Video test – Volvo XC40 Recharge Start: a discounted entry level that already offers a lot

Video test - Volvo XC40 Recharge Start: a discounted entry level that already offers a lot

Initially introduced in an all-wheel drive version, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is now available in a more affordable front-wheel drive version. Therefore, he is entitled to the full bonus of 6,000 euros at the Start finish line. Until the end of this month of August 2022, you benefit from a 5% reduction. Maxime Fontanier wanted to estimate this electric SUV.

a motor

The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD that I personally tested in September 2021 was powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors of 150 kW each, driving the front and rear wheels respectively. Or 408 horses available in total, for a torque of up to 660 Nm. You had to pay then a minimum of 56,150 euros including taxes to be able to afford it, and 58,050 euros now.

The Swedish manufacturer has presented a more accessible version, about 15,000 euros cheaper, revising performance downwards. Without disassembling the machine or blunting it. The copy in the hands of Maxime Fontanier concentrates the 170 kW (231 hp) of its single engine in the front wheels, with a maximum torque divided by two, or 330 Nm.

That of course plays on its speed to perform the exercise from 0 to 100 km/h: 7.4 against 4.9 seconds. The energy capacity of the lithium-ion battery has also been revised downwards. Its gross value drops from 78 to 69 kWh. Or from 75 to 67 kWh if we want to reason on an accessible quantity.

Preserved autonomy

The new equipment of the Volvo XC40 allows to reduce the weight of this electric SUV by 158 kg without affecting the autonomy. It would even be improved by 65 km in the city, going from 534 to 598 km maximum according to the WLTP standard. The trend is opposite in mixed use with an almost anecdotal loss of 13 km: 538 against 525 km.

During his test, Maxime Fontanier recorded an average consumption of 20.3 kWh/100 km over a distance of almost 300 km. ” It is much more fuel efficient than the 4WD version, about 3 to 5 kilowatt hours less per 100 “, he believes. In these conditions, the autonomy would be around 330 km until the power cut. But be careful not to hit above 130 km / h, if you do not want to see the figures fly beyond 24 kWh / 100km

It will be hard to get past 250km before stopping at a supercharger on the motorway anyway. There, in direct current, the maximum power will be a maximum of 150 kW, allowing to go from 10 to 80% of the battery’s energy in 30-35 minutes. At the AC terminals, the flow will be limited by the built-in 11kW charger.

series presentation

As standard, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Start comes in gloss black. It will be necessary to add 1,000 euros to access a metallic paint (onyx black, thunder grey, fjord blue, aurora or twilight silver), and even 1,350 euros for dresses in sage green or crystal white.

By default, this entry-level version is based on 19-inch alloy wheels, fitted with Michelin CrossClimate 2 SUV all-season tires in 235/50 at the front and 255/45 at the rear. Please note that the rim design is currently different on the manufacturer’s website.

The 2023 versions will a priori retain the engines, batteries and equipment currently offered. However, there will be some slight modifications to the bodywork compared to the model we are testing. Hence slightly slimmer front optics and fog lights integrated into the bow shield.

compact SUV

Future stylistic changes should not affect the dimensions: 4,425 x 1,863 m, for a height of 1,647 m and a wheelbase of 2,702 m. They make it a particularly compact electric SUV, making it easy to park in the city without sacrificing space.

Already at the level of the very accessible 452-liter trunk with a well-trimmed, relatively low loading sill. The volume can be increased to 1,527 liters by folding down the two-part backrest, with ski hatch, of the bench seat. The floor is then perfectly flat, with a double bottom to accommodate more than just charging cables. But these can also be isolated in the covered 31 l boot under the hood.

By way of comparison, the slightly bulkier Audi Q4 e-tron (4,588 x 1,865m) offers less with its 535/1,460 liters and no front boot. As if the accessible volume in the Volvo XC40 Recharge wasn’t enough, the SUV can tow a braked trailer of up to 1,500kg (1,800 in all-wheel drive versions), and 750kg if it’s not.

Take a seat in the back

The 2 passengers seated at the 2 ends of the rear bench will not suffer from a lack of space, neither at the height of the knees nor at the height of the elbows and the head. ” We are sitting pretty well. The upholstery is not too stiff, quite comfortable and with quality fabric », appreciates Maxime Fontanier.

The center armrest is also nice and carpeting covers the door panels. The occupants have several storage spaces and 2 ventilation openings (two-zone air conditioning) that take up the design of those that exist in 4 copies at the front.

On the other hand, the service tunnel, inherited from the thermal and rechargeable hybrid versions, relegates the middle one to the range of occasional space. The seat and backrest are less comfortable in this area.

The driver’s point of view

At the front of this Volvo XC40, the presentation is also well done, with a neat finish », emphasizes the VE tester. Padded materials dress the dashboard in its upper and lower part. If we add the carpet to the sides of the console, the knees will never be in contact with unpleasant materials and/or shapes. Storm doors benefit from the same treatment.

This presentation has nothing to envy to an Audi. It seems much better in terms of ergonomics “, compares our journalist who also congratulates the implementation of buttons on the steering wheel. The 9-inch screen of the multimedia system does not have the usual shape. With a more square format, it joins the Android Automotive universe linked to Google.

Infotainment now supports Apple CarPlay. But then it will not be possible to connect your phone to Bluetooth at the same time. ” It will evolve, I think, in the next generations. This is the advantage of remote updates “, anticipates the representative of Automobile Propre.

The best compact SUV?

As standard, the sound benefits from 250W outputs, but it is not possible to modulate the fader. If there is no smartphone induction charger, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Start offers 3 sockets (12V and 2 USB-C). It also doesn’t have a 360-degree view to make maneuvering easier, but the reversing camera and radars at the front mean it can be dispensed with. Behind the wheel, the instrumentation benefits from a 12.3-inch digital display.

In this basic trim, the seats can only be manually adjusted, but ” we are sitting very well, and we have an excellent compromise between lateral support and comfort », poses balanced Maxime Fontanier. Please note that the length of the seat can be extended and the lumbar support can be adapted to your own needs.

Even in this entry-level Start version, this XC40 offers the best finish of all electric compact SUVs, and above all the best ergonomics “, he bombards the man in the cap.

read also
How much is the Volvo XC40 Recharge worth on the road?

Before leaving

No key to turn or push button to activate – the Volvo XC40 spends its time guessing what it wants to do or what it needs to do. By pushing the small, easy-to-use lever in the desired direction of travel, the vehicle is ready to roll.

The board clearly indicates whether we are going forward or backward. It may not be much, but this important information is often not very visible on other electric cars.

It is possible to adjust the hardness of the direction from the central screen, as well as activate the One Pedal Drive that allows braking until stopping, playing only with the accelerator. This feature would have benefited from being activated by a well-placed shortcut, for example on the steering wheel. Unless you replace this system with paddles behind the rim to play nice with regen power.

first laps

With 21 cm of ground clearance, it is possible to easily take on country roads if necessary. Good sway bars, however, can shake Volvo XC40 passengers a bit. ” But less than in a Ford Mach-E, and much less than in a Tesla Model Y “, moderates Maxime Fontanier.

Visibility is pretty good in all weathers in the Swedish electric SUV, with large mirrors, a large windshield, and a rear wiper. At 11.4m, the turning diameter seems average. ” The steering is really nice, precise, and doesn’t jerk during hard acceleration, unlike the Volkswagen ID.4, which can chop when turning the wheels. “, reports the journalist.

By insisting on the corners, the XC40 doesn’t crush too much, but it will be able to let its all-season tires screech. ” It has a slight tendency to understeer, but really very progressive. » ; ” Not only do we have perfectly managed electronic aids, but we also have a great feeling at the level of the brake pedal. » ; ” We have very good brakes on this car. “, feels the pilot of the house who adds:” It is the perfect compromise in terms of chassis! “.

on the roads

Like the vast majority of electric cars, the two-wheel drive Volvo XC40 has no difficulty entering a motorway. Some motorists may lament its top speed of 160 km/h.

As for the driving aids, the Sart finish is equipped with line maintenance and cruise control, which, however, is not active. That is to say that the rhythm does not adapt to that of the vehicle in front. ” You have to compromise on a basic model “Remember Maxime Fontanier.

However, he is delighted with the soundproofing on board, which is better than in the Audi Q4 e-tron, even equipping optional acoustic windscreens and laminated side windows, which the Swedish SUV does not have here.


Usually, the 2-wheel drive Volvo XC40 Recharge starts its price list at 45,800 euros. But until the end of this month of August 2022, a 4% discount is automatically granted. This is why the floor price currently shown on the manufacturer’s website is 43,950 euros. Discounting the ecological bonus of 6,000 euros, we reach 37,950 euros.

Come September, prices are likely to rise even if Volvo were to keep an entry-level version eligible for the full eco-bonus, that is, below €47,000. », warns our specialist in electric cars. ” This is currently the best deal on electric SUVs “, he concludes.

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