2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

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2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Test Drive Review: Step Into The Future

Whether the soaring gas prices will prove to be the tipping point for electric-powered cars or not, Volvo has timed its first dedicated all-electric vehicle well and aimed it carefully at its higher-end demographic. The timing couldn't be better for the Volvo C40 Recharge to hit the market. Effectively a spin-off of the XC40 Recharge, the C40 is EV only and eschews a traditional roofline for a coupe-styled one. The compact luxury crossover has one trim with all the bells and whistles included. The drivetrain creates 402 horsepower from a 78-kWh battery and two drive motors, achieving an EPA estimated range of 226 miles, some way off its Tesla Model Y rival. However, the Volvo feels more special from behind the wheel. Because the C40 Recharge is a premium Volvo, it comes with a full suite of safety features, a premium leather-free interior, and a Bowers & Wilkins sound system. What's interested us as much as the drivetrain and ride quality is the thought and detail that's gone into this important EV for the Swedish brand.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 C40 Recharge?

The latest addition to Volvo's Pure Electric range, the C40 recharge is all-new for 2022. Although it shares a few important things with the XC40, namely the powertrain and some of the interior styling, it has a sloping roofline and stands out a little more for its sleeker profile. The Swedish automaker proudly notes the C40 Recharge is 100% leather-free and yet still manages to fit into the luxury small EV SUV category. It comes in only one trim with a new name: the Recharge Twin Ultimate.

Pros and Cons

  • Alluring exterior design
  • Leather-free interior still looks awesome
  • Impressive performance
  • Comprehensive safety suite
  • 250 kWh of free charging on Electrify America network
  • High starting price
  • Not much on the options list
  • Less than ideal cargo capacity

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Pure Electric Twin Ultimate P8 eAWD
Electric
Single-speed
All-Wheel Drive
$58,750

C40 Recharge Exterior

The C40 Recharge has some resemblance to the XC40 but has the roof chopped in favor of a more coupe-like style. C40s come with 20-inch 5-Y spoke Graphite Diamond Cut alloy wheels, high-gloss black window trim and mirror caps, and the body-colored covered grille that identifies it as a member of team All-Electric Volvo. Tinted rear windows are standard, as is an oversized fixed panoramic moonroof, and Pixel LED lighting which enhances the signature Thor's Hammer headlight design.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Forward Vision CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Rearward Vision CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Sideward Vision CarBuzz
See All 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In terms of dimensions, the Volvo C40 Recharge has a length of 174.4 inches, riding on a 106.4-inch wheelbase. Including the mirrors, it's 80.1 inches wide and stands 62.3 inches tall.

Volvo says that, depending on the setup, the C40 Recharge weighs in the region of 4,817 pounds.

Exterior Colors

There's nothing ostentatious about the available exterior color palette on the new C40, but at least you do get a lively color or two to choose from. The only no-cost option is Black Stone, while all other options will set you back $695. These include Fusion Red, Thunder Grey, Fjord Blue, Silver Dawn, Sage Green, and Crystal White. Our test car came in Thunder Grey.

C40 Recharge Performance

The 2022 Volvo C40 shares its all-electric powertrain with the XC40 Recharge - two electric motors, one on each axle, driven by a 78-kWh battery, for a substantial output of 402 horsepower to hustle the little Volvo along. Naturally, all-wheel drive is standard. This is also the same setup you'll find in the dual-motor version of the Polestar 2.

The specs for the pure electric 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge are generally impressive, with Volvo claiming the 0-60 mph sprint will be dispatched in 4.7 seconds, and, as with all cars from the automaker, the C40 is limited to a top speed of 112 mph. With 487 lb-ft of torque at its disposal, the Volvo C40 Recharge has a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Front View CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Front Angle View CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Rear Angle View CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

Volvo lists the C40 derivative as the 'Recharge Twin Ultimate', which is both to highlight the new trim name and also draw attention to the all-electric heart powering it. Two electric motors are responsible for outputs of 402 hp and 487 lb-ft, managed by a single-speed transmission and sent to all four wheels. This is ample to get you going, and while acceleration off the line isn't at Tesla levels, it's certainly quick enough for what this car is supposed to do.

Getting up to speed on the highway and in traffic is a pleasant affair, and overtaking is equally effortless. Stomp on the accelerator from a standing start, though, and the steering wheel wriggles as the tires contend with the torque and the C40 shoots off the line. It's not much different from any lower speed as the torque is always there, and becomes addictive if you let it. However, the drivetrain is limited to 112 mph for what Volvo describes as safety reasons. It's worth pointing out though, it's a little arbitrary and with modern stability control and all the other systems in place, a modern car can cruise happily at high speed on a decent road. Saying that, though, very few roads permit even 100 mph by law, so it doesn't really matter.

  • Engine
    Electric
  • Transmission
    Single-speed
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

A good driving instructor will teach students to drive in a calm and business-like manner, and this is an excellent vehicle for doing just that. Volvo's cars tend to inspire calm and efficient driving, and with a quiet drivetrain and great noise, vibration, and harshness control, the C40 is one of the best. However, as with most heavy vehicles (despite being a compact crossover, the C40 with its batteries weighs 4,817 pounds), the suspension has to be tightly sprung to counter the weight. The ride is still compliant and isn't sports car stiff, but we can't describe it as super-smooth either. However, the benefit comes on a twisty road where that low-slung weight keeps things planted and helps make sure tire contact is maximized for all four wheels in a corner. Again, it's no sports car, but fun can be had with the C40 and the power on offer.

The C40 shines the brightest with the regenerative braking set properly and driving with one pedal - particularly around town. With the brakes coming on automatically when coming off-throttle and Volvo's excellent implementation of the one-pedal system, it's a breeze to get used to. It makes stop-start traffic easier to deal with while using the kinetic energy of electric braking to feed some charge back into the battery. In a whole day's driving into the countryside and around town, we only touched the brake pedal three or four times.

Another nice touch is also taken from the Polestar 2. There's no start/stop button in the C40, so you just unlock the car, get inside, put your foot on the brake, and select drive to go. When you select park, leave the car, and lock the door, the C40 shuts itself down. It doesn't take long to get used to and takes one seemingly small step out of the chain to add convenience to the car.

C40 Recharge Gas Mileage

According to the EPA, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge achieves MPG-equivalent figures of 94/80/87 MPGe on city/highway/combined cycles and has an estimated range of 226 miles on a single charge. Speaking of which, charging at home via a 240volt outlet with at least 70 amps will allow you to refill the battery in around eight hours, while a DC fast charger will get the battery from 10 to 80% in approximately 37 minutes, or 50-60 miles of range in 10 minutes.

All new pure-electric Volvo cars in the USA come with 250 kWh of free charging on the Electrify America network, which needs to be used within the first three years of ownership. Additionally, Volvo will cover membership fees for Electrify America's Pass+ for one year, thereafter, which qualifies customers for discounted charging rates.

C40 Recharge Interior

Volvo notes that the C40 Recharge interior is the first in its stable to be fully leather-free and for some, this might conjure images of loads of hard plastics and frumpy fabrics, but the opposite is true here. It features partly recycled microfiber combined with a synthetic material called Microtech which looks and feel upper class. The high seating position from the XC40 also carried over, as do many of the features we've come to love, such as the superb infotainment system. Unique to the C40, however, is a topography-inspired decor that is backlit to show up the design that honors Scandinavian landscapes. The themes of nature and light underscore most of the cabin design, and as such, a glass roof helps to bring in both light and the elements to create a spacious, airy feeling inside.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Front Seats CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Headrest CarBuzz
See All 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The C40 is a five-seater, assuming you have a smaller person to take the center of the rear bench seat. Legroom is great in the back at 36.1 inches, but the sloping rear roof isn't ideal for people over six-foot. Not only has Volvo worked its magic with the interior materials and ergonomics, but also in the area of storage. The center console doesn't house a transmission, so Volvo has utilized it for storage and even a waste bin that can be emptied. The C40's platform was designed with audio in mind, and an air woofer in the dash means no subwoofer taking room up elsewhere, while some neat engineering means there are no speakers needed in the bottom of the doors. Instead, Volvo has used that space for nice deep storage pockets.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

There isn't much choice in terms of the interior, but being leather-free and still able to convey a truly luxurious feel is a feather in the cap of the automaker. The C40 boasts upholstery comprised of renewable wool fibers and a combination of synthetic materials derived from recyclables, too. This 'Connect' upholstery features microfiber seat panels and a synthetic fabric called Microtech on the bolsters and inserts. It comes in Charcoal with white contrast stitching as standard, and you can add Fjord Blue inserts and carpets additionally at no extra cost. These carpets are made of recycled plastic, as are the topography decor panels. The steering wheel is wrapped in a classy synthetic material and includes satin silk trim.

C40 Recharge Trunk and Cargo Space

The Volvo C40's trunk volume measures 14.6 cubic feet including underfloor storage, which is significantly less cargo space than the average crossover provides. It's also slightly less than what you'd get in the XC40, courtesy of that sloping roofing. Still, the cargo area is usefully equipped with grocery bag hooks and it opens up to a total of 48.7 cubic feet if you fold the seats down. The frunk offers an additional 0.7 cubes for smaller bags and goodies, although you're most likely to use this for charging cables and other accessories.

One of the things we love about the XC-range from Volvo is the thoughtful in-cabin storage options, and the C40 carries this through as well. This includes large and deep door pockets, a glovebox, a center console storage bin under the armrest, a large space ahead of the shifter for your phone (with wireless charging pad) and keys, and two well-sized cupholders.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Front Trunk Space CarBuzz

C40 Recharge Infotainment and Features

Features

With only one trim option, Volvo has made the feature list quite comprehensive. This includes dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, a 12-inch driver information display, a universal garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. All occupants are treated to heated seats, while the front occupants get power adjustments with memory settings for the driver. Lastly, there is also a wireless charger for your smartphone, conveniently located ahead of the shifter.

Driver assists include adaptive cruise control, pilot assist, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera, park assist in the front, rear, and sides, as well as lane-keep assist. This is rounded out by traffic sign recognition and oncoming lane mitigation. This is it though, as there's not much on the options list other than some exterior bits and pieces.

Infotainment

Like the Polestar 2, Volvo has committed to using Google Assistant in its infotainment system in the C40, and it's an excellent implementation. All the usual controls can be found in the nine-inch portrait-style touchscreen like any other Volvo, but Google Assistant allows the driver or passenger to control non-essential functions like heating, air conditioning, navigation, phone calls, and texting by voice. Google's familiar voice recognition system will also answer the usual questions and will be expanded by future over-the-air updates to the point you'll be able to precondition the interior temperature from a Google voice-enabled gadget in the house. For now, that function is limited to the Volvo Cars App.

As it's a premium level Volvo, a 13-speaker premium sound system is included from Harman Kardon. The real beauty of the system is that you don't need to hook up your phone to the car unless you want to make calls and use voice-to-text. The system comes preloaded with media apps like YouTube Music, Spotify, and Apple Music, and more will become available via the Google Play app. Android Auto is, naturally, standard for connecting a phone, but Apple CarPlay isn't available yet. It will be, though. The C40 also comes with Bluetooth and SiriusXM satellite radio.

C40 Recharge Problems and Reliability

As a brand new offering to the market, the C40 is presently recall-free and untainted by reliability concerns. J.D. Power has yet to release a review of the Volvo C40 Recharge but its stablemate, the 2021 XC40 Recharge, achieved a score of 78 out of 100.

Volvo sells its cars in the US with a standard four-year/50,000-mile new car warranty, with electrical components covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. New owners also get scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.

C40 Recharge Safety

At the time of writing, the NHTSA has not conducted a safety review of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge pure-electric SUV. The IIHS' review, however, is stellar. Not only did the little EV SUV score top marks in each test, but it was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ title for 2022. We're not overly surprised, given the generous feature specification and the brand's legacy for prioritizing safety.

Key Safety Features

To achieve such excellent safety ratings, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge must be well equipped with safety features and driver assists - and, naturally, it is. This includes seven airbags (side curtains and driver's knee included) and the usual list of acronyms that imply mechanical safety.

In terms of driver assistance, the C40 comes standard with all-LED lighting, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and pilot assist. This is augmented by a 360-degree surround-view monitor, parking assist with sensors in the front, rear, and sides, lane-keeping assist, oncoming lane mitigation, and road sign information.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge a good SUV?

Volvo doesn't acknowledge it, but the comparison is too strong not to mention - the C40 is, essentially, the compact crossover version of the Polestar 2 sedan. And, that's a great thing as we love the Polestar 2. The ride is great, if a little firm, there's a lot of power there when you need or want it, the tech is top-notch, and Volvo has thought through the details. The interior is excellent and challenges other premium automakers to raise their game with more eco-friendly materials while maintaining quality. There's little to fault, and even the price seems about right for a top-trim Volvo, which is exactly what the C40 currently is. There's little to compare it to in premium terms right now other than the Tesla Model Y, and Volvo beats it out on build quality, materials, and interior design all day long. Tesla may have the lead in battery technology right now, but Volvo is doing the math while ignoring the pointless range wars. The best advice anyone can give is to buy a car with the amount of range needed for your lifestyle.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge?

Fortunately, there is only one Volvo C40 Recharge in the range for 2022, and it's well equipped at that. The price of the Volvo C40 Recharge is $58,750, excluding a $1,095 destination fee. The C40 may also qualify for federal tax credits, depending on the state you live in.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Models

The debut model for the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is called the Recharge Twin Ultimate by the manufacturer and comes with two electric motors powering all four wheels. Outputs are 402 hp and 487 lb-ft.

The C40 comes standard with bespoke 20-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting, a heated grille emblem, and a glass roof. Inside, you get dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, a nine-inch infotainment display, a 12-inch diver information screen, and a host of safety features. These include adaptive cruise control with pilot assist, blind-spot intervention and cross-traffic alert, a surround-view monitor, park assist, lane keeping, and road sign information, to name a few. Comfort is covered by high-rent leather-free upholstery with heated seats for all occupants and power adjustments up front. Audio is played through a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

See All 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Volvo has, uncharacteristically, left the options last devoid of anything really substantial. Thankfully, the C40 is well equipped to start with. What you can add is the $510 Protection Package Premier which is aimed at keeping you C40 looking spin and span - it includes a polishing cloth, plastic luggage mat, rubber floor mats, and wheel locks. The only other extras are front and rear mud flaps ($95 each) and load bars for $345.

πŸš—What Volvo C40 Recharge Model Should I Buy?

As there's only one trim level for the Volvo C40, that's an easy decision. You're getting all of Volvo's bells and whistles, including all-wheel drive, an excellent Harman Kardon sound system, and heated rear seats as standard. We would leave the $510 Protection Package Premier and go aftermarket for wheel-locks and a luggage mat if the cargo space is to be used for dirty hiking boots and the like. The rest of the $510 we would have spent can go towards a dedicated charge point for the garage.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Comparisons

Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo
Volkswagen ID.4 CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Volvo C40 Recharge402 hpTBC$58,750
Volvo XC40 Recharge 402 hp85/72 mpg$53,990
Volkswagen ID.4 201 hp104/89 mpg$39,995

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge vs Volvo XC40 Recharge

The differences between the C40 and its XC40 Recharge sibling are not just limited to an 'x' in the name, although it's true that these models share quite a few things. This includes the powertrain in the XC40 Recharge, and thus also outputs. Both vehicles also share the same towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. Where the squarer XC40 Recharge does have the edge is in cargo capacity. In the cabin, the design and layout is very similar and the features list is pretty much the same, too. The C40 has rear seat heating as standard, though, and has the unique, sustainably-sourced materials to make it stand out. EPA figures are similar but the new Volvo C40 Recharge manages around 2 MPGe more and has a slightly better range, too. Naturally, you also have the option of getting the XC40 as a gas model, in which case there is much more variety to choose from - and a lower price tag. Comparing apples with apples, though, the XC40 is around $7,000 cheaper.

See Volvo XC40 Recharge Review

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge vs Volkswagen ID.4

The VW ID.4 starts at almost $18k cheaper, although a top-end ID.4 can cost around $50k, all-in. The VW was launched with three trims to choose from, and power outputs of 201 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque. Sure, this is half of what the C40 offers, and the ID.4 ships with standard rear-wheel drive, although AWD is available. Performance isn't much to write home about in the ID.4 but what it does well is provide more range; VW claims up to 280 miles for the RWD ID.4 Pro. Towing capacity is higher than what the C40 manages, and cargo space is almost twice as good in the ID.4 - there's over 30 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and almost 65 cubes when those seats get folded down. And in the cabin, the ID.4's simplistic layout is just as pleasing as the spartan Scandinavian. We're partial to the understated elegance and humble luxury of the Volvo, though the reasonably-priced ID.4 also offers massaging front seats over and above what the C40 has. To be honest, this isn't genuinely a fair comparison - the C40 competes in the luxury segment and is just a step above the ID.4 in this regard. But that being said, the ID.4 provides a lot of value for what it costs.

See Volkswagen ID.4 Review

Volvo C40 Recharge Popular Comparisons

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