Volvo XC40 Single Motor Review: Single Not Ready To Mingle

Volvo has introduced the XC40 with a single-motor setup. But does this mean that it’s only half the fun and half the experience?

By Karan Mathur | Photography Hiyan Chauhan | on April 27, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

If you are an automotive enthusiast who proudly identifies as a die-hard petrolhead, then chances are that you vehemently oppose the idea of an EV. If so, then, it would be a fair assumption that you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the thrill of a fun-to-drive premium EV. Vehicles like the Volvo XC40 and the C40 Recharge epitomise the very idea of such an EV, offering performance that can rival most sports cars.

Now, Volvo has launched a single-motor variant of its compact electric SUV, called the XC40 E60 Plus. This model offers slightly less power, a smaller battery capacity, fewer features, and comes with a slightly more affordable price tag. This begs the question: is it worth considering or are its more powerful siblings the better choice?

Volvo XC40 Single Motor Review: What’s Changed?

In terms of design, the new Volvo XC40 Plus hasn’t changed much in comparison to its siblings –  in fact, you need to look closely to notice the differences. While the front end looks exactly the same, it now gets adaptive full-LED headlights instead of the Pixel-LEDs of the dual motor variant. Unlike the Pixel-LED setup – which features 84 individual LEDs that can selectively dim parts of the high-beam when it detects oncoming traffic while maintaining the rest of the LEDs on high over dimly-lit areas – the full-LED setup can only automatically switch between high- and low-beam. Additionally, the XC40 Plus also forgoes the adaptive LED fog lamps.

Volvo Xc40 Recharge Front

Inside the cabin, the one notable difference is that the XC40 Plus gets an 8-speaker sound system instead of the excellent 600W 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system of the Ultimate variant. Plus, it also misses out on the 360-degree surround view camera, side parking assist, and the convenience of wireless Android Auto / Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Volvo Xc40 Recharge View Of Steering Console And Instrumentation

Now, to be fair, many may argue that these features aren’t really essential. And they would be right! Considering that it costs nearly ₹3 lakh less than the fully loaded variant, it doesn’t seem to be a bad deal, does it? Well, here is where things get a bit tricky… 

Volvo XC40 Single Motor Review: Lacking in Power?

The single-motor XC40 produces 238bhp and 420Nm of peak torque. In comparison, the twin-motor XC40 E80 Plus, powered by a 78kWh battery pack, produces 408bhp and 660Nm of peak torque. In terms of performance, the twin-motor variant offers ferocious acceleration, providing an exhilarating push forward, while the single-motor variant accelerates with grace.

While its figures may seem less in comparison, 420Nm is still more than what most can handle. I mean, it can do the 0 – 100km/h sprint in just 7.3 seconds, which is quite fast. So, for those looking for a premium EV capable of quick and easy overtaking manoeuvres, the XC40 single-motor variant is a worthy choice.

Volvo Xc40 Recharge Charging Point

The E60 Plus, featuring a 69kWh battery pack, offers a WLTP claimed range of 475km, compared to the E80’s 505km. Now, the upshot of the E60 Plus’s reduced power output is that its claimed range hasn’t diverged too far from that of the twin motor variant. When we received the car from Volvo, the battery capacity was at 95%, offering a range of 450km. Impressively, even after spending the entire day of spirited driving, the battery level only dropped to 50%, still good for another 230km. I must confess that while my range anxiety was somewhat alleviated, I still couldn’t do a full range test. Nonetheless, it left me impressed, for sure. 

Volvo XC40 Single Motor Review: It Handles Well

It truly does! When I first drove the XC40 and C40 Recharge twin-motor variants, I was quite impressed with their handling abilities. What’s more, among the four EVs featured in our epic comparison for this issue, I found Volvo’s dynamic package to be the most impressive. However, the E60 Plus single-motor takes things even up a notch, thanks to it being a rear-wheel drive. Compared to the twin-motor variants, the E60 Plus is nearly 200kg lighter and, consequently, feels noticeably lighter at the front, not to mention that this has made the car even more agile, adding significantly to its handling abilities.

Volvo Xc40 Recharge Rear

Considering the blend of adequate power and agile handling abilities that it offers, the XC40 single-motor seems to be a compelling package, especially for enthusiasts. Furthermore, its steering is light and direct, which also adds to the easy-handling nature of the E60. The suspension is equally pliant and comfortable. It easily soaks up bumps and, in my opinion, feels a little less stiff than that of the XC40 twin-motor variant and, therefore, more comfortable.  

Volvo XC40 Single Motor Review: Which One Would I Choose?

That’s the real question, isn’t it? In my opinion, if you are in the market for a premium electric SUV and have the means to spend ₹54.95 lakh (ex-showroom) on the single-motor variant, you might as well consider stretching your budget by ₹2.95 lakh and get the twin-motor variant. With the twin-motor variant, not only you will enjoy unbelievable performance and relatively more power but also the added convenience of AWD, which could prove invaluable if you decide to venture off-road.

  • Volvo xc40 Recharge

Motor: Single Motor

Battery: Lithium Ion, 69KWH

Transmission: Single-Speed / Rear-Wheel Drive

Power: 238BHP

Torque: 420NM

Charging: 0 – 100% in 8 hours (11KW)

Price: ₹54.95 Lakh (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: A good choice for those seeking a compact premium EV with a decent range.

•  Range

•  Handling and Safety

• Power and Price

Tags: Volvo Volvo XC40

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