The rear of the car doesn’t appear to have gone off the road, despite Volvo’s return to a rear-wheel drive system

The rear of the car doesn’t appear to have gone off the road, despite Volvo’s return to a rear-wheel drive system

Volvo has changed the traction method in the electric version of its smallest model, the XC40. We went to test drive the first new rear-wheel drive Volvo in a quarter century.

The Volvo XC40 is no longer a new car model. Its production began exactly six years ago, in November 2018, and along the way there have been more and more renewals of models large and small. The most important of which was the arrival of the fully electric Recharge version to the group for the 2020 model year.

This device did not receive a very enthusiastic reception at first. The first wave cars had more or less challenges in terms of electronics and software, and Volvo’s high electricity consumption caused head shaking.

The car model name has changed several times over the years, although the car itself has not changed at all. Arto Toivonen

Whether it is a single front-wheel drive or dual four-wheel drive version, Volvo manages to easily consume 29 kWh per hundred kilometers during highway driving without any special efforts.

This is where it originally came from, Sweden. Arto Toivonen

Likewise, in the case of the front-wheel drive version, it seemed that its 231-horsepower electric motor up front was too much for the front axle or at least for the traction control, because the Volvo pulled easily in fairer acceleration and you could work it on the steering wheel. If you have to disconnect power from the car.

No sending fees

For the 2024 model year, Volvo has made an interesting change to the XC40. The driving mode of the two-wheel drive version is changed from front to rear: In the case of an electric car, changing the driving mode is easy in itself, especially when there is already a four-wheel drive version available, which has its own engine on the rear axle.

Volvo seats can be designed by several manufacturers. Excellent support and modifications. Arto Toivonen

The new product is also a 2WD version with a larger battery, which has now been tested, because previously 2WD buyers had to settle for a smaller battery.

Maximum power for the rear-wheel drive version with the large battery is now 252 hp, and a massive 420 Nm of torque is unleashed from the electric power line.

The back seat is also spacious considering the size of the car. Arto Toivonen

The battery capacity has increased from the previous 78 kilowatt-hours to 82 kilowatt-hours, and therefore the Chinese company CATL is responsible for manufacturing this battery.

Wool upholstery made from recycled fibers is also available for Volvo. It is clearly more elegant than the current version. Arto Toivonen

Perhaps the most important information than the increase in the short operating range is the increase in fast charging power, as the maximum charging power in the large battery version will now rise to 200 kilowatts for the year 2024.

A small but important difference

The actual differences between the new year and outgoing models are very marginal. Microfiber cloth upholstery, two new colors and new trim have been added to the list of optional equipment. Volvo also left the temporary charger, which draws power from standard wall electricity, out of standard equipment.

The XC40 is available as an all-electric version with rear- or all-wheel drive. Arto Toivonen

However, rear-wheel drive has clearly changed Volvo’s driving ability compared to the past. Although the stability control, traction control and other traction control systems in modern electric cars are already advanced, at the time of the front-wheel drive version, they were unable to completely curb this drag.

In the new version, things are different. The Volvo accelerates in a completely straight line and effortlessly even on slippery road surfaces, and can’t really be provoked into a lunge even in curves. The only sign of the scent of battle between engineers and the laws of physics is a flashing light on the instrument panel that tells us about the operation of the traction control system.

As a modern electric car, Volvo is a rarity because it has not sought additional kilometers from ultra-closed tires. Arto Toivonen

But this consumption…

Unfortunately, Volvo still has not been able to properly optimize the consumption of its electric car. The electric motor is still a “traditional” permanently magnetized model. After all, Volvo has changed the all-wheel drive version to a front-drive induction version, which can be switched to freewheeling when there’s no need for towing. In this way, the consumption of the electric car can be reduced.

The luggage compartment volume is approximately 420 liters. Arto Toivonen

In the single-engine model, the roll modes are always used only for recovery, i.e. converting the car’s kinetic energy into electrical current.

On the highway, consumption still varies between 28-29 kWh per hundred kilometers with summer restrictions, and at winter speeds the consumption drops to 21 kWh.

There is plenty of extra space under the middle base of the container, for example just for charging cables. Arto Toivonen

During city and urban driving, electricity consumption drops slightly, and the Volvo’s dashboard glows with readings of 19.3kWh/100km after the usual 20km with other traffic.

But it’s still very good

The Volvo XC40 has previously been shown to be a well-suited SUV for this size class, and there’s no need to change that statement. However, the age of the model is already starting to take its toll, and it shows in two things.

Volvo’s infotainment system is Google’s handiwork throughout. For an Android user, this is good news. Arto Toivonen

First of all, the car was introduced a long time ago, and since then, a lot of fully electric cars, which were originally designed and manufactured exclusively as electric cars, have entered the market. This especially means more interior space than Volvo can offer.

In order to put in a reversing camera, Volvo engineers have to continue to deal with the wiring for that camera. It gets dirty easily, and the camera screen is unfortunately small. Arto Toivonen

Secondly, the electric car market is currently going through a special phase. The brands and models that came to market after Volvo have lowered their prices compared to the competition and now mainly offer features very close to those of the XC40, even at much cheaper prices.

Today, the XC40 costs the same €50,000 as it always did before. Arto Toivonen

Volvo has not lowered its prices anywhere, although CEO Jim Ruane promised in the fall of 2022 that parity – that is, meeting the price level of combustion engines and electric cars – will be reached in 2025. Waiting for it!

Stars 19/30


The XC40 was a very affordable all-electric SUV when it entered the market three years ago. Today, similar facilities and lower consumption can be had for less money.

Impression of quality

This is still very appropriate. The materials are of high quality and the atmosphere is very quiet.

Driving ability

There are no complaints about the ease of driving either, now that drag has been completely eliminated from the two wheels.

Seats and space utilization

Right on point. The seats are absolutely excellent.

Consumption and operating distance

Well, it still doesn’t fit in that department with the Volvo. If the future EX30 is anything to go by it will finally consume as much as it should in its class.

Entertainment systems

A very good system, but the Apple user is constantly reminded of the system they chose. Volvo thinks this is a mistake, of course.


Volvo hasn’t compromised at all here. The old reputation still remains, and even today there is no excuse.

Comment Toivonen

The Volvo XC40 is a consistently good SUV. If consumption could be made reasonable, it would be excellent indeed, despite its age.

Volvo XC40 long range single recharge

Price: 51,900 euros

Factory warranty: 3 years/100,000 km


Motor: electric motor

Power: 185 kilowatts/252 volts

Torque: 420 Nm

Culottes (WLTP): 16.8 kW/100 km

Power transmission: front-wheel drive

Batteries tray:

Battery type: Lithium-ion

Capacity: 82 kWh

Charging plug: CCS

Charging speed 0-100% AC, 11 kW (max): 8 hours

Charging speed 0-80% DC: 28 minutes

DC charging power (maximum): 200 kW


Acceleration from 0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds

Maximum speed: 180 km/h


Length: 4440 mm

Width: 1863 mm

Height: 1647 mm

Wheelbase: 2702 mm

Trunk: 419 liters + 13 liters in front

Empty weight: 2040 kg

Phytobaino Garwita/Jarwin: 750kg/1500kg

(Tags for translation) 24 hour(s) Traffic and transportation (road traffic) Cars (cars) Land vehicles (cars) Motor vehicles

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