2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin Motor Review - Bjorn to be charged
Singapore - Some years ago, Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, announced that they would quit focusing on engine development, and instead commit their energies to electrification.
This resulted in their performance brand Polestar, being repurposed as a stylish EV offshoot, and Cyan Racing now does the racing stuff. Confusing, I know, but the good news is that we now have one more vehicle brand in Singapore, which is Polestar.
And since Polestar is now a “proper” EV company, why not spread the love back to Volvo?
With the electrified version of the Volvo XC40, you get the quirks the small SUV is known for, implanted (and in my opinion, made better than the ICE version) with the guts of a Polestar 2.
Visually, the main difference between the Volvo XC40 Recharge, and its petrol-driven kin are the solid grille, and the omission of those fancy tailpipes. Other than that, most things remain the same visually. It is in my eyes, one of the most unique looking entry premium SUVs.
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin Motor - Inside
The XC40’s interior is a tactile treat of quality plastic surfaces, both hard and soft, punctuated with metal accents. I wish that Volvo would still offer their customers a coloured carpet option. At its launch, you could option an XC40 with Lava Orange carpets, which ride up the tunnel and also appear on the door cards. Somewhere else in the world, there is a cool Fjord Blue version of this available.
What is new to the interior though, is the 9-inch Android Automotive infotainment touchscreen, which runs on a built-in SIM card. There is a five-year free 4G plan, which comes with the Google-based infotainment unit. It is an automotive equivalent of Google assistant, and you get Google maps, which mirror on the 12.3-inch driver’s display, and you also get a choice between Sportify or Google Music. Also, Apple users will not be able to use CarPlay here. While it is an upgrade from the previous system, there is plenty of room for improvement. As standard, there is a wireless mobile charger, at the base of the centre console to keep your device topped up.
There is sufficient room for you to accommodate four in comfort, despite the XC40’s compact dimensions. This is thanks to some good packaging, and hollowed front seat bottoms for rear passengers to place their feet.
Cargo room comes in the form of an innovative 452-litre boot, which can be partitioned for added flexibility. Great for gym sessions and a spot of groceries, without mixing scents. With the rear seats folded, this expands to almost 1330 litres, which is good enough for that nasty bicycle habit of yours. Up front, there is a frunk where there is even more space for you to fit additional luggage. With some space planning, you could comfortably pack four for a road trip here.
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin Motor - Driven
I mentioned earlier that the XC40 Recharge runs on the same innards as the Polestar 2. The twin motor setup produces 408hp and 660Nm. There is a smoothness here which both the 2.0 four cylinder, and the 1.5 three cylinder PHEV variant are not able to achieve. For those who would want something a little more affordable, I hear that there might be a single motor variant coming to our shores.
Interestingly, the twin-motor XC40 has more than twice the power the class equivalent
Mercedes-Benz EQA, and if you are doing a roadtrip (like what we did recently), you would appreciate that Bjorn over here, charges more quickly than Gunther. And Bjorn also costs less.
And Bjorn accelerates to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, doing it without the lag associated with turbocharged engines. The small SUV is really quite ideal for Singapore roads, since it has a combined range of almost 300km, which would equate to about three to four days of driving (with the average distances we would typically cover in Singapore), without the need to charge. Volvo claims that the XC 40 Recharge does a combined average of 20.6kWh/100km, I managed 29.3kWh/100km on the first run, and 19.8kWh/100km on the second.
Bringing the small Volvo to cruise, I notice that it seems to have better insulation than its fancier Polestar sibling, this is especially so when going over poorer surfaces. Interestingly, while the steering feels rather vague, you can put the XC40 through corners with similar confidence of maybe something like a mild hot hatchback, but over here with all wheels biting in. With 2113kg, there is plenty of car to sling around, and you will find that it will begin to roll if you push it.
Sure, it might not come close to a Mercedes-AMG GLA45 S in cornering ability, but the Volvo produces similar power and more torque than the same-size SUV from the land of the Affalterbach. Then again, it is intended for a comfortable drive… Bjorn over here, can do some, but not all.
Aside from the flawed infotainment system, there is plenty going for the XC40 Recharge (styling quirks included), and I feel that among the various variants sold, the Recharge EV is the best. But also, Bjorn is also more affordable than Gunther.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin Motor
Battery 75kWh net
Electric Motor 408hp/660Nm
Electric Range up to 298km (WLTP)
Top Speed 180km/h