New Volvo C40 Recharge is a lot like the award-winning XC40 SUV
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Gerry Murphy
~ 3 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Take the electric element away from any review of the Volvo C40 and we are left with a basic car that we can measure from a practical every-day use. We’ll get back to the motor later, but first let’s talk about the Volvo C40 Recharge and why it is worth a second look for anyone in the market for a new good-looking car.
Volvo, now owned by Chinese company Geely, has been producing some of the safest cars around for many years. Chinese ownership has not diluted any of the safety features whatsoever. This trend continues in the C40, which comes in two levels – Plus and Ultimate – and will attract many buyers for this reason alone.
This is based on Volvo’s XC40 – their award-winning SUV – but comes with a sloping roof line in an attempt to attract buyers with the new profile, and it is more or less a success. The C40 does look good from every angle and the lights design and 192 wheels adding some class to the overall looks.
Inside, the car is a lot like the XC40. This car is a full electric crossback with a beautiful leather-clad interior and a high level of technology, including Google connectivity. Thankfully Volvo have reduced their dependence on the touch screen and applied more manual switchgear than in some previous models.
While spending time in the car, there were some blips in the technology system, and while I assume that these were a once-off problem with my particular car, it highlights the need to have basic controls on the dash and not all in a screen.
And, while I’m at it, the other quibble is that the visibility through the rear window is seriously restricted. The slope on the back window, added to by the size of the three rear bulky headrests, makes reversing and parking difficult, and the general rear vista compromised.
There is another real difference between the two: the C40 is only available in electric mode, whereas the XC40 is also available with petrol power. The electric combination of a single motor and 69kWh lithium-ion battery gives you one of the fastest EVs around and promises a range of 432kw on a full charge.
As we know by now, this figure is impossible to achieve in the real world. This is the same with all electric vehicles, with most achieving between 65 and 70% of the range suggested. Here the average return was around 350km per full charge. Volvo tells us that the car can be charged at a fast charger from 10% to 80% in 27 minutes.
An interesting feature of the C40 is the keyless entry and start system. Many cars come with keyless entry, but this car has a start system that only needs to have the key onboard to allow you drive away – there is no start button. Is it necessary or even useful? Probably not!
On the road, the C40 is really quick with 408hp and a zero to 100km time of just 4.7 seconds. Handling is good for a car that weighs 2045kg. The low centre of gravity because the batteries are spread around the floor adds to the stability on all sorts of surfaces.
Buyers choosing the C40 over the XC40 will enjoy a handsome car that has the looks and a superb interior, including a rather brilliant Harman Kardon surround sound audio system with 12 speakers and subwoofer. The Volvo C40 may not be quite as practical as the XC40 but it is a really nice car.
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