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Expert Rating

Volvo XC40 Recharge

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Expert Rating

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Summary


The Volvo XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first full-electric car and as its name suggests, an electric version of the Swedish brand’s mid-sized crossover. However underneath, its electric drivetrain is similar to that of the Polestar 2 from the Volvo spin-off brand.

The initial model on sale is the range-topper – this uses two 204hp electric motors, one on each axle to give it full all-wheel-drive capability, and a 78kWh battery pack. Front-wheel-drive variants will be added to the line-up later in 2021.

It’s a fast EV this one, hitting 62mph from rest in under five seconds. Official WLTP range is close to 250 miles, and using a 150kWh fast charger the battery can be replenished to 80% capacity in 40 minutes.

For now you can only buy a top-spec First Edition model with a whopping price tag of around £60,000, so no plug-in Government grant to lessen the pain. The range-topping status does mean an excellent safety package, a core feature of Volvos – a wide range of active safety features come fitted as standard.

General equipment levels are extensive too, which they should be for the price. Most of the Volvo options list is supplied on the car including a powered tailgate, panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree camera and wireless phone chargers.

The XC40 Recharge also debuts Volvo’s new Android-based infotainment system which makes use of such apps as Google maps – reviewers are split on the system’s effectiveness compared to conventional rivals.   

Most reviews suggest the electric XC40 will be more attractive once the range expands to include cheaper, lower-spec versions.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge has an Expert Rating of 66%, based on 17 reviews. This score is dragged down by a poor review from the Telegraph, which only gave it two stars. As the range expands, it’s likely that this score will improve to draw closer to the regular XC40’s score of 78%.

XC40 Recharge highlights

  • Fast acceleration and good range
  • Silent operation
  • Good quality cabin finish
  • Extensive equipment

XC40 Recharge lowlights

  • Initial models too expensive
  • Soft suspension
  • Android infotainment system not as good as rivals
  • Some loss of boot space + cable take up a lot of room

Key specifications


Body style: Compact SUV/crossover
Powertrain: electric motor, battery-powered
Price: From £49,950 on-road

Launched: Winter 2020/21
Last updated: N/A
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Business Car

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Car

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Carbuyer

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Company Car Today

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Daily Mail

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Daily Mirror

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Green Car Guide

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Honest John

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Safety rating


No safety rating

As of May 2021, the Volvo XC40 Recharge has not been assigned a safety rating by Euro NCAP. The regular petrol and diesel XC40 was awarded a five-star rating back in 2018, however this rating does not currently apply to the electric version.

Euro NCAP’s safety testing programme was halted during the first half 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and has been gradually resuming since Autumn 2020. Based on every other Volvo in the current range – as well as the related Polestar 2 – it is highly likely that the XC40 Recharge will score highly when it is assessed.

Once the XC40 Recharge has been put through its paces by Euro NCAP, we will publish the results here.

Eco rating


No eco rating

The Volvo XC40 Rechaarge has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic before resuming later in the year.

The Green NCAP programme measures exhaust pollution (which is zero for an electric car) and energy efficiency. Electric cars are much more energy-efficient than combustion cars, so the XC40 Recharge is likely to score very highly in Green NCAP testing whenever it ever takes place. Check back again soon.

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Volvo XC40 Recharge, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Citroën ë-C4 | DS 3 Crossback E-Tense | Hyundai Kona Electric | Kia e-Niro | Kia Soul EV | Lexus UX Electric | Mazda MX-30 | Mercedes-Benz EQA | MG ZS EV | Peugeot e-2008 | Polestar 2 | Vauxhall Mokka-e | Volkswagen ID.4

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Best car rankings

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites