Hybrids & Electrics

The 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge EV Is Surprisingly a Top Performer

Although Volvo has often referred to itself as an environmentally conscious automaker, it didn’t ever incorporate an all-electric option into its lineup — that is, until now. The Volvo XC40 is the first of many upcoming EVs for the brand, reports MotorTrend. And even though the XC40 is Volvo’s first foray into EVs, it’s getting pretty stellar reviews already.

The specs and features of the Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 isn’t just Volvo’s first EV, but also one of the most powerful cars this automaker has ever had in its lineup. It features two electric motors, one at either end of the vehicle. Each of these motors makes 201 hp for a combined 402 hp.

The XC40 has all-wheel drive, and its range is predicted at approximately 208 miles. MotorTrend reports that with a 150-kW DC fast charger, the XC40’s battery can be charged to 80 percent in just 40 minutes. Drivers will also enjoy a number of federal tax credits that bring this vehicle’s starting price down to around $50,000.

Reviewers found the XC40 to be roomy, both in the cabin and in its cargo space. The trunk space is the same as the standard gas powered version of the CX40, and the EV version also has a small frunk in place of a combustion engine. The cabin is comfortable and full of premium materials.

The infotainment system is powered by Google Android, and features a 9.0-inch touchscreen that controls apps such as Google Assistant and Google Maps. Additionally, the CX40 has a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, where you’ll find information specific to the EV.

Other features of this vehicle include a panoramic sunroof, inductive smartphone charging, and heated front seats. Volvo’s suite of safety features comes standard, and includes cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, and rear collision alert.

How does this EV perform?

The Volvo XC40 EV has two drive modes: Normal and One Pedal. Normal allows the car to coast naturally when you take your foot off the accelerator, while One Pedal artificially slows the car as soon as you begin to lift your foot. MotorTrend notes that while One Pedal can occasionally be useful, Normal mode provides a smoother, more intuitive driving experience and uses less power.

The XC40 EV accelerates faster than its conventionally powered counterpart, likely due to its added horsepower. The reviewer observes that this vehicle is fast and silent on the road, and handles tight corners extremely well. However, the XC40’s steering is slightly unresponsive, and MotorTrend describes the brakes as feeling “wooden” after a long period of driving.

In spite of these minor shortcomings, though, the XC40 ultimately received a big thumbs up in its performance review, thanks to its quiet, smooth ride and plush cabin.

Volvo’s commitment to adding EVs to its lineup

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Given the fact that Volvo has long prided itself on its eco-consciousness, it’s noteworthy that the automaker has taken this long to introduce its first EV. That being said, when it decided to make this move, it wasted no time — the XC40 was only conceptualized in 2017 and is already complete. This speedy production time was enabled by the fact that the automaker chose to use the same CMA vehicle architecture found in the non-electric version of the XC40.

This is just the beginning for Volvo. MotorTrend reports that the automaker plans to release four more battery electric models over the next five years. By 2025, Volvo hopes that half of its lineup will be electric.

The Volvo XC40 EV is an exciting move toward a more sustainable future. With its high performance and comfortable cabin, it’s definitely worth a look for anyone on the hunt for a new EV.