2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge pure electric evaluation: compact SUV brings some surprises


People Sweden does not brag. They even have a non-bragger: Gentragan. So you may not have heard of Volvo’s all-electric compact SUV, XC40 recharge. Of course, you’ve been told by Elon and his followers Tesla Model Y. Undoubtedly, you have also heard of Ford’s impressive electric sport utility vehicle with the wrong name. Mustang Mach-E. You may still be trying to unlock Volkswagen’s attempt to sell its own compact SUV, ID.4, As the new beetle. In the hustle and bustle of SU-EV, Volvo quietly launched its own dignified but low-key family-friendly model.

The XC40 Recharge (starting at $55,300) is built on the same small SUV platform as its gas-powered twin XC40.It also works with Polaris 2It is the electrification result of the start-up company Polestar. Like Volvo, it is owned by the Chinese car manufacturer Geely. The company is working hard to promote the electrification of all its brands.

The electric version of this Volvo small SUV met my expectations when I climbed onto the steering wheel. There were also some surprises and some small disappointments. However, if you are buying a small SUV and your budget has enough room to consider European ideas, then XC40 Recharge is worth considering. It is also very elegant. It managed to impress without attracting much attention, which of course is very Swedish.

The needs of the Swedes

Photo: Volvo

The XC40 Recharge does not look as high as the power output of the Ford Mustang. But it can, more than 400 horsepower (402 horsepower to be precise) and 486 pound-feet of torque. Of course, its stately SUV seems to indicate that it is ready to pick up kids from football practice or violin lessons, and then walk around the town before sending the muffins to the community theater. But it also has the ability to accomplish these things very quickly. The 0-60 time of the Swedish EV is 4.7 seconds, which is faster than the entry-level Mustang. This explosive speed is especially popular when merging into a highway, or when you need to get out of trouble and fast acceleration is preferable to braking. Such power can also be fun. I found myself slamming on the gas pedal just to revel in the absurdity of all the power that bounced my skull back into the headrest.

After the accidental launch off the assembly line scares passengers, you can stop the small SUV to soothe their nerves. The XC40 does this cleverly. The extra weight of large battery packs means that electric cars are harder to slow down than gasoline-powered cars. But this is actually beneficial to them because electric cars use regenerative braking. The act of using an electric motor to slow the vehicle also generates a small amount of electricity, which is sent back to the battery pack.

XC40 Recharge not only has a strong braking force, but also has the best “single pedal driving” experience on the road today. This is a feature that when activated in the vehicle settings section of the infotainment system, the car will gradually stop when the driver removes his foot from the accelerator. It’s a bit like when your foot leaves the accelerator, the vehicle will automatically gently depress the brake pedal. Many other electric cars I have driven require a few days of self-training so that I can find the correct speed-to-distance ratio to park the car where I want it. However, Volvo’s system is much more intuitive. After a few traffic lights, I single-pedal like a professional.

Processing road

Photo: Volvo

I drove a Volvo refreshed through the mountain pass near the Calaveras Reservoir east of San Jose, California. As a tall vehicle, its handling of hairpin bends is commendable, but it won’t outperform sports cars or most hatchbacks in the corners. How it achieves these turning gymnastics is its low center of gravity (due to the battery pack) and tighter suspension settings than the usual luxury SUVs. A stiffer suspension will cause the wheels to bounce back to the road faster, allowing the tires to gain more traction. The power transmission system here is the standard configuration of all-wheel drive, which will undoubtedly help it hold the asphalt tightly while enjoying some back road fun.

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