Volvo has already announced plans to only sell electric vehicles by 2030, but in the meantime it’s already electrifying its lineup with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The first battery electric vehicle was the XC40 Recharge and now Volvo has followed that up with a more coupe-like version called the C40 Recharge. Just like other coupe-like SUVs, the C40 Recharge is basically the same as the XC40 Recharge, but with a fastback profile. It’s basically for buyers that want a more stylish version of the XC40.
The C40 Recharge is basically the same as the XC40 Recharge, but its sleeker roofline and rear hatch reduce headroom and cargo capacity for the sake of design. Its height has been cut 2.6 inches and with the rear seats folded the C40 Recharge has 49 cubic feet of cargo capacity compared to 57.5 cubic feet in the XC40 Recharge. Although there are some compromises, the C40 Recharge stands out compared to the growing number of small electric SUVs.
The C40 Recharge shares its powertrain with the XC40 Recharge, which means that it is powered by two electric motors, one on each axle, that generate a combined 402 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. With that much power on tap, the C40 Recharge is a zippy EV that can accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds.
While power and style are plentiful, the C40 Recharge does fall short with its driving range. It has a 75 kWh battery pack that sits below the floor that gives the C40 Recharge a driving range of 226 miles. It can take charging speeds up to 150 kW, which can charge the battery from 10-80 percent in 37 minutes. That’s a bit slow compared to the Genesis GV60, which can get the same charge in only 18 minutes. The GV60 also has a slightly longer range at 248 miles. The Audi Q4 e-Tron Sportback also has a longer driving range at 242 miles.
Inside the C40’s cabin is nearly identical to the XC40. This means that the cabin is covered in high quality materials with a minimalistic design. But you will notice one thing is missing – leather. The C40 Recharge is not available with leather seats, which aligns with the greener message of an EV. The C40 also gets unique backlit panels on the dashboard and doors that illuminate a pattern. At the rear thanks to the more coupe-like roofline, there’s a bit less headroom and cargo space than the XC40. But there’s also a digger draw back, more blind spots, since the view out the back is obstructed by the more stylish rear.
Passenger space is a bit more snug in the C40 with about four inches less rear legroom than the XC40. But we still managed to squeeze three adults in the back for a quick trip around town. With the rear seats up there’s just 14.6 cubic feet of cargo space, compared to 21.7 cubic feet in the XC40. There is a small frunk at the front, but it only has 1 cubic feet of space.
The C40 runs the latest version of Google’s Android based infotainment system, which is capable of receiving over the air software updates. The 9-inch vertically oriented screen is similar to other Volvo models. The navigation system uses Google Maps and the voice commands can be requested via the Google Assistant. In front of the driver there’s also a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. A 13-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system is available.
On the safety front, the C40 Recharge comes with all the driver assistance features that we’ve come to expect, like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot monitor, and parking sensors. A 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control are optional.
The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge is available in three trim levels: Core, Plus and Ultimate. The pricing for the base Core trim level starts at $56,395, including destination. The top spec C40 Recharge Ultimate is priced at $61,195.
At the end of the day, the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge stands out in the growing small luxury EV segment with its stylish exterior and fun to drive nature. There are some compromises, like interior space and driving range, which makes some of its rivals a better choice, but we have to credit Volvo for making an EV that stands out.
The good news is that Volvo has made some updates to the 2024 C40 Recharge with new powertrains and battery improvements. The big news is the addition of a new single-motor rear-wheel drive version, which is powered by a 248 horsepower electric motor and an 82 kWh battery pack. The driving range for the single motor version is up to 297 miles for the C40 Recharge. The twin-motor version now has a range up to 254 miles, a 31 mile improvement. Charging has also improved and can now accept rates up to 200 kW. It now only takes 28 minutes to charge from 10-80 percent in 28 minutes.
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