Volvo has been moving towards electrification for some time now, starting with plug-in hybrids in 2016 with the brand's flagship XC90 SUV. In 2017, the company announced that all new vehicles introduced after 2019 would be hybrid or all-electric. "This marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive.
Volvo has made good on that pledge, extending its plug-in hybrid technology to the XC60 and bringing out two smaller all-electric models: the C40 Recharge crossover and XC40 Recharge SUV. We recently spent a day behind the wheel of the all-new C40 Recharge.
The basics of the C40 are simple. It's a compact crossover SUV, a bit taller than you'd expect from a passenger car, but still sized for urban and suburban use. It has four doors and a liftgate hatch in back. You can seat up to five passengers in two rows, and the second row folds down for hauling loads. The C40 is built on an entirely new platform designed for all-electric use. The batteries live in the floor and center tunnel of the vehicle, leaving room for a spacious interior and a front-trunk (frunk) where the engine would normally go.
Drive power comes from two electric motors mounted at the front and rear of the vehicle that deliver full-time all-wheel drive. Together, they produce up to 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque. The C40 Recharge carries 78 kWh of battery capacity, yielding a real-world range of more than 200 miles. The C40 is EPA-rated to travel 226 miles on a 100% full charge.
Plugged into a typical Level 2 (220-240V) home or public charger the battery will go from 0% to 100% charge in approximately 8 hours. At DC fast charging stations, such as those installed in a growing number of locations in the Portland metro area, the battery can be charged from 0% to 80% in approximately 40 minutes.
The C40 Recharge offers dramatic performance. From a standing stop, the C40 can reach 60 MPH in 4.7 seconds. Passing acceleration from 50-65 MPH is accomplished in a second or two. With the weight of the batteries mounted down low, the C40 offers balanced handling and high grip in curves and corners as well as precise, responsive steering.
Inside, the C40 Recharge offers an up-to-the-minute interior made from environmentally conscious materials. There won't be any leather in this car, but instead there will be high-quality wool and synthetic materials made from recycled water bottles, used wine corks, and other sustainable materials. It sounds bizarre, but it works. The upholstery in the C40 Recharge is stylish as well as comfortable.
The big news inside the C40 Recharge is the technology package. The nine-inch center touchscreen display uses the Google Assistant operating system, just like a Google smart speaker, so if you're saying "Hey Google" at home you already know how to use this system. The natural language capabilities are so advanced that you can just tell the C40 what you need, from climate to music or destinations. The navigation system uses Google Maps, which you're probably already using on your phone.
Finally, there's safety. This is a Volvo, so of course it's rated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The C40 Recharge comes with every possible advanced safety and driver assistance feature, including adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping, and more.
The C40 Recharge starts at $59,845 including all mandatory fees. However, Federal and Oregon state tax credits will knock $10,000 off that price. You can test-drive the C40 Recharge right now at area Volvo dealers, but the company has moved all electric vehicle ordering online, so there's no need to negotiate price. Delivery will be handled by your preferred Volvo dealer.
The bottom line on the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is that there's another great option for going electric now available. It's worth your time to go check out this option as well as Volvo's impressive plug-in hybrids, which have also had an update this year. We'll cover the updated 2022 Volvo XC60 PHEV a few days from now.
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge
Base price: $59,845 (before incentives)
Price as tested: $59,845 (before incentives)
Type: Compact crossover
Engine: Dual electric motors (402 hp, 486 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
EPA estimated range: 226 miles
Overall length: 174.8 inches
Curb weight: 4,700 pounds
Final assembly: Ghent, Belgium
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