by Aiden Eksteen
This year, Volvo finally introduces its first-ever fully electric vehicle, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge. The regular XC40 is an exceptional vehicle with its polished and serene performance, premium guise, and first-rate build quality. The Recharge only adds to that list of qualities with decent EV proficiency and newer and more extensive tech. With its dual electric motor powertrain and floor-mounted battery pack, the XC40 Recharge crossover is electrified with a mighty 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque. In terms of performance, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, is capable of traveling up to 208 miles on a single charge, and emits zero emissions. Of course, the Tesla Model Y still dominates the EV segment and the new Ford Mustang Mach-E is a more proficient and affordable 5-door EV, but both of those vehicles are very flashy and some may prefer the suave and subtle styling of the 2021 XC40 Recharge.
The 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge is an entirely new all-electric model based on the XC40, and also has the title of being Volvo's first-ever fully electric car. To make it, Volvo essentially removed all the ICE components from the XC40. This isn't some quick-fix, hatchet job, however. The first-gen XC40 has all the hallmarks of a great EV, including a floor-mounted battery pack and an electric motor bolted to each axle. It also has the honor of being the first Volvo model to feature the brand-new Android-powered software for the infotainment system, which allows for over-the-air updates just like Tesla.
See trim levels and configurations:
|R-Design P8 Electric
Single Speed Automatic
With no combustion engine under the hood, the XC40 Recharge SUV instead makes use of two electric motors - one for each axle - that are supplied by a 78 kWh lithium-ion battery. Power outputs max out at 402 hp and 486 lb-ft, driven through a standard single-speed automatic transmission to what's essentially a permanent all-wheel drivetrain. The XC40 can travel for up to 208 miles on a full charge and returns fuel mileage equivalents of 85/72/79 MPGe. Charging up to 80% charge will take around 40 minutes on a DC fast charger. Volvo also claims a 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
With more and more automakers introducing their own electric cars to the US market, the XC40 Recharge begins to lose a lot of appeal because of its high pricing just middling performance. The all-new Polestar 2 comes in at the same price as the XC40 Recharge and is a more proficient and technologically advanced electric vehicle. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is significantly more affordable and delivers a more entertaining driving experience and a lot more EV range.
If you're a Volvo devotee and want to transition from an ICE car to an EV, then you'd probably enjoy what the XC40 Recharge has to offer. It has the benefit of being a little less pretentious than most other EVs, instead sticking more closely to Volvo's suave and discreet aesthetic. Performance-wise, the XC40 is really pleasant and level-headed with its solid acceleration responses and composed handling dynamics. It also comes standard with many features, including an all-new 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a nine-inch touchscreen interface tethered to a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. All this is bolstered by a superb safety rating from NHTSA and IIHS reviews of the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge, as well as high reliability expectations. So while it's not the best EV $50,000 can buy in the USA, it isn't the worst either.
Because the XC40 Recharge is a top-spec standalone model, the only choice you really have is which options and packages you'd like to include. We'd certainly pay the $695 for one of the metallic exterior paint schemes, with the black roof and lower body cladding. The Fusion Red or Crystal White Metallic look really good, in particular. Even with the high starting price, the Advanced Package is really worth considering. It includes automatic headlight cleaners as well as Volvo's Pilot Assist, which provides steering assistance and adaptive cruise control. It also installs a 360-degree camera system, wireless charging, and a 12-volt outlet in the trunk. This package increases the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge SUV's price by $1,300.
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