Electric vehicles of all kinds are reaching the street now, and vehicles such as the Volvo C40 Recharge are quickly changing perceptions and expectations around EVs.
The C40 Recharge is the size of compact crossover vehicle with a distinctly contemporary appearance. The technology supporting the vehicle has been neatly integrated into the package. The range, more than 200 miles, is better than you might expect from an EV, while the electric powertrain delivers impressive performance both on the highway and city streets.
The one drawback is the charging network in suburban Detroit where I live — and I suspect much of the country — has not kept pace with the development of the vehicles. I do not have a home charger yet, and don’t commute. The in-vehicle app used for guiding to public chargers is effective, but the local public charging network is still a work in progress.
The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge departs from the standard crossover shape by moving in the direction of the five-door hatchback, which during the last several years has fallen out of favor with manufacturers and their customers. Volvo’s use of the “C” designation rather than XC also suggest it is more crossover than SUV.
In addition, Volvo designers have taken the vehicle’s silhouette and used lighting and the slant of the fifth door to give it a more distinctive character. Except for the solid fascia in front of where the radiator used to be there are few overt signs the C40 is an electric vehicle.
Volvo is committed to an environmentally friendly-style of building vehicles, so the interior of the C40 Recharge does not used any kind of leather in the cabin. Dropping the use of leather does seem to reduce the vehicle’s luxury feel, but I cannot say I missed it, and the substitute materials work nicely.
The center stack is equipped with tablet-style screen Volvo pioneered and the thin-film screen in the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is easy to read and adjust — even at night. Both screens combine to keep the driver informed about the state of battery charge and the vehicle’s effective range at any point during the journey. It will also point the driver to a charger. The lower roofline also means some drivers might feel cramped since the head room is reduced, but the visibility from driver’s seat is excellent.
The 2022 C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate is powered by two electric motors, one in the front and one the rear, and is equipped with a 78-kilowatt lithium-battery, coupled with a shift-by-wire, single-speed transmission. The all-electric powertrain is capable of producing 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the C40 gets the equivalent of 87 miles per gallon combined. The MPGe rating includes 94 mpge in the city and 80 on the highway. The vehicle’s regenerative braking system, which includes ABS, can help put additional charge into the battery in stop-and-go traffic.
Safety and Technology
The Volvo C40 Recharge is equipped with multiple airbags for protection in front- and side-impact accidents as well as rollovers. In addition, it is equipped with a full array of driver assistance features, including collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist alerts, blind-spot alerts, a lane-departure alerts, and lane-keeping assistance with road-runoff protection and mitigation.
It is comes with a Google Assistant, Bluetooth, Sirius XM, Volvo Cars Apps, navigation and audio streaming. Adaptive cruise control and automatic headlights as well as park assistance and backup camera are part of the package.
Basically, the Volvo C40 Recharge is a small car that weighs more than 4,800 pounds, giving it the heft of a large SUV. But the weight is offset by the power from the battery-electric powertrain. The balance between the power and weight gives the vehicle excellent driving dynamics. The ride and handling is smooth and efficient and handles even choppy pavement.
Also the vehicle is surprising nimble with a right turning radius. The best part of C40 Recharge’s performance is the power comes on immediately and it can climb from 35 or 40 miles per hour to 90 is what seems like an instant. This vehicle is a lot of fun to drive.
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Ultimate specifications
|Dimension||L: 174.8 inches/W: 73.7 inches/H: 62.8 inches/Wheelbase: 106.4 inches|
|Powertrain||twin 150 kW electric motors; single-speed transmission and AWD|
|Fuel Economy||94 city/80 highway/ 87 combined MPGe|
|Performance Specs||402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $58,750; As tested: $60,510 including $1,095 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The is a relatively small vehicle, which costs more than $60,000 and I suspect neither Volvo nor its dealers are offering much in the way of rebates. Despite its many good attributes, such as zero emissions, it’s not very versatile since it is small car and even small children will find the rear seats less than spacious.
However, for buyers with the financial resources and a long commute as well as a place to charge, it certainly has appeal. It also looks newer and fresher than many comparable vehicles, such as the Tesla Model Y.
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Ultimate — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Volvo C40 fully electric?
The answer is in the name — Recharge. It’s part of a wave of battery-electric vehicles the Swedish/Chinese automaker is developing.
What is the difference between the C40 and XC40 recharge?
The C40 Recharge, despite sharing much of its mechanical bits and interior design with the XC40 Recharge, is an all-new model for the Volvo line-up.
Can the Volvo C40 be updated over the air?
The C40 can be updated over the air and Volvo says they expect to extend this car’s range at some point doing exactly that.