Driving report: Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD

It was only a matter of time before Volvo offered its smallest SUV in a fully electric version. This makes the XC40 Recharge P8 AWD not only the most powerful model in the series, but also by far the most expensive.

In the premium segment, customers looking for an electric compact SUV have so far looked into the tube. But that is changing now. Volvo is the first manufacturer to flip the switch and send its smallest SUV, the XC40, to the start as a Stromer. The variant is called a somewhat cumbersome “Recharge P8 AWD”. But it is not the first electric model from Volvo. Almost ten years ago, the Swedes began their electricity commitment with the C30 Electric. At that time, however, there were only a few copies. The market was neither ready for it nor did the converted C30 shine with a range suitable for everyday use. The maximum was just 150 kilometers.

But this time things should really take off. Because the XC40 drives in a segment that is very popular around the world. In addition, there is its attractive design, cool, clear and puristic. A handicap for Volvo could at most be that many customers are likely to shrink at the price. The Nordic Stromer starts at just under 60.000 euros and, with a few extras that you can indulge in in this class, quickly arrives at 70.000 euros.

However, the SUV also delivers above-average performance. The XC40 Recharge P8 AWD is equipped with the most powerful engine within the series, including all-wheel drive. There is an electric motor at the front and rear with an output of 150 kW (204 PS), which gives a total of 300 kW (408 PS). The system torque is 660 Newton meters (equivalent to a modern three-liter six-cylinder diesel) and, as is usual with electric motors, is available practically from a standing start. The XC40 is correspondingly confident when driving. Performance is abundant in all situations. The “One-Pedal-Driving” mode ensures adequate braking. Here the electric motors decelerate very strongly as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator pedal. In the city you can practically do without the regular brake pedal. The long delay takes some getting used to. Those who prefer to have it conventionally like with the combustion engine can activate this in the settings menu.

The calm and smoothness of the electric drive convey a great driving experience again and again. If it has to be, the 2,2-ton Swede can sprint from zero to 100 km / h in less than five seconds. That's good sports car level. If you have no ambitions in this direction, you should perhaps wait a while before buying the electric Volvo. At the end of this year, a significantly cheaper entry-level version with front-wheel drive will come onto the market. You can also choose a smaller battery.

The top model XC40 Recharge P8 AWD has a battery with a capacity of 78 kWh, which supplies energy for up to 418 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. In pure city traffic, even more than 500 kilometers should be possible. Both ranges make the Swedish Stromer a first car that can also be used for longer distances. Because at a fast charging station, up to 150 kW of power can be pushed into the battery. This means that the battery would be 80 percent full again in just over half an hour.

Outwardly, the P8 variant stands out from its combustion and hybrid brothers primarily through the closed, smooth-surfaced grill, as it does not require cooling. In the cockpit, the usual layout with the vertically arranged screen remains. There is no longer a start button. The car only registers whether the driver's seat is occupied and the driver has the appropriate key in their pocket. Get in, shift into gear, drive off.
The seating comfort, the materials used and the quality of workmanship are great. On the other hand, a minus point in this premium class is the lack of a head-up display, which is not available for the entire series.

Even with the large battery and the various electrical components in the vehicle floor, the developers managed not to let the trunk volume of the electric XC40 shrink compared to the other versions. 414 liters are a good value, with the rear seat backs folded down, the load space even increases to 1.348 liters. Because there was space under the hood at the front by eliminating the gasoline engine, there is an additional compartment (31 liters). It is ideal for accommodating the charging cable.

If you are still undecided about electromobility, you can also rent the XC40 Recharge P8 AWD by subscription. At a fixed monthly rate, you only have to recharge your batteries. Everything else like insurance, taxes and service is taken care of by Volvo. After a trial period of 30 days, you can cancel the subscription with a period of three months.

Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD - Technical Specifications:

Five-door, five-seater mid-range SUV; Length: 4,43 meters, width: 1,86 meters (with exterior mirrors: 2,03 meters), height: 1,65 meters, wheelbase: 2,70 meters, trunk volume: 414 - 1.328 liters
Drive: 2 electric motors (front / rear), each 150 kW / 204 PS, system output: 300 kW / 408 PS, 1-speed automatic, all-wheel drive, torque: 660 Nm at 1 - 4.350 rpm, 0-100 km / h: 4,9 s, Vmax: 180 km / h, power consumption (combined): 23,8 - 25 kWh / 100 km, range: 400 - 418 km, CO2 emissions: 0 g / km, efficiency class: A +
Price: about 59.000 Euro

Brief description:

Why: Smooth drive, good range, high level of safety
Why not: high price, no head-up display
What else: Mercedes EQA, Tesla Model Y, Audi Q4 e-tron
When does he come: in March
What's next: A cheaper version with front-wheel drive at the end of the year

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