Volvo XC40 Recharge long term test: report 8

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 7084 List price £61,855 Target Price £61,855 Price as tested £61,855 Official range 270 miles Test range 210 miles

7 September 2023 – Load lugging

I’m pleased to report that my local Volvo service department was quick and efficient in replacing my car’s stone-chipped windscreen in less than a day. And the final bill came to £900 including a lot of sensor recalibration, which is £400 less than the original estimate.  

With my Volvo XC40 Recharge back in perfect condition, it resumed its family duties, taking on the traditional role of Volvo load-lugger for my mum and daughter. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

I’d blithely offered to build my mum a rockery for her birthday earlier this year, not comprehending the vast quantity of coarse gravel, topsoil and large stones I’d need to get from the shops to her garden. 

I was rather nervous about loading the XC40 down with all these materials. However, with the rear seats folded flat, it easily swallowed eight 20kg bags of stones, eight 20-litre bags of topsoil, various bits of wood and half a dozen large-ish rocks. The overall weight was around 300kg. 

Although the XC40 used up around 10 miles of range to complete the five-mile drive home, it didn’t struggle to make it up hills and didn’t feel that wallowy to drive. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

The second challenge for the XC40 was to help my daughter move. The Volvo estate has long been regarded as the ideal vehicle for taking children to and from university, and the XC40’s large, usefully square load area, additional underfloor storage compartment and wide door pockets came in very handy for transporting bags of clothing, kitchen utensils, plants, guitars, and all sorts of other things across a city. It was also helpful that it has no lip to negotiate at the boot entrance. 

Volvo’s recent announcement that it is axing all of its estate and saloon models earlier this year may have created panic among those who need to lug large or heavy loads periodically, but these two recent experiences with the XC40 have convinced me there’s no need to worry. The XC40 may be Volvo’s smallest SUV at present, but it’s more than capable of acting as a removal van or landscape gardener’s transporter when needed.  

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