Volvo XC40 Recharge Ultimate at amazing speed – Shaw Local

I don’t get to test too many Volvos every year. However, over the Swedish vehicle brand’s decades of leadership, it has certainly evolved from super-safe, boxy family haulers to what may be the most aggressive shift to all-electric vehicle models in the industry.

Volvo has had a full range of electric and hybrid vehicles for several years, and they are betting the bank on a near future based on electric vehicle technology. While Volvos in the past have certainly represented many very positive qualities, none of them have been about performance – until now.

The 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge Ultimate I tested arrived in Dark Green Metallic, not something that says “fast.” So, to my surprise, jumping on the throttle instantly erased 25 years of my Volvo driving experiences and created a flash of speeding objects and the sensation of being pressed hard into the driver’s seat. What a pleasure!


The XC40 is the perfect size for cruising around town and sliding into tight parking spaces. It doesn’t take much to get used to shooting off the line as the EV’s torque propels you to over 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. Doing this will drain your battery faster – but it’s fun!

Dual permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors front and rear power the XC40 Recharge, producing an impressive 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of instant torque. This SUV can reach a maximum speed of 112 mph. Did I mention it has permanent all-wheel drive?

Using a DC fast charger, the XC40 can charge up to 80% in less than 60 minutes. Home outlets take a full day to fully charge. Depending on your driving style and how far you travel, the range varies but I found it to be accurate at 200 miles.

Volvo’s regenerative braking system is incredibly sensitive and reacts instantly to even the slightest pedal pull. In just a short time I became very accustomed to the intuitive use of the auto deceleration function and began to frequently drive without using the brakes and expecting to stop simply by pressing the accelerator.

the outside

My tester featured diamond-cut 20-inch alloy wheels that give the XC40 a slightly more elevated feel. On the outside, the Recharge is a small SUV that displays a series of distinctly sculpted lines from the beltline to the lower rocker panel. This gives it an EV flavor without being too far-fetched.

As an electric car, there’s no need for a front grille, and the standard hood headlight treatment is quite conservative. I liked the metallic paint ($695) and LED front foglights on my XC40 Recharge Ultimate model.

Cabin comfort

The interior of my tester looked great with many nuances built into its cabin. Special touches include dashboard studs (which glow in the dark) and a unique fabric package that is attractive and comfortable. The seating position is high, and the ability to adjust the seat electrically creates an ideal position for any body type. Headroom is great front and back with plenty of storage space in the front trunk and rear cargo area.

The Recharge Ultimate is equipped with a very impressive Harman Kardon sound system that makes driving enjoyable with no limits to the volume levels. Equipped with dual-zone climate control, an air purifier, heated front and rear seats, interior lighting, suede seating, and leather upholstery, the XC40 Recharge is beautiful to look at. Look for a decently sized 12.3-inch driver display and an easy-to-use 9-inch touchscreen.

The cabin is quiet and comfortable and I really enjoyed the huge power sunroof and sliding awning. The seats are heated front and back, and the cabin has an air purifier. Look for keyless entry and illuminated door handles to make entry and exit safe.

start stop

Volvo’s motive for removing the Start-Stop button on the EV version of the XC40 is puzzling. The recharging system senses the key fob and automatically puts the car into “standby” mode. All you have to do is put your foot on the brake and shift the car into drive mode. In addition to the embarrassment (I haven’t quite gotten used to it in a week of driving) the lack of a start/stop button, there is a blank plastic circuit inserted where the car’s start/stop control is fall on Gasoline XC40. Not exactly what you’d expect from a $60,000-plus car.


The more electric cars I drive, the more clearly I see the evolution of driving happening within a gas-powered world. My tester started at $59,500, a steep starting point for a small SUV, and landed at $61,890 with updated paint, LED headlights and destination fees. Even as an Ultimate model, there doesn’t seem to be enough premium in this car to justify the price.

Although I really liked the EV’s hefty acceleration, the 200-mile maximum range limitation doesn’t provide enough charge to quell the standard level of range anxiety. I think Volvo’s dual-motor system is impressive but it needs the extra range to reach more than just a city driver.

John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has over 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry and its latest innovations and vehicles.

(Signs for translation) Means of transportation

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