As fashionable as it is practical, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge is another desirable all-electric offering in a growing market segment. Based on the gasoline-powered XC40 SUV (reviewed separately), the XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s answer to the Tesla Model Y and the Mercedes-Benz EQC. A 75-kWh battery pack powers a dual-motor powertrain with a total of 402-hp and standard all-wheel drive. With that much power, it should be quick, and Volvo claims a driving range of more than 200 miles per charge. We haven’t had the chance to take the XC40 Recharge to our test track, but during our initial test drive, we noted perky acceleration and a compliant ride. In addition, the XC40 Recharge is just as charming, spacious, and thoughtfully designed as the regular gas-powered version.
What’s New for 2021?
The XC40 Recharge is an all-new model for Volvo this year and represents the Swedish brand’s first foray into all-electric propulsion—that’s if you don’t count its Polestar division’s new Polestar 2 EV.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All XC40 Recharge models will come with two electric motors, with one driving the front wheels and the second powering the rears giving it a full-time all-wheel drive. The powertrain puts out a stout 402-hp, which a Volvo claims make the XC40 Recharge capable of a 4.7-second zero-to-60-mph time; we expect that number is fairly conservative as the same powertrain motivated the Polestar 2 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds during our testing. During our test drive, we noted a compliant ride and a refined cruising demeanor; aggressive drivers may find the Polestar 2 a better fit. Aggressive regenerative braking allows for one-pedal driving, which is a desirable and convenient EV feature that we appreciate. We haven’t had the chance to take the XC40 Recharge to our test track but when we do, we’ll update this story with test results.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has given the XC40 Recharge fuel economy ratings of 85 MPGe city and 72 mpg highway. We are looking forward to evaluating the XC40’s real-world MPGe and driving range on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test, and we will update this story with results when we complete the test.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The cabin of the XC40 Recharge offers everything we love about the standard XC40, including thoughtful cubby storage, a comfortable driving position, and spacious first and second-row seating. In the transition to an EV powertrain, the XC40 has lost none of its cargo space, so we expect the Recharge model to hold the same number of carry-on suitcases as the gasoline-powered version. In our testing, the XC40 held 23 carry-on suitcases with its rear seats folded. In addition, the lack of a four-cylinder engine under the hood frees up space for a front trunk (frunk), which is the ideal space to store the XC40 Recharge’s charging cables.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Rather than using Volvo’s current Sensus Connect infotainment system, the XC40 Recharge will launch with a new generation of software developed in conjunction. The XC40 Recharge’s corporate cousin, the Polestar 2, also offers such an infotainment system, which we found to be intuitive and snappy in its functionality. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster will also be offered, and it provides several options for customization.