Volvo XC40 Recharge long term test: report 10

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is fully electric and based on a former What Car? Car of the Year, but what's it like to live with? We're finding out...

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

The car Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin AWD Ultimate | Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it's here To see if the pricey pure electric version of the XC40 is as much of a leader in the family SUV segment as its conventionally fuelled siblings were when they first went on sale

Needs to Be a safe, fault-free commuter car part of the week, and cope with the demands of rural family life without running out of range at the weekends

Mileage 7793 List price £61,855 Target Price £58,805 Price as tested £61,855 Official range 270 miles Test range 211 miles

17 October 2023 – Practical design

The weather may be wintery, but that didn’t stop me from giving my Volvo XC40 Recharge a spring clean recently – something that was made considerably easier by the fact that the rubber mats that line its centre console cubby, cupholders and large front storage area can all be removed for washing. This is particularly handy if something has melted in them or there’s been a spillage. The mini rubbish bin in the console also comes out to make it easier to empty – another thoughtful touch.

Not such good news was another charging problem, although this one was resolved quickly and painlessly. After getting stiffer to plug in over the past couple of weeks, the Type 2 lead that goes into the car to use my home wallbox charger stopped fitting into the car’s socket altogether.

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

Inspecting it carefully, it turned out that the metal lining of one of the pins had crumpled up so it wasn’t plugging in properly. Thankfully, because the car is still under warranty, faulty cables are replaced for free, and one quick phone call to Volvo started the process of a new cable being sent to me. 

On a completely different topic, I’ve discovered an interesting fact about the XC40 and its safety credentials. The original internal combustion engine models were crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2018, gaining a five-star rating and praise from the safety organisation. The Recharge was tested in 2021 and was awarded the same scores: 97% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupant protection, 71% for vulnerable road users and 76% for its safety assist features.

You might expect both versions to offer the same level of protection, but this isn’t the case with all pure electric model variants, because they’re heavier than their combustion-engined counterparts. The BMW iX3 pure electric version of the BMW X3 was tested by NCAP in September 2023, and although it still scored five stars the testers noted that it “exhibited weaker protection of the chest during the side pole impact” crash test. So I’m feeling reassured that Volvo is upholding its long-held reputation for building very safe cars at the same time as introducing pure electric models. 

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