Since the introduction of the Volvo XC40 as a compact SUV in 2017, sales figures in Europe have increased steadily from year to year. The purely electric SUV version combines the zero-emission drive with a sophisticated armada of assistance systems. Volvo wants to continue to set the safety standards in automotive engineering and is therefore upgrading the current cars with driver assistance systems and noticeably increasing occupant protection. In spring 2023 we were able to experience the purely electric and probably future-oriented technology of the Volvo XC40 extensively.
The speed of converting to purely electric cars has been continuously updated by the Swedish manufacturer in recent years. The presentation of a new electric model is firmly planned for each year in the model offensive. As early as 2030, the curtain falls on the last combustion engines in order to strive for the next goal of climate-neutral production by 2040. The XC40 can already be described as a successful clock. The version we tested with two motors on the front and rear axles, each with 204 hp electric motors, is designed for European requirements for all demands in the premium segment. In the top speed range, it is sealed off at 180 km/h. The attractively designed XC40 can confidently shed the old cliché of the car for teachers and study councillors. It has long been in direct competition with the BMW X3 or Audi Q3.
security and performance
Thereby can Volvo score well in terms of safety. The carmaker has long announced that no more passengers should be injured or killed in the new models. And so this philosophy was carefully realized in technical solutions. The result was already impressive in 2018 during the first NCAP test. In the area of occupant protection, 97% of all requirements have already been fully met. Among other things, the blind spot assistant, the collision avoidance and the lane departure warning system are helpful. The emergency brake assistants for obstacles and crossing traffic work just as effectively when parking and exiting. Any obstacle it detects is consistently acknowledged with autonomous emergency braking. Even if a tall flower gets in the way, it will stop immediately.
Comfort and ergonomics
The traditional values of high-quality seats with very good lateral support and configurations that can be saved individually offer high-quality long-distance comfort. Expanded with the heated and ventilated seat elements, the driving comfort can be fully utilized. The multifunction steering wheel includes all the essential controls for speed, media and telephone functions and adaptive cruise control. The central head-up display is set high and offers a very good resolution for the camera views.
A head-up display, which is actually common for the premium segment, is also desirable for the future. There is currently no option for the configuration.
Energy for long-distance journeys
For the test drives, we mainly chose trips in the third mix over the state of Schleswig-Holstein in mild temperatures. The dynamics and the smooth running in all speed ranges were interesting. A very comfortable suspension is achieved thanks to the independent wheel suspension with good damping characteristics. The adaptive cruise control also impressed with its simple activation and quick speed setting using the left thumb. After stopping at traffic lights, the system is reactivated by gently pressing the power pedal. Consumption including use of the air conditioning has leveled off between 22 and 25 kWh per 100 km. The consumption values are reasonable for a large-format SUV.
Volvo registration numbers in Europe
Volvo XC40 (all models)
Prices and special equipment
The 360-degree all-round view on the trapezoidal display makes maneuvering very easy for the compact SUV. The total supervision and the obstacles are reported visually and acoustically. During our trips, an average consumption of 28 kWh was displayed with all consumers switched on. That's not really surprising, because with a total weight of well over 2 tons and the high air resistance, these are realistic values at low outside temperatures of around 5 degrees. In the summer there are still a few savings potentials due to the savings in the air conditioning sector. The combined WLTP-Range is specified by Volvo as 416 kilometers. After all, this allows you to plan a relaxed summer trip and also a relaxed holiday trip. In the cool Nordic spring with the use of consumption, we were at 320 kilometers according to the display.
The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin Ultimate with the highest equipment package still has a base price of 63.190 euros in the current model year. Volvo's online configurator currently only offers leasing models for the current versions. Here the monthly leasing rate starts at 1.049 euros per month for the premium model "Ultimate". (May 2023)
Technical data 2023
Emission values and fuel consumption
CO₂ emissions, combined (NEDC)
0 g / km
CO2 emissions, combined (WLTP)
0 g / km
Power consumption, combined (WLTP)
17.8 kWh/100 km
Pure electric range, weighted (WLTP)
0-100 km / h
Maximum power (kW)
180 km / h
weight and capacity
Max. trailer load braked
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric with two motors is the most powerful variant. With an attractive price-performance ratio, it faces tough competition from the SUV models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes in the compact SUV premium segment. The increasing sales figures in Europe clearly speak for the Volvo XC40. The chances in competition are very good with the very attractive design and the extensive safety equipment. If you don't need that much power, you can also choose the single-engine variant with front-wheel drive.
Practical test in spring 2023
How do you like the Volvo XC40 Pure Recharge?
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