Revving Up: A Comprehensive Review of the Volvo XC40 Recharge

 Volvo XC40 Recharge: To date, India’s four-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) market has grown in two different directions. On the one hand, mass-market automakers have been releasing EVs at lower prices, such as the Rs 12-lakh Tata Tigor EV. On the other hand, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, an electric super-sedan with 761 horsepower, is now available for Rs 2.3 crore.

There has been a huge, roughly Rs 70 lakh gap in the middle of the spectrum that is only now being filled, first by the Rs 47 lakh Mini Cooper SE and then by this, the Volvo XC40 Recharge. However, the latter is the first legitimate sub-one-crore electric luxury car, while the former is still very much a niche lifestyle offering purchased more for its aesthetics and driving dynamics.

It therefore comes with higher standards for room, functionality, comfort, features, and—above all—range. Is it sufficient to meet all those requirements and become your first luxury electric vehicle?

Volvo XC40 Recharge will be slightly different when it goes on sale

First things first: this car is slightly different from the one you see here; it will be the one that goes on sale in July. These initial right-hand-drive models were introduced by Volvo India, but since the launch was postponed, the final Indian specification has undergone modifications. In the interim, the vehicle even received a minor cosmetic makeover.

First off, there are five other colour options available, but this lovely shade of Fusion Red won’t be. The updated model features more aggressive-looking bumpers, a more closed-off grille section, and more angular headlamps with a new “Thor’s Hammer” DRL. On the inside, the infotainment system will get wireless Apple Carplay in addition to replacing the leather upholstery you see here with a more environmentally friendly “leather-free” option.

How is Volvo XC40 Recharge different from XC40 T4 Petrol?

What distinguishes it from the XC40 petrol model? Not by much. It is only 15 mm longer when measured from the bumpers; the battery pack results in a slightly reduced ground clearance of 175 mm; the grille is blanked out; and the charging port is located where the fuel filler cap used to be. The boot has been reduced from 460 to 419 litres, the wheels have been raised to 19 inches as a differentiator, and the spare wheel is now located in the boot. Additionally, a 31-liter boot has been added beneath the bonnet, where the engine formerly resided. Additionally, it weighs a staggering 400 kg more because of the bulky battery pack!

For the most part, this is a good thing because of the interior’s high-quality construction and minimalist design. The all-black design sometimes gives off a cramped feeling, especially in the rear seat where the upright, low-set seat isn’t the most comfortable. Although the seats’ overall cushioning is a little firm, they are made to almost perfectly support your body.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge: features and technology

It has the new Android-based infotainment system and sharper new digital dials from the facelifted XC60, which it inherited along with its new telematics and infotainment systems. With an onboard e-SIM, the latter offers a sleek interface with direct access to Google Assistant and Maps, as well as several Play Store apps. However, it is not without limitations.

 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Image Credit: Google

To begin with, there is no standard “plug and play” Android Auto like in most cars, and Apple Carplay will only be available in the future. Instead, your phone must be connected through a convoluted login process involving the Volvo app and a Gmail account. Therefore, at this time, Bluetooth is the only way to link your phone. Furthermore, because the e-SIM depends so heavily on connectivity, it is essentially reduced to a radio in the event that network coverage is lost, and your phone is likewise unable to provide data. Additionally, while the interface is good for Google features like music, maps, and connectivity, the vehicle functions are limited to a busy background menu—a feature that was much better in the previous system.

The car’s panoramic sunroof—which now has new touch controls—wireless phone charging, a full suite of sensor-based ADAS technologies that enable Level 2 Autonomous driving, connected car technology, powered front seats with driver-side memory, and a superb Harman/Kardon audio system are some of its other noteworthy features.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: battery, motors and range

Regarding the XC40 Recharge’s powertrain, Volvo hasn’t held back. This version is known as the “Twin,” and it has two motors—one on each axle—that combined generate 408 horsepower and 660 Nm of torque! That is equivalent to the significantly larger Audi e-tron 55 Quattro, for comparison. Don’t be misled by the Volvo’s apparent small size, though, as it weighs a substantial 2,188 kg, or roughly the same as a Jaguar I-Pace, and can reach 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds.

 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Image Credit: Google

The majority of the weight of the vehicle is attributed to its 78kWh battery, which is not as large as the 90kWh batteries found in larger SUVs. However, given its stated range of 418km on the WLTP cycle and its power and torque outputs, the car is certainly on par with the larger SUVs. After driving for about 200 km, mostly on the highway and with a few enthusiastic acceleration bursts, we estimated that the full charge would give us a total range of about 300 km.

If these were available in India, it could quickly charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 33 minutes thanks to its 150kW DC fast charging capability. Volvo claims that it could reach 100 percent charge on a more convenient 50kW fast charger.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: driving and performance

If you’re concerned about how the device might affect safety, know that it can only function when someone is seated in the driver’s seat due to a sensor.

 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Image Credit: Google

However, once you’re moving, it initially feels a lot like the gasoline-powered Volvo XC40 Recharge T4. An electric vehicle’s creep mode is a positive indicator, and the vehicle responds softly to light throttle inputs. It should be immediately apparent that there are no traditional drive modes (except for an Offroad mode in low-traction conditions) and that there is no way to adjust the amount of lift-off power recovery. Rather, the touchscreen has a “one-pedal driving” mode option a few sub-menus in. When you engage this while moving, the powerful regenerative braking instantly brings you to a stop if your foot isn’t on the accelerator. Although it requires a great deal of adjustment, it could be quite

Despite all of that, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin accelerates quickly when you step on the pedal more forcefully. It accelerates and loses weight to the point where you have to slow down to keep up a reasonable pace. We had to do nothing more than gently bend our right foot to pass trucks on the highway on our way from New Delhi to Neemrana Fort in Rajasthan. Considering how little space it takes up, the performance can be quite addictive. If you floor it all the way, you’ll be pinned back in your seat at a level comparable to that of a sports car.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: ride comfort and handling

You can tell as soon as you drive over a rough patch of road that Volvo had to stiffen up the suspension to make up for the extra weight. Although this isn’t too bad, you and your passengers will be jolted from side to side. The larger 19-inch wheels do give it a firmer edge over sharp bumps.

The end effect is an incredibly cosy highway ride. When travelling over undulations, there is hardly any pitch or movement, and if you come across a pothole quickly, it will be completely smothered.

 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Image Credit: Google

The steering is light and fluid as we are accustomed to from Volvos, especially the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Use at slower speeds is immensely satisfying, and although it’s not the fastest, communication from the road is excellent. This time, a helpful option to increase steering weight is hidden once more within a touchscreen menu, and we do advise using it on the highway.

The Recharge is a more manageable vehicle than the Volvo XC40 Recharge petrol because of the increased suspension stiffness and decreased centre of gravity caused by the underfloor battery pack. It’s also very good at applying its power when emerging from a corner, and the electric AWD system that acts quickly allows you to accelerate with confidence. Even still, you would prefer to drive this SUV at a leisurely pace unless you want the occasional thrill. It is not the sharpest handling SUV available.

Volvo XC40 Recharge expected price and verdict

Although a price has not yet been determined, we believe the Volvo XC40 Recharge will retail for between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 65 lakh (ex-showroom). Given that the next car up costs a crore, we believe that buyers of such a car will be more than happy to pay this amount.

The city is the best place for electric vehicles (EVs), and the XC40 excels in this situation thanks to its small size. Its resemblance to a Volvo XC40 Recharge, which is elegant but unremarkable, may not be to its advantage because many EV buyers prefer a little more bling to show off their purchases. Perhaps the C40 Recharge Coupe ought to be the vehicle that comes next!

For the time being, however, the Volvo XC40 Recharge will have the entire market to itself because, unlike the other luxury brands, Volvo began its EV journey at the bottom of its range and worked its way down. For a while, this segment monopoly may be Volvo’s best chance to break into the luxury car market and become the preferred EV manufacturer in India if the Swedish automaker can balance supply and demand.

Volvo XC40 Recharge Review on You-Tube

Also Read: Hero Electric: Empowering Commuters with Smart Mobility Solutions

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