Volvo has revealed its commitment to exclusively sell electric cars by 2030. Meanwhile, it is transforming its lineup with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric vehicles. The first fully electric vehicle introduced was the XC40 Recharge and now Volvo has introduced a more coupe-like version named the C40 Recharge. Similar to other coupe-like SUVs, the C40 Recharge shares many similarities with the XC40 Recharge, but it features a fastback profile. It mainly targets buyers who desire a more fashionable variation of the XC40.
The C40 Recharge closely resembles the XC40 Recharge, with its streamlined roofline and rear hatch compromising headroom and cargo capacity for the sake of design. The height has been reduced by 2.6 inches and with the rear seats folded, the C40 Recharge offers 49 cubic feet of cargo capacity, compared to the 57.5 cubic feet in the XC40 Recharge. Despite some trade-offs, the C40 Recharge stands out among the increasing number of small electric SUVs.
The C40 Recharge shares its powertrain with the XC40 Recharge, which entails being equipped with two electric motors – one on each axle – generating a combined 402 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. This impressive power enables the C40 Recharge to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
Despite its abundant power and style, the C40 Recharge falls slightly short in terms of driving range. It is equipped with a 75 kWh battery pack positioned below the floor, resulting in a driving range of 226 miles. The charging speeds can reach up to 150 kW, capable of charging the battery from 10-80 percent in 37 minutes. This is relatively slower compared to the Genesis GV60, which can achieve the same charge in merely 18 minutes. Additionally, the GV60 provides a slightly longer range of 248 miles, while the Audi Q4 e-Tron Sportback surpasses the C40 Recharge with a driving range of 242 miles.
The interior of the C40 is nearly identical to the XC40. This implies that the cabin is enveloped in high-quality materials with a simplistic design. However, the absence of leather seats in the C40 Recharge aligns with the environmentally-friendly message of an electric vehicle. The C40 also presents unique backlit panels on the dashboard and doors, illuminating a pattern. Nonetheless, the more coupe-like roofline leads to reduced headroom and cargo space compared to the XC40. There are, however, more blind spots due to the rear’s stylish design.
Passenger space is somewhat tighter in the C40 with approximately four inches less rear legroom than the XC40. Nonetheless, it was still possible to accommodate three adults in the back for a brief trip around town. With the rear seats up, the C40 offers a mere 14.6 cubic feet of cargo space, compared to the 21.7 cubic feet in the XC40. A small frunk at the front provides only 1 cubic foot of space.
The C40 operates on the latest version of Google’s Android-based infotainment system, capable of receiving over-the-air software updates. The 9-inch vertically oriented screen closely resembles those found in other Volvo models. Its navigation system utilizes Google Maps, while voice commands can be initiated via the Google Assistant. Additionally, there’s a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster in front of the driver, and an available 13-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system.
In terms of safety, the C40 Recharge comes with an array of driver-assistance features, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors. A 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control are optional extras.
The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge can be obtained in three trim levels: Core, Plus, and Ultimate. The base Core trim level starts at $56,395, including destination. Conversely, the top-tier C40 Recharge Ultimate is priced at $61,195.
Ultimately, the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge distinguishes itself in the expanding small luxury electric vehicle segment, thanks to its alluring exterior and enjoyable driving dynamics. Despite the compromises in interior space and driving range, making some of its rivals a more attractive option, Volvo deserves recognition for crafting an electric vehicle that truly stands out.
Encouragingly, Volvo has made several enhancements to the 2024 C40 Recharge through new powertrains and battery improvements. An exciting addition is the introduction of a new single-motor rear-wheel-drive version, featuring a 248 horsepower electric motor and an 82 kWh battery pack. The driving range for the single motor version of the C40 Recharge has been extended to 297 miles. Meanwhile, the twin-motor version now offers a range of up to 254 miles, a 31-mile advancement. Charging capabilities have also been improved, now accepting rates of up to 200 kW and only requiring 28 minutes to charge from 10-80 percent.
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