10:30 PM | November 21 2021
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – First Australian Reviews
I Roll finds out what some of the Australian automotive media have made of Volvo’s first fully electric production vehicle.
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is now available in Australia – and local motoring experts have been getting behind the wheel.
Volvo’s first fully electric production car is positioned at the top of its highly popular XC40 range.
Featuring a 78kWh battery and two electric motors that produce a combined 300kW and 660Nm, reviewers were unanimously impressed with the Pure Electric’s performance.
Carsguide said: “The XC40 Recharge is ridiculously powerful for its size class. Press the accelerator down and this car will seriously throw you into the back of your seat, reminding you of the huge potential of its electric motors. Suddenly the sub-five-second 0-100km/h sprint time becomes visceral.”
News.com.au’s Motoring section wrote: “…You’re never lacking for go. For a nuggety 2.1-tonne-plus SUV it’s unassumingly fast.”
Dedicated Australian electric-car review website EV Central said the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric offers “deceptively fast progress”. “It has that wonderful surge as soon as you prod the throttle.”
Carsales.com.au even compared the performance of the compact luxury SUV to that of a V8-engined HSV.
As the various motoring outlets discovered, there’s more to the fully electric XC40’s driving experience than just performance.
“Despite the heft, [the Recharge Pure Electric is] impressively agile thanks to a flat stance and grippy Pirelli rubber. It quells bumps nicely too, albeit with initial firmness from low-profile tyres,” said News.com.au.
Carsales described the SUV as “an exceptionally quiet car at speed, with just a mix of light wind and tyre noise entering the cabin”.
“On a winding road it’s even more fun, the plentiful surge ensuring rapid progress,” noted EV Central.
As the flagship model in the Volvo XC40 range, the Recharge Pure Electric is comprehensively equipped. Or “brimming with kit”, in News.com.au’s words.
Key standard features include adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera, Harman Kardon premium sound system, inductive charging for smartphones, panoramic sunroof with power operation, heated steering wheel, power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, metallic/pearl paint, and 20-inch 5-V Spoke Matt Graphite Diamond-cut alloy wheels.
Reviewers also acknowledged the XC40’s interior space and cabin design.
“There’s a minimalism to its cabin design which works nicely with the quality finishes and materials, including carpet made of recycled PET plastic bottles,” wrote EV Central.
News.com.au: “The XC40 is officially a compact SUV, but it’s larger than its most obvious rival, the Mercedes-Benz EQA. By compact SUV standards there’s generous leg room and head room.”
“Plush materials and attractive styling deliver a prestige ambience to the cabin,” said Carsales.
Carsguide said the interior had “attractive and well-proportioned dash design, premium-feeling materials throughout, and heavy digitisation via the portrait media screen and digital dash cluster”.
Its review also pointed out how the electric XC40 retains the practicality of the petrol versions.
“Boot space is down a little on combustion variants at 418 litres [but] the Recharge makes up for it by swapping an otherwise busy engine bay out for a frunk, which not every combustion-platformed electric car manages. It measures in at 31L. There is even some underfloor space in the boot for your charging paraphernalia.”
In summary, Carsguide said the XC40 Recharge has assured itself a place in the “rapidly evolving” electric car segment.
“With the healthy [battery] range, easy-to-use tech, and impressive performance on offer, I can see how the sums might add up against its less-premium long-range rivals, especially since the price is not so much higher that it might rule it out for first-time adopters.”
News.com.au concludes that the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is a “versatile and stylish EV [that] delivers on expectations with some Scandinavian charm”.
“What’s in no doubt is the Volvo’s ‘EV’ value for money, whatever your purchasing criteria may be,” wrote Carsales in its verdict.
And last-but-not-least words from EV Central: “Loaded with gear and packed with pep and performance, the first EV from Volvo is an impressive start.”