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28 Jan 2022

What We Dislike
Unsettled ride over bad roads

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric offers a nondescript crossover for those looking to go green without getting noticed.

This, is the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric. It is Volvo's first all-electric car, and it comes with 402bhp, 660Nm of torque, and a 78kWh battery. If those numbers sound familiar, you can rest assured you're not having a bout of deja vu, for they are indeed shared with the dual motor Polestar 2 we tested just a few weeks back.

Opt for this electric crossover instead of the fastback and you'll get an additional 47 litres of space in the boot, although it is also asking for a $10,000 premium (as of 27 January 2022), alongside a slightly blunted official energy consumption (at 5.2km/kWh for the Polestar 2 against the XC40's 4.0km/kWh).

402bhp and 660Nm means the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric will easily leave rivals trailing far behind
So, should you still opt to get the crossover?

By the numbers

Well, if you're one to suffer from range anxiety in an electric vehicle, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the range of this Volvo XC40 Recharge will not leave you wanting.

Over three days with the car, I managed an average energy consumption of 4.3km/kWh. And at that rate you should be good for a range of up to 323km.

So, while it isn't the most efficient electric vehicle out there even when compared against its crossover rivals that all should have an equally difficult time punching through the air, the Volvo XC40 Recharge compensates with a slightly larger battery, allowing it to return a real-world total range that should surpass that of the Lexus UX 300e, and land it within striking distance of the range of the Mercedes-Benz EQA.

The cabin of the car feels well-built everywhere you care to touch
Then there is the issue of performance. With 402bhp on tap, the aforementioned crossover rivals to the XC40 Recharge can't possibly hope to keep up with its sheer pace.

Add to that the fact that the Volvo is the most affordable of the trio here, and has the largest boot, it looks like a home run for this electric XC40.

On the go

To sit and drive in, however, this Volvo XC40 Recharge is less accomplished. The electric crossover does a decent job of rounding over sharp edges, but the ride can feel busy whenever you're driving over broken roads, transmitting a good share of road imperfections into vertical body movement. There's also quite a fair bit of boominess that echoes through the cabin as the suspension does its work, and a fair amount of dive under braking, accompanied with body roll in the corners.

Embedded Spotify and Google Assistant is just the start of features destined for the new infotainment system
More eager drives will also bemoan the lack of a choice of driving modes, or the option to adjust the level of regenerative braking.

Look past these faults and you'll notice other great points about this car. All-wheel drive means there's always plenty of grip to be had, and the build quality in the cabin is astonishing, even if surface materials and the dashboard design don't quite match the Mercedes EQA for sheer tactility or deliver quite the same wow factor.

The infotainment system is also quick to respond to inputs and the inclusion of Google Assistant makes navigation and looking for restaurants when already on the road very easy, pairing with a steering that is a touch on the light side to make city driving a sheer breeze.

452-litre boot is sizeable compared to rivals in the segment
Space for all passengers is also decent, with rear knee room in particular easily beating many rivals in the segment, whether powered by electricity or otherwise.

A safe option

Conservatively styled both inside and out, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is a sensible option for those looking for a nondescript electric vehicle that has the power for effortless drives all the way up to highways speeds.

I just cannot help but feel that that excellent 420bhp electric drivetrain will be better paired with the futuristic fastback body of the Polestar 2.

Are you looking for an all-electric compact luxury crossover? Here are some other choices in this segment to consider:

The Mercedes-Benz EQA250 also delivers on quiet motoring, and has plenty of badge appeal to boot

Or perhaps you'd prefer the Lexus UX300e, which is comfortable, well built, and a breeze to pilot

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors
Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric 75 kWh (A)
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Engine Type


Electric Motor

Engine Cap





300kW (402 bhp)



660 Nm



Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Energy consumption



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