Volvos are supposed to be sweet, stylish, safe, and sensible. On the surface, the XC40 Recharge seems to be all that, but, in reality, it’s actually a bit of a wild thing. You see, while the whole purpose of an electric car or an EV is to cut down on global emissions and make our planet a cleaner and greener place, products like the XC40 Recharge are a reminder that saving the environment shouldn’t come at a cost of driving thrills.
Even though the XC40 Recharge looks identical to its ICE versions, it’s got a monster residing under its bodywork. It packs a dual-motor setup, which delivers 408bhp and 660Nm. Thanks to that, it can propel from 0 to 100km/h in under 5 seconds. For reference, the base Taycan does the same sprint in 5.4 seconds.
Next up is its unflinching AWD grip and handling – the fact that it was only half a second slower than the low-slung BMW i4 should be enough to tell you the whole story. It steers and grips more like a hatchback than an SUV. Its sophisticated electronics need special praise here. Unlike most electric cars, where power delivery is more of an on-and-off affair and the traction control cuts the power abruptly, the XC40 Recharge’s systems are rather gentle and unintrusive. The only killjoy is, perhaps, its safety system! Every time you attack a corner at silly speeds, the seat-belt pretensioners kick into action hurriedly, assuming you’re in a crash. Whether you crash or not is secondary, for there are more chances of your getting strangled. On a serious note, this isn’t actually Volvo’s fault. They do take occupant safety seriously. Plus, the XC40 Recharge isn’t meant to storm around corners. Its idea is to save the planet, remember?
The XC40 Recharge is also priced quite aggressively and has got a decent real-world range of 350-370kms. If there’s something that pulls its scores down, it’s the cramped and dull interior, along with the jittery ride. It doesn’t feel as polished as its ICE siblings. Not to mention, aside from its green credentials, it doesn’t stand out from a regular XC40.
- Volvo XC40 Recharge (Lap Time – 01:09.6)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||3|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||16|