25 Sept 2022

KILDARE CAR REVIEW: Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle

XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

KILDARE CAR REVIEW: Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is Volvo’s first all-electric car, and it comes equipped with dual electric motors, four-wheel drive and an official range of up to 418kms on a single charge.

Volvo’s first entrant into the compact premium SUV segment when it was launched in 2018, the XC40 has seen unprecedented success, winning a host of prestigious awards — including European Car of the Year in 2018 and Irish Car of the Year in 2019.

Twin Electric Motors

While the plug-in hybrid XC40 is ideal for those making the transition to electric driving, the Pure Electric is the perfect car for those ready to commit to all-electric motoring. The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric’s long range does not come at the expense of performance, with its twin electric motors producing 408bhp to deliver a 0-100km/h sprint time of only 4.9 seconds. One electric motor drives the front wheels and the other drives the rear wheels, thereby providing great on and off-road ability. Thanks to its high ground clearance, large wheels and true SUV proportions, the XC40 possesses a powerful stance and rugged charm. Uniquely Scandinavian, and unmistakably a proud member of the award-winning Volvo SUV range, the XC40 is an authentic SUV for the city.

Google Maps Fully Integrated

Offering best-in-class navigation, the XC40 Pure Electric comes with Google Maps fully integrated in the car. With hands-free voice control enabled by Google Assistant, real-time traffic info and automatic re-routing combine to let you reach your destination in a hassle-free manner. A built in route planner means you can be alerted as to when to charge the car before the power runs low. It also recommends when and where to charge, helping you enjoy a more relaxed journey.

The front seats in the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric are some of the best you will find in any car, and this goes a long way towards providing the car with a premium luxury look and feel. A digital instrument panel is standard, and the Recharge Pure Electric’s screen is higher in resolution than the screen in other XC40’s, so it is crisper, clearer and very easy to read.

Overall fit and finish within the spacious cabin of the XC40 is exceptionally high, and pretty much anything you touch in the car feels ready to stand the test of time and the rigours of daily family use, while also oozing elegance and luxury.

Boot space measures in at 452-litres with the rear seatbacks in place, but the split-folding rear seats can be dropped when required to reveal a cavernous cargo area for large, bulky loads.

Three Trim Levels

The new Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is available in a choice of three trim levels — Core, Plus and Pro. While entry-level Core trim brings with it an essential equipment level for a connected and sustainable drive, mid-level Plus benefits from added comfort and control features, while top-level Pro offers the highest equipment level for the most comfortable and connected experience.

Each fully-electric XC40 Recharge comes with a Plugsurfing card giving access to one of Europe’s largest and most-up-to-date charging networks, along with a Volvo Care Package which includes service, roadside assistance, warranty and an insurance contribution (terms & conditions apply).

Charging the XC40 can be done in a number of ways, with a wall box charger providing a 0-100% charge in approximately eight hours. At a 150kW DC fast charging station, it is possible to charge the battery from 10-80% in approximately 33 minutes — just enough time to rest, or have a meal during a long journey.

At a more commonly found 50kW charging station, a similar charge will take around 100 minutes to complete.

Test Car

My test car was an XC40 Recharge Pro Pure Electric P8, which was finished in striking Fusion Red metallic paintwork with charcoal leather and Nubuck upholstery, and sporty 20” 5 x double-spoke black diamond-cut alloy wheels. Key standard features in range-topping ‘Pro’ trim level also include full LED headlights with a headlight cleaning system, front fog lights with cornering function, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, heated steering wheel, heated front & rear seats, BLIS (Blind-spot Information System), Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake, Rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, park assist to the front, rear and sides, a 360-degree camera, tilt and slide panoramic sunroof, power driver seat with memory, power passenger seat, power-folding rear head restraints, and a Harmon Kardon premium sound system with 12 speakers (600W) and Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound.

My test car was smooth and settled at motorway speeds, while remaining comfortable and composed over rutted city streets too.

Lots of grip from the XC40’s large tyres, and an abundance of performance from the powerful 73kWh battery and twin motors, provides a confident and mature driving experience from behind the wheel. The XC40’s electric motors can quickly move the car along in calming quietness, while the brakes respond consistently when the pedal is pressed, plus there is the added advantage of a ‘one-pedal’ driving function so that just lifting off the accelerator gradually slows the car down to a complete stop.

This regenerative braking function sends energy back to the car’s battery to enhance the driving range, so it serves a very useful dual purpose. The elevated seating position in the XC40 provides a good view of the road ahead, helped further by relatively slim windscreen pillars. You also get large door mirrors, so you can see clearly what is driving up alongside (with the added benefit of BLIS in my test car), and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror is standard.

Verdict & Pricing

The versatile Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric has a luxurious interior, a good electric range, rapid performance, exceptional refinement, and impressive safety credentials.

Pricing starts from €52,950, with the XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid priced from €47,950.

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