Volvo XC40 Recharge

Ultimate Pure

Electric

Volvo XC40 Recharge, 2022, front
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro - profile
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro - cabin
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro - side
Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro - rear

WHEN the advantages of electric cars are evaluated, preferences outlined and the fast-expanding degree of choice available in just about every category discussed, the same topic of conversation routinely takes precedence.

People want to know how far they can drive each model before it needs to be charged up.

And yes, it's better to have your own wallbox than to rely on public chargers, but no one wants to be plugging in every night - even if they cover plenty of miles during the day.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is one of those cars that comes up for discussion. It has only been around for four years but its evolution has been swift, the original petrol and diesel variants being followed by a plug-in hybrid and now the full electric Recharge model.

So Volvo fans know what they're getting in terms of design and dynamics, along with the sustainable materials, cutting edge equipment and leading safety features - and they won't be disappointed by the compact SUV's electric range either.

Two models are up for grabs, a single electric motor version with 67kW battery developing 231bhp and a two-motor Twin variant producing 402bhp, both of which have an official range of 263 miles.

There are also three trim levels - Core, Plus and Ultimate - six pretty neutral-looking colours and prices starting at £45,750 and adding £6,000 and £9,300 as you go up the grades.

With cost in mind, to make things more straightforward for potential customers Volvo has made the car available to buy online and also via a subscription service from £669 a month.

What those customers are getting is a vehicle boasting comfort, safety, practicality, performance and the absence of any range anxiety.

Our model was the single motor one in Ultimate trim and while it can't claim the seismic acceleration of its four-wheel drive stablemate, it can still hit 62mph in less than 7.5 seconds and, significantly, has a slightly longer range.

The car can be charged from zero to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes using a 150kW fast charger, otherwise a full battery using the 11kW onboard charger will take eight hours.

Inside, no cabin space is lost thanks to the battery's design and packaging, to the point that there's actually more load volume than regular XC40s courtesy of an extra 31 litres of storage space below the bonnet.

Refinement is of the top notch level you would expect from Volvo, every XC40 Pure Electric coming comprehensively kitted out, using 100 per cent leather-free materials and including a new Android-based infotainment system with four years of data.

Operated using a nine-inch central touchscreen, it provides Google Maps with worldwide coverage, voice control, access to apps and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay.

Other standard kit includes automatic LED headlights with Active High Beam, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, a 12.3-inch driver's info display, powered tailgate, 360-degree camera, rear parking sensors and 19-inch alloy wheels.

And our tested range-topper brought extra cabin comfort with power-adjustable and heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker Harman Kardon 600W sound system, 20-inch alloys and a 360-degree parking camera.

Out on the road the XC40 is smooth and near silent to drive, well planted on the road and promotes a stress-free motoring experience, the fully electric lumbar adjustment ensuring top notch front seat comfort.

Among the Volvo's features is a ‘one pedal driving' function whereby merely lifting off the throttle instantly slows the car down to an eventual halt. You can switch it on and off - it feels a bit weird at first and we mainly had it disconnected.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC40 Recharge Ultimate Pure Electric

Price:£50,050

Mechanical:231bhp, 67kW battery plus electric motor driving front wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph:7.4 secs

Combined MPG:263 miles

Insurance Group:41

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles (8yrs/100,000 for battery)

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