Motoring with Jim McCauley: VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE
The two-wheel drive review model in ‘Ultimate’ specification has a 67kWh battery, and with a single electric motor produces 231hp providing a range of up to 259 miles. With maximum torque of 330Nm available almost immediately, initial acceleration sees the car reach 60mph from rest in just 7.0 seconds with a given top speed of 99mph.
In appearance, the XC40 has a high waistline with a narrow window line tapering up into a heavy rear pillar. This, along with the deep smooth sides conveys an image of strength while front grille and light units combine with the signature Volvo rear lights to establish the brand’s identity. For its relatively compact dimensions, it offers generous interior space on its 4.4 metres by 1.9 metres footprint.
On road, and the car progresses smoothly, offering a well-insulated ride and light steering feel. Mid-range acceleration maintains the initial pace and the car remains very settled on the road offering comfortable progress over poorer surfaces. Over a week’s driving on local roads, tyre and wind noise were well supressed adding to the quality appeal of the car.
All round visibility is excellent, thanks to the higher seating position with large mirrors and front and rear parking sensors to aid manoeuvring. The interior departs from the traditional Volvo flowing lines and the dash is very much in keeping with competitive models featuring a 12.3 inch instrument display for the driver and a central 9.0 inch vertical infotainment screen. The driver’s display provides clear road speed along with remaining battery charge percentage.
Driver support packages include City Safety with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking, including at junctions. Also standard is Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and unique to Volvo, Run-off Road Protection which automatically tightens the front seatbelts should the car leave the road, while front seat frames with a collapsible section reduce vertical forces to help prevent spinal injuries. For the occupants, the cabin provides spacious accommodation for five adults with good all round access. Boot capacity is 452 litres, extendable to 1,328 litres with the 60:40 rear seats totally folded.
Standard equipment includes automatic LED headlights with active high beam, parking sensors, power-operated tailgate, cruise control with speed limiter, and two-zone climate control with Clean Zone air-quality system.
Wireless/inductive mobile phone charging is also standard along with four USB sockets.
With regards to charging, this model can be charged from 0-100% in 11 hours using a 11kW charge point and from 10-80% in around 32 minutes where a 150kW charger is available.
The XC40 Recharge ‘Ultimate’ as tested, running on 19-inch tyres is priced at £55,050 (OTR) in a range that opens at £45,750. Purchase options include monthly payments from £749 with a Volvo fixed subscription package. With zero emissions it is currently free of road tax and for business users has a minimal BIK rating. All Volvo models are covered by the company’s three year / 60,000 mile warranty with the lithium drive battery covered for eight years / 100,000 miles.