but also add strength without adding weight. 

The charging point is on the left side of rear of the car.

A premium Harman Kardon audio system was fitted to the dual-motor Recharge we tested.

The sound quality is excellent and could be enjoyed all the more due to the near silent running that’s a feature of electric vehicles. 

The single-motor Recharge has a lower spec infotainment system. If you pay less, you get less.

But it does let the sales people guide potential buyers towards the more expensive model.

In terms of safety it’s a Volvo, need we say more?

The company virtually invented the current three-point safety belts way back in the late 1950s.

It has been at the front of safety, both in avoiding crashes and minimising injuries to occupants ever since.

The Recharge has a five-star ANCAP rating with 92 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 70 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 91 per cent for safety assist systems.

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge 4

What’s it go like?

C40 Recharge is a good-sized car with an interior that is quite squared off, again in the Volvo tradition, to provide good interior space.

The front seats are well shaped and we found they could be adjusted to suit our individual tastes. 

The rear seats are better suited to two occupants than three, which is the norm in most cars.

A person sitting behind a tall driver may have to comprise on legroom, other than that four large people can be transported in comfort.

The passenger in the centre-rear seat will have to sit with a foot either side of the tunnel. 

The rear-seat back folds almost flat so there’s good space to carry long items that need full support.

There are  two USB-C charge ports in the second row.

There are large side pockets, bottle holders in the doors and drink holders in the centre console.

There is a storage bin for smartphones in the lower centre of the dash area.

A smartphone wireless charging pad is also fitted. 

To get ready to drive you don’t have to push a “Start” button. Simply put it into Drive or Reverse and it’s ready to go.

The single motor in the C40 Recharge Pure generates 175kW of power and torque of 420Nm. 

The tw0 motors in the Pure Twin increase output 300kW and 670Nm.

Acceleration times for both powertrains are impressive: the single motor takes 7.4 seconds from 0-100km/h while the dual-motor does it in 4.9 seconds.

Volvo quotes a driving range of up to 476km (WLTP) with the single-motor and 507km with the twin motors.

Of course, this will vary a lot depending on the area where the Recharge is being driven and the style of the individual drivers. 

Charging power has improved as the larger battery pack allows for fast DC charging at a rate of 200kW with 10-80 per cent charge taking about 28 minutes.

C40 is enjoyable to drive with a touch of sportiness that means that show it’s not just there to minimise damage to the emission of greenhouse gases.

It answers instantly to the ‘throttle’ pedal which is one of the things that appeals to anyone who enjoys driving.

Indeed, we have had sceptical friends who believed that electric cars are only used to minimise emissions.

Then we get them to drive an EV – and they have immediately fallen in love with them.

It’s a relatively heavy car at over two tonnes (batteries are heavy things) but it doesn’t feel that heavy.

The fact that the batteries are low down in the car means that the centre of mass is lower than in one with a petrol or diesel engine – which adds to its road holding ability.   

The low zero to 100 km/h sprint time is due partly due to its instant torque off the line, but also because it doesn’t lose any time making gear changes. 

Any vehicle that does a sub six seconds is regarded as a very fast, this family SUV does it with almost a second-and-a-half to spare.

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What we like?

  • Quiet inside
  • Quick acceleration
  • Sporty to drive

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What we don’t like?

  • Too expensive for the majority

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The bottom line?

The Volvo C40 Recharge is a brilliant zero-emission machine with a decent driving range for its type.

It has great styling, the famed Volvo safety and it’s enjoyable to drive.

Would we buy one?  We would love to, but with price tags of around $80,000 to $90,000 including on-road costs – the C40 Recharge is nearly twice the price of the Chinese competitors that are dominating the EV market.

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Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Pure Electric, priced from $87,990
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 9/10
  • Safety - 9/10
  • Thirst - 8/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
  • Comfort - 9/10
  • Tech - 9/10
  • Value - 7/10

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