Volvo C40 Recharge (2023) evaluate

Volvo’s path to electrification is nicely underway, with the corporate aiming to be purely electrical by 2030. Which means there will not be any extra launches for combustion fashions, with a transition from vehicles designed initially for combustion to autos powered by batteries.

The XC40 Recharge is typical of this, having launched initially as an ICE car – and inner combustion engine for anybody unfamiliar with the lingo – earlier than the Recharge badge was utilized to a pure electrical mannequin. The Volvo C40 Recharge is barely totally different: regardless of being a variant of the XC40, it by no means launched with a combustion engine; it launched as electrical solely – and stays so. In some ways, it is Volvo’s first purely electrical car earlier than we get to the imminent Volvo EX30 and the long-teased Volvo EX90.

Volvo/ Pocket-lint

Volvo C40 Recharge

The Volvo C40 Recharge gives all some great benefits of the XC40 Recharge however with a dropped roofline for a barely sportier look. It’s extra distinctive on the street, too, however the slight elevate in worth over its virtually twin sibling within the XC40 could be what deters consumers. Nonetheless, nice clear design, a cushty trip and nice connectivity choices stay enticing, however phase competitors is fierce.


  • Nice Google infotainment system
  • Clean and fuss-free drive
  • Actually snug seats

  • Dearer than XC40 Recharge
  • It is all a bit secure in design

Design and construct



Whereas the Volvo XC40 is a well-recognized sight on the roads – thanks partly to having launched as a standard SUV alongside the electrical Recharge model – the C40 Recharge is much less widespread. From the B pillar ahead (that is behind the entrance doorways,) this automobile is basically the identical because the XC40. It sits on the identical platform and has a lot the identical seems.

The distinction comes across the rear of the C40 Recharge, with Volvo choosing a dropping coupé-like roofline for sleeker and sportier seems than the XC40 Recharge sibling. It is a transfer we have seen from manufacturers like VW, Audi and Skoda, which all have rivalling fashions providing two physique kinds, a lot as is seen right here. Simply check out the VW ID.5 or Skoda Enyaq IV Coupé, for instance.



Whereas that dropping roofline makes for a unique look on the street, there’s one huge disadvantage. The rear window visibility is squeezed, with the aerodynamic mouldings across the high of the rear window obscuring a lot of the view. It additionally means the rear of the C40 Recharge feels much less spacious and ethereal than the XC40 Recharge. That may not be an issue for these within the entrance seat (ignoring the diminished rear visibility on the street), but when loading up with youngsters and luggage is what you need out of your SUV, then the XC40 Recharge will possible be extra handy.

The automobile carries distinctive Volvo seems, nonetheless, robust strains with a boxy look, making this compact SUV look somewhat extra rugged than some rivals, however some could also be drawn to the truth that it is rather less widespread than the XC40 sibling.



There’s 404 litres of loading area within the rear, in comparison with 419 litres within the XC40. Folding down the rear seats will develop that, however the XC40 is bigger once more. There’s area within the entrance too, though that is higher used for issues like charging cables.

There are three trim ranges – Core, Plus and Final, every with differing gear ranges – with single or twin motor choices for every, so there isn’t any scarcity of choices to discover. One necessary change that got here with the 2023 replace for the C40 Recharge is the shift to rear-wheel drive for the single-motor model, which Volvo says is designed to make it extra environment friendly.

A cushty inside

The inside of the C40 Recharge is basically the identical because the XC40 Recharge. Volvo’s message is more and more about sustainability, so there is a leaning in direction of recycled and managed supplies, however nonetheless a reasonably heavy use of tougher plastics. That may make them simpler to recuperate when the automobile reaches the top of its life, however on the identical time, it is not essentially the most premium of automobile interiors you may discover at this worth level. There are additionally plastic panels on the sprint, which look somewhat low-cost.



From the entrance seat, there’s loads of area and loads of adjustability, with minimal buttons on the inside, the main focus as an alternative being on the central show. This show and inside design was launched in 2015 with the launch of the XC90 and checked out by means of a up to date lens; it could’t compete with the likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E with its large inner show or the Hyundai Ioniq 5 with its sweeping screens. It now all feels somewhat small, though the general minimalist aesthetic is one thing we’re seeing in different vehicles.

It is easy sufficient to get to options you need, however that is the necessary factor on this mid-life replace for the C40 Recharge. It is all nonetheless practical if not now being cutting-edge. The consolation and high quality of the seats remains to be spectacular, nonetheless, providing loads of adjustability, with sufficient room entrance and rear to hold grownup passengers in relative consolation – and loads of knee area for these within the again.



What the Volvo C40 Recharge is absolutely about is giving individuals a Volvo. This automobile is not attempting to face out or transfer the model ahead; it is very a lot working with what Volvo drivers count on. With that mentioned, it is quiet and refined, a pleasant play to be, however it’s not the type of inside that may get individuals speaking.

The know-how loadout

One of many issues that Volvo likes to speak about, nonetheless, is the tech. It was one of many early producers to throw in its lot with Google, basing the inside system on Google’s automotive platform, so there’s native entry to Google apps and providers. This implies it is acquainted, with Google Maps in place, maybe eradicating the necessity all the time to plug in your telephone to get to a contemporary system.

However do not fall into the entice of considering that’s solely about Android Automotive: it is not. It is simply as pleased to accommodate your Apple CarPlay once you join your iPhone. The query is whether or not you may need to try this, given that you could run apps like Waze natively on the built-in system.

This central show governs a lot of the interplay, with buttons solely providing primary demist and a play/pause and monitor skip choice, with local weather controls retained throughout the contact interface itself.

There is no begin button now; you simply get within the automobile, and it is able to go, which follows a line of considering that Tesla is pursuing: take away buttons you do not want. It is only a disgrace that the beginning button is now a clean area as a result of the inside panel is identical because it was earlier than. So, it is a technological development that the design does not fairly sustain with.

A lot of the motion takes place on the 9-inch central show, and the consumer interface is easy to make use of; customers of Android methods will in all probability welcome the familiarity, however it now feels somewhat small. It is supported by a 12-inch digital driver show that clearly reveals all the mandatory data.



The usual sound system provides you eight audio system and a 250W output, however the Harman Kardon choice bumps this to 13 audio system and 600, which is spectacular. If you wish to make the most of that native Spotify app and love your music, then it is well worth the improve.

Battery, vary and efficiency

One of many fascinating issues in regards to the Volvo C40 Recharge is that there are not any driving modes. Many vehicles supply some type of eco mode, one thing for regular driving and maybe a sports activities mode. However Volvo simply needs you to get in and drive with out fascinated about any of that stuff. However there’s a one-pedal driving mode that is value searching for out within the menus, as this can make your every day driving less complicated, maximising regen once you elevate off so that you need not stamp on the brakes as typically.



I discovered the one-pedal driving mannequin to make for a easy drive, the high-riding SUV providing you with a domineering place on the street for nice visibility, aside from the again window, in fact. Sitting excessive does improve the feeling of roll as you slosh across the seats somewhat when cornering at tempo, however for many drivers, that is unlikely to be an issue. The only motor mannequin has a 69kWh battery (66kWh usable, with a 175kW motor driving the rear wheels. That is 238hp, which gives you a 0-62 time of seven.3 seconds. The official cited vary is 302 miles; the typical we took from the automobile throughout check driving (albeit on clear nation roads at restrained speeds) was 3.3 miles per kWh.



The AWD mannequin will get an 82kWh battery (79kWh usable) however sees a bounce to 300kW for 408hp. That sees a 0-62 time of 4.7 seconds, which is severely fast and doubtless sooner than most individuals will want. There’s additionally a reasonably large bounce in worth for the AWD mannequin, which once more may deter some consumers. The bigger battery capability additionally means an extended cited vary of 342 miles – which you will not get close to for those who take full benefit of that acceleration. There’s help for 150kW charging.

There is a sense of competence from the Volvo C40 Recharge, however there’s little distinction between this because the XC40 Recharge and the swap from entrance to rear motor on the only motor choice does not make an enormous distinction to the driving expertise, even when there’s a barely improve in effectivity in comparison with the earlier model of the C40 Recharge.


There’s loads going for the Volvo C40 Recharge, however there are additionally a number of factors in opposition to it. The satisfying driving expertise has loads of sensible quirks with that high-riding place and area within the again for passengers. Mix that with a tech loadout that is not superior a lot prior to now couple of years however remains to be nicely linked, and there is little to complain about.

However the worth is somewhat increased than the XC40 Recharge that is principally the identical automobile, however with somewhat extra cupboard space and with seems which might be a mite extra standard. However there are extra XC40’s on the street, so for those who’re after one thing that is maybe somewhat extra sporty in seems and barely much less widespread, then the C40 Recharge is value your time.

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