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Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric review

Category: Electric SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 rear cornering
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 rear cornering
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 interior dashboard
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 rear seats
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 infotainment
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 right tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 headlight detail
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 badge detail
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 interior front seats
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 driver display
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front boot
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 boot open
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front right tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 rear cornering
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 interior dashboard
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 rear seats
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 infotainment
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 right tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front tracking
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 headlight detail
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 badge detail
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 interior front seats
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 driver display
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 front boot
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric 2021 boot open
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin's two electric motors drive the front and rear wheels to give you four-wheel drive, and acceleration is mega. With 402bhp and 487lb ft of total torque, the 0-62mph sprint takes just 4.7sec. Even by the rapid standards of electric cars, that's swift. The quickest Audi E-tron covers the same ground in 5.7sec, and the Kia e-Niro musters a time of 7.8sec. The Tesla Model 3 Performance is quicker still, with a ridiculous 0-60mph time of 3.3sec. The two-wheel-drive single motor XC40 Recharge still provides decent, if not blistering acceleration, and beats the equivalent Audi Q4 E-tron 40 to 60mph.

When it comes to electric cars, performance isn’t just about how quickly they'll go but also how far they'll travel between charges. The official WLTP range goes from 258-264 miles for the two-wheel drive and 256-259 miles for the four-wheel drive Twin. We found that the Twin managed 203 miles in varied real-world driving in fairly middling temperatures. That's not as good as the range that the Model 3 Long Range (329 miles) or Volkswagen ID.4 (323 miles) will officially stretch to, but it's still decent by class standards. The Audi E-tron 50 quattro and Lexus UX300e don’t even make it to 200 miles of official range, while a range of around 250 miles is par for the course in many other rivals.

The light steering in Normal mode feels a touch vague even around town, but if you go to the driver assistance menu and select ‘Steering feels firm’, it's beefed up considerably. We’d be tempted to leave it in that setting all the time. Regardless of the mode, the XC40 Recharge is an assertive yet easy car to drive in any situation. Its response is sharper than the Audi Q4 e-tron’s, but don’t expect it to be as much fun as a Jaguar I-Pace or Ford Mustang Mach-E, nor as mind-bogglingly grippy as the Tesla Model 3 Performance.

Suspension and ride comfort

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric doesn’t have adaptive suspension (it's not even offered as an option). That's fairly unusual for a premium electric SUV, but the XC40 is one of the more comfortable options in the class anyway.

New car deals
Save up to £1,776
Target Price from £26,515
Save up to £1,776
or from £307pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £33,500
Leasing deals
From £399pm