Car review – Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge Twin

A good start

Volvo's first electric car, with its 408 hp, positions itself as a sporty crossover. Efficiency seems to be an afterthought.

 

Shared platform

The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge, built in Ghent, is the first electric Volvo. It shares its platform, battery pack and drivetrain with the (considerably cheaper) Polestar 2 and is available with one or two electric motors. The dual motor model we tested is called Twin and delivers a massive 408 hp (300 kW) and 660 Nm, distributed equally between the front and rear axles. 

If you're happy with less power you can also opt for the same car with front-wheel drive, just one motor and a total power of 231 hp (170 kW). This model has the same large battery as the "Twin".

With a capacity of 78 kWh, 75 kWh of which can be used net, the battery is pretty big. According to the manufacturer, it guarantees a range of 418 kilometres (WLTP). In practice, however, with a normal driving style you can expect a range of 320 to 330 kilometres and a (relatively high) average consumption of 23 kWh/100 km. 

 

Fast charging and acceleration

The maximum charging speed at a normal charging point is 11 kW. However, the 565 kg battery can be charged at speeds of up to 150 kW on powerful DC chargers. That's fast, just like the car itself, which, thanks to its 408 electric hp, reaches 100 km/h in no more than 4.9 seconds and picks up speed very quickly again, while its four-wheel drive eliminates traction problems. The top speed is capped to 180 km/h, as always with new Volvo cars.

The electric XC40 performs best in a straight line, because the high bodywork and ditto weight (just under 2.2 tons) make it prone to rolling. A relaxed driving style suits this model best.

 

Up to date

The XC40 is very much up to date, including the new Android-based and high-performance infotainment system and the various safety features Volvo is known for. Comfort is very good, as is the amount of available space. The 414 litre boot is 47 litres smaller than the petrol models, but is complemented by a small additional 31 litre boot in the front. 

The biggest disadvantage of the twin motor electric XC40 is its price, which fortunately is less of a factor in a leasing solution than when buying the car outright. For the rest this is a very good first electric car that will especially appeal to people with a company car. However, it is not the most economical.

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      + Performance and speed pick-up

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      + Comfort

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      + Equipment

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      -Purchase price -Power consumption