Volvo XC40 Recharge

Plug-in Hybrid T5

FWD Inscription Pro

Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, front
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, nose
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, side, overhead
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, side
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, rear
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, rear, static
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, interior
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, boot
Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD R-Design Pro, 2020, charging

VOLVO really seems to have hit the spot with its trio of SUVs and the XC40 is no exception.

Following in the footsteps of the XC90 and XC60 it might be the junior member of Volvo's SUV family but this compact SUV is a pretty consummate and capable all-rounder.

It stands out for its individual design lines that cleverly combine traditional chunky SUV styling with a look that's also very modern and appealing.

Compact SUVs like the XC40 make a lot of sense in many ways, as they offer familiar SUV benefits like a high driving position and practicality without being overly large and cumbersome.

One of the most recent additions to the XC40 range is the Recharge Plug-in Hybrid model.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles have become fairly commonplace, though interestingly the XC40 was the first plug-in hybrid in the premium compact SUV sector.

It will be followed by a fully-electric Recharge model.

Plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs as they are sometimes referred to, offer the perfect halfway house between internal combustion and pure electric power and therein lies their appeal.

All-electric vehicles are still somewhat pricey, even with grants towards the cost, and though it's evolving EV infrastructure still has some way to go and long journeys can require careful planning.

PHEVs really can offer the best of both worlds - and depending on what kind of daily driving you do, can still offer the opportunity of all-electric motoring.

The XC40 PHEV will manage 29 miles of electric motoring on a full charge, so if your daily commute or driving itinerary is relatively short it's possible to plug it in every night and never have to watch the fuel needle move.

When I first drove a PHEV a dew years back plugging it in seemed like a big deal but now it's pretty much second nature.

As is standard the XC40 PHEV can be charged via a standard three-pin plug or a fast charge cable.

A full charge using the fast charge cable takes two-and-a-half hours and just an hour longer, according to Volvo, with the three-pin option.

My time at the wheel saw me using electric power for the most part, undertaking short journeys locally - though one foray further afield did see me utilise the petrol engine.

It's also worth remembering that even when using the petrol engine the battery gets recharged when you are braking or coasting.

Switching between the two is fairly seamless when required though there's quite a sense of self satisfaction when pootling around in eerie silence conscious of the fact one is relying solely on electric power.

Another benefit is the brisk acceleration that's delivered by electric motors giving the Recharge PHEV a turn of pace that is pleasantly surprising.

Familiar Volvo features combine to make the Recharge's cabin a pleasant place to be.

The tablet-style touchscreen in the centre console, which controls many of the car's functions, still looks very cutting edge and is splendidly intuitive and easy to use.

It's characterised by a roomy interior where rear seat passengers are well catered for when it comes to both head and leg room. That boxy blueprint also means it offers a spacious boot and despite having batteries on board its carrying capacity is the same as any other XC40 - 460 litres with the seats up or 1,336 litres with them folded down.

There are four Recharge PHEV variants to choose from - R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro, with prices ranging from £40,905 to £42,305.

As one might expect from any Volvo standard safety features are also impressive.

Every XC40 comes with City Safety - which includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking, including at junctions.

There's also Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which will automatically steer you back on track if you drift out of your lane.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD Inscription Pro

Price:£42,305

Mechanical: 262bhp, 1,477cc, 3cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Combined MPG:139.4

Insurance Group: 32

C02 emissions: 48g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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