Author: Gerry Murphy
~ 3 minutes read
Volvo’s XC40 is around since 2020 when it won the Irish Car-of-the-Year award. That was for the internal combustion models in both petrol and diesel. They converted to electric with the XC40 Recharge a couple of years ago with two motors providing to drive – one on the front wheels and the other on the back wheels.
Now they have introduced a single-motor version that is obviously less powerful and with a shorter range. It is also over eight grand cheaper.
The two-motor all-wheel-drive version has a declared range of 436km while the single-motor driving the rear wheels on this test drive has a smaller 82kW battery and a range of 522km. Driving the car for a full week on all sorts of journeys delivered closer to 350km in normal circumstance and keeping an eye on the speed.
Recharging the battery from a fast charger is fairly quick as you can top up the battery from 10% to 80% capacity in 32 minutes.
I’ve always liked the shape and size of the XC40 from the first time I have driven it. It comprises of a very square body shape, and this lends it to maximising the cabin with great seats and loads of leg and headroom. One little quibble would be that the visibility through the rear window is not great as it is compromised by oversize rear headrests that can’t be folded away from their fixed position.
Out on the road, you get a real feel of quality and the safety levels that Volvo offer. You get City braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, front and rear auto brake, run-off road and oncoming lane mitigation are all included, as are blind-spot detection, driver alert, road sign recognition, a speed limiter, and whiplash-protection from those huge headrests.
Some of these may irritate the operator at times and can be switched off. In certain circumstances I would prefer not to use lane assist or speed detection that sends an annoying sound signal if you do go above the signposted limit by just one kilometre. Switching off these assist features must be done after every restart.
Here in Ireland, the Volvo XC40 Recharge has a mid-range price of €58,730 for the single-motor model in Plus guise, which is the mid-range trim of the more expensive dual-motor line-up. The test model with additions comes in at €68,910.
Overall, the XC40 Recharge is a really decent car to drive, if not overly exciting. The higher seating position answers the desires of the modern driver, and while it is an SUV, it is a nice size and not too big to be cumbersome. It also has the ideal mix of style and robustness in the interior to withstand the rigours of family life.
Pictured: The Volvo XC40 Recharge.
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