Volvo XC40 Recharge long term test: report 2

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 2166 List price £61,855 Target Price £61,855 Price as tested £61,855 Official range 270 miles Test range 228 miles

8 May 2023 – Long distance test

The first long-distance drive in my Volvo XC40 Recharge was a seven-hour round trip to Dorset and back in one day. Before the trip I spent some time setting up the driver’s seat via the multi-directional lumbar support button and other electric adjusters.

My car’s Ultimate trim level also comes with a length adjustment for the front seat base, which means I can push it right back to suit my short legs and my partner can extend it to give him better under-thigh support when he’s driving. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

I was seriously impressed with the comfort of the XC40 on my mega drive. I completed the day tired, but didn’t get backache or stiffen up. It was also great to have plenty of useful cubbies within easy reach for storing my phone, water bottle and snacks.

I charged the car up at a Shell Recharge location near Southampton, and although the cost was pretty exorbitant at 85p per kWh, I got a constant charging speed of at least 135kW charging from the 150kW unit. That topped up the battery from 17% to 65% in 40 minutes. 

Using the public charger cost me £20, which is far more than I pay to charge up at home. As long as I charge in the middle of the night, it costs £11.30 for a full charge. I’ve not been able to get the car’s onboard charging timer to work with my Zappi home charger, but adding a charging schedule via the Myenergi app for my charger works well. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

One quirk of my XC40 Recharge is that I can't quickly see how many miles of range is on the dashboard display, and that was a minor annoyance during my long drive.

To see the available miles I needed to leave the Range Assistant app open on the infotainment screen, but then I couldn't see the map for sat-nav directions or change radio stations without switching to a different menu.

Volvo has remedied this on the latest versions of the car by adding a real-time range counter on the dash display, but for me it's a nuisance.

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