Technology

I’ve driven the cheapest electric Volvo and it’s like a smartphone to sit in

Charge VOLVO XC40

BENEFITS:

  • Stylish, high quality interior
  • Decent range and charge
  • Comfortable and quiet to drive

DISADVANTAGE:

  • Expensive to buy
  • Not that fun to drive
  • Average rear seat

VERDICT: If you want an electric XC40, this new single-motor Recharge is the way to go. It is stylish, high quality and easy to drive, but still expensive to buy and puts comfort before cornering.

The single engine Volvo XC40 Recharge has a range of up to 263 miles

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The single engine Volvo XC40 Recharge has a range of up to 263 milesPhoto credit: Volvo

Volvo is currently on a small roll. It makes very good looking cars and that helps sales which are currently stronger than ever.

The most coveted model is the XC40, probably because it’s the cheapest entry point into one of Volvo’s brilliant SUVs.

Order one now and you could wait up to a year for it to appear on your driveway.

Volvo has been making some of the best plug-in hybrids for ages, but the XC40 was the first Volvo to get the all-electric treatment.

Dubbed the XC40 Recharge Twin, it was launched with two electric motors (one front, one rear) giving it all-wheel drive and a staggering 408 horsepower.

This allowed the small family SUV to keep up in a straight line with the full-fledged sports cars, which always looked a bit stupid with the children in the back.

Now you can have the charge as, uh, just a charge. It has a slightly smaller battery, but only the one motor in the front.

At 231 hp, it’s slower but hardly slow, doing 0-100 km/h in a snappy 7.4 seconds. It also goes a little further on a charge, at 263 miles between plug-ins.

Since the battery is a bit smaller, it can also be charged a bit faster. If you can find a 150kW charger (a rare sight on our streets) you can charge from 10-80% in about half an hour.

50kW chargers are more common and the same charge takes just under an hour. At home on a wall box? 12 hours.

Technical details and speed aside, the Recharge feels very similar to the Recharge Twin.

Like all electric cars, it handles traffic very well and is really more relaxed than a motorized XC40 in the city and on the motorway.

The XC40 has never been the fanciest small SUV to drive, but its more relaxed approach will appeal to the majority of people looking to buy one.

You also get Volvo’s Google-based infotainment system, which essentially makes the XC40 like a giant smartphone to sit and drive to work in.

You can download all your favorite apps on it, so you don’t have to connect your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

There’s really only two black spots for the Volvo XC40 Recharge – it’s a pretty average seat for people sitting in the back and its price.

This might be the cheapest electric XC40, but it’s not particularly cheap, with two trim levels and a starting price of just under £45k.

Of course, few people pay for new cars with cash, and Volvo is one of the few manufacturers to offer a subscription service instead of traditional financing like PCP.

It’s a bit like your cell phone bill, but you’ll need to be pretty concise for that bill.

There’s a fixed 3-year subscription from £579 per month, or a rolling monthly subscription called Flexible from £709, which can be canceled at any time.

Both include road tax, service and maintenance, breakdown cover and wear and tear including tyres, but insurance costs extra.

Either way, that’s more expensive than other similarly sized electric SUVs like the VW ID.4 or the Kia Niro.

Charge Volvo XC40

Price: £44,900

Engine: Single engine, front

Perfomance: 231 hp, 330 Nm

0-100km/h: 7.4 sec

Top speed: 99km/h

Area: 236 miles

Load: Up to 150 kW, 10-80% about 30 minutes

Out of: now

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8786499/volvo-xc40-recharge-review/ I’ve driven the cheapest electric Volvo and it’s like a smartphone to sit in

Fry Electronics Team

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