Home / Reviews / First Drive / Volvo XC40 Recharge EV Car India Review, Specs, Price

 

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is essentially the conventional XC40 but loaded with a battery pack, two electric motors, and cutting-edge electronics.

  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Review in India

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Design
The beauty of the Volvo XC40 Recharge is that it doesn’t look very different from its internal combustion engine (ICE) sibling but still manages to give enough hints that it is all-electric. Like the standard XC40, the Recharge has nice proportions and it looks compact, though this EV is 15 millimetres longer (to accommodate the battery pack) than the petrol/diesel version. The front grille is replaced by a body-coloured plastic strip, it has slightly different alloy wheels, and there is minimum use of chrome. And, of course, there are the green registration number-plates since it’s an electric vehicle. That’s about it.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Cabin
Visually, the cabin is indistinguishable, too, but a major difference here is that the door linings and carpet are made of recycled plastic bottles which do justice to the Recharge’s green intentions. Overall, the layout has the usual robust build and minimalistic character of most Volvo cars. The production version will get faux wood accents and leather-free (leatherette) upholstery, unlike what our test car sported.

This battery-powered version is as roomy as any XC40 and can ferry family and friends in good comfort. The boot space has been compromised slightly to accommodate the battery and then there’s the temporary spare wheel strapped atop which hampers the luggage room further. As compensation, you do get a small storage area under the bonnet since this car is battery-powered.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Features
The driving experience is also futuristic thanks to the truly keyless system. Volvo have done away with the physical start/stop button; now the car senses the key (only if you have it on your person) and preps the car automatically. You just get in and start driving without having to actually switch on the ignition. Another welcome change is a new Android-based infotainment system that comes with built-in Google Assistant and Maps and Indian buyers will get a four-year data pack as part of the package. Volvo promise that the India-spec car will also come equipped with Apple CarPlay. The user interface on the nine-inch vertically mounted touchscreen is decent and navigating through the menus is straightforward. We’ll also get an air-purifier with a PM-2.5 sensor and the all-important panoramic sunroof. Decent information is provided by the 12.3-inch colour instrument console.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Safety Features
Also on offer are plenty of driver aids to keep everyone safe, including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, hill descent control, hill start assist, and even a 360-degree camera which the ICE version misses out on. Like all Volvo cars, there’s the assurance of all-around airbags, including front, knee (driver side), and curtain.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Battery, Powertrain and Performance
The Volvo XC40 Recharge comes with a 78-kWh unit which powers two electric motors (204-hp each), one at the front and the other at the back. With a combined output of 408 hp and an instant torque of 660 Nm, this is easily the liveliest XC40 out there. When we actually found an empty stretch of road, having first struggled with the traffic for a good part of our drive, we did get a chance to sample its brilliant performance. The rather quick 0-100 km/h claimed time of just 4.9 seconds did seem pretty accurate and so did the 180-km/h (limited) top speed. It just darts past practically everything, giving you enough opportunity to impress your friends.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Battery Range
Since Volvo have a deep connection with China, this car gets to employ the latest and the best electric technology. This SUV promises a range of up to 418 kilometres (WLTP cycle), which should translate into just below 300 km in the real world. This should be good enough for week-long commuting if driven sensibly. If you have access to a 150-kW DC fast charger, then you can top up from 10 to 80 per cent in a little over 30 minutes, while a standard 30-kW charger should take 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery, which isn’t bad at all.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: One Pedal Drive
Another feature worth experiencing is the one-pedal drive. Switch on this feature through the infotainment system and it increases the brake regeneration every time the driver lifts his/her foot off the accelerator, a bit like strong engine braking, which drastically reduces the speed. You can drive around with just the accelerator pedal, barely using the brake pedal unless you need to anchor rapidly.

Volvo XC40 Recharge: Ride and Handling
The ride and handling department is impressively close to that of the regular XC40 despite the additional weight of the battery pack. The suspension keeps most of the bumps and jerks at bay to keep the occupants comfortable. And thanks to the twin motors powering the front and rear wheels, there’s abundant grip to keep things tidy even during sticky situations. But it’s definitely not sporty enough to poke you to chase down winding roads. Drive it around at a reasonable pace and it feels more at home.

Conclusion
The Recharge was expected to be here last year, but the pandemic and semiconductor shortage had other plans. Finally, the official price is expected to be announced in July and deliveries are scheduled for October this year. The XC40 Recharge will be offered in just a single variant in India and it won’t be cheap—its price expected to be around Rs 65-70 lakh. But for that price, it does offer electric performance to keep most cars in the rear-view mirror and the usual comfort and safety expected from the Swedish brand.

Also Read: Lexus NX 350h Luxury Hybrid SUV Review

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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