Its people Sweden does not brag. They even have a word for not being arrogant: Jantelagen. So you may not have heard of Volvo’s all-electric compact SUV XC40 recharge. Of course, you bombarded Elon and his followers with tweets Tesla Model Y No doubt you visit Ford’s impressive but incorrectly named Electric Sport Utility Mustang Mach-E. You still have his own compact SUV, ID4, As the new Beetle. In the midst of the SU-EV bubble, Volvo has quietly introduced a dignified but underestimated family-friendly model of its own.
The XC40 Recharge (starting at 55 55,300) is built on the same small SUV platform as the gas-powered Brothers twin XC40. It divides with the bone Polestar2, The electrified fruit of startup Polestar, which, like Volvo, is owned by Chinese carmaker Gili. The company is pushing hard for electrification from all its brands.
This electric version of the Volvo’s small SUV met my expectations when I got behind the wheel. There were some surprises mixed in, as well as some minor frustrations. But the XC40 Recharge should be considered if you are shopping for a small SUV and have space to think European in your budget. This is also quite classy. It is able to impress without paying too much attention to itself, which of course is very Swedish.
The Need for Sweden
The XC40 recharge doesn’t seem like something that could surpass Ford Mustang’s power output. But it can have more than 400 horsepower – 402 specific and 486 pound-feet of torque. Of course, its lovely SUV signals show that it’s ready for kids to pick from football practice or violin lessons, then perhaps equipment around town before delivering muffins to community theaters. But it also has the ability to do those things very quickly. Swedish Ivy 0. There are 600 to 7. time seconds, which is faster than the entry level Mustang. This burst of speed is especially welcome when integrating into the freeway, or in cases when you have to get out of a sticky situation and moving faster is better than braking. Energy like this can be fun too. I found myself stabbing the accelerator only in the perfect humor of all the energy that was bringing my cranium back to the headrest.
After scaring your passengers off the line, you can bring the small SUV to a stop and calm their nerves, which the XC40 does brutally. The addition of a larger battery pack means that electric vehicles are harder to slow down than their gas-powered parts. But it actually works to their advantage, because electric vehicles use regenerative braking; The use of electric motors to slow down the vehicle also generates a small amount of energy which is sent back to the battery pack.
Not only does the XC40 Recharge have great braking power, but I think the “one-pedal driving” experience on the road today is the best. This is a feature that, when enabled in the vehicle settings section of the infotainment system, a car stops slowly when the driver removes the foot from the accelerator. It’s like a brake pedal automatically turns off your foot accelerator whenever the car is lightly frustrated. For many of the other EVs I drive I have to train myself for a few days because I can figure out the exact speed-to-distance ratio where the car wants to stop. The Volvo system, of course, is much more intuitive. After a few stoplights, I was paddling like a pro.
I drove Volvo through a mountain pass near Calaveras Reservoir, east of San Jose, California. Its hairpin curved handling as a tall vehicle was admirable, but it would not surpass most hatchbacks in any sports sedan or corner. How it achieves this corner gymnastics is its lower gravity center (thanks to the battery pack) and a tougher suspension setup than usual for a luxury SUV. A rigid suspension results in the wheels returning to the road faster so the tires can get more traction. The drivetrain here is standard as an all-wheel-drive setup, which of course helps it hold the asphalt tight while enjoying some fun on the back road.