Tested: Buzzing Around Town In The All-Electric 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge

The 2022 XC 40 Recharge is a very well-made, nerdy-but-in-a-good-way machine, as are most or all Volvos. Its electric motor is a monster for this badge, making 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque. You blast ahead of everyone else when you step on it, and it’s great fun. You may find yourself yelling “HA ha!” ala Nelson from “The Simpsons” as you pass by gas stations. Its brakes are equally strong, though one needs to get used to the almost total lack of momentum at slow speeds. More about that below.

Another reason it succeeds is that it’s based on what was (and is) a very good platform to begin with – its gas-powered sibling, the XC40, with its plethora of tech, solid road manners and an up-to-date interior with plenty of style and room.

The body

You can spot the Volvo DNA from a block away; it’s boxy and stylish, in a patches-on-your-sport jacket way. You probably won’t see Kanye or Pink driving one.

Motor

Most electric vehicles do a decent blastoff from a dead stop, along with accompanying torque, and the XC 40 Recharge does indeed move out. But it’s also got much power at speed, something many electrics don’t have, and you have to watch the speedometer – you’ll be doing 90 MPH if you’re not careful. You go from 0-60 in (approximately) 4.7 seconds. You accomplish this via two 201-horsepower electric motors driving all four wheels, one in front and one in the rear.

About charging

In between my last electric vehicle test and now, Chargepoint erected a series of charging stations about six blocks from where I live, eliminating the awkward running of a cord from the basement of my residence, which I share with other tenants, to whatever electric vehicle I might be testing.

Instead I parked each night at the station and returned in the morning to that delicious 100% meter reading everyone loves. Of course this also means I left a 2022 luxury vehicle out where it was more or less a sitting duck, but it’s a very quiet, crime-free neighborhood. I figured miscreants, if any, would go after the Teslas, not the Volvo. But nobody went after anything.

The car’s 11-kilowatt capability means that the XC40 can be completely recharged in eight hours using a 48-amp Level 2 (240-volt) home charger, 12 hours with a 32-amp charger, and 24 hours when using a 16-amp charger. A public DC fast-charging station can take it from empty to an 80% change in just two hours. You just have to find one.

One place my nav system led me to on the road turned out to be out of order. I cussed and drove 11 miles to find one that worked, then did a little shopping while I juiced up enough to get me home. You really don’t want to be driving one of these things around with a low meter, both to avoid getting stranded, which has happened to me in the past, and for your own peace of mind.

Range is less than most other electrics, though it made a leap from last year from about 208 miles to 223 miles of range. That’s still pretty feeble.

The Ride and Drive

It’s comfy as you please over long trips, with lots of storage nooks and a stiff suspension that complimented the car’s high horsepower. Tossing it into and around corners was great fun, and it took everything I threw at it with no complaints.

To bolster your range, the vehicle features a “one pedal” drive mode that lets the motors stop you as well as increasing battery range. You can turn it off if you want to – I never did.

Updates from afar

Here’s where we arrive at the truly progressive features of the ride; engineers can and will issue updates by wire, improving performance and overall efficiency. Some people who own electrics love to wax about their rides to anyone who will listen. This will be a talking point for talkers.

Room

There’s lots – 17.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and an additional 0.5 cubic foot in the (front) trunk. Up front, it’s roomy enough, but I wouldn’t buy this car if I was a big and/or tall human.

Tech

The touchscreen here is the opposite of any annoying, overly complicated system you still find in 2022 in some manufacturer’s rides. There aren’t any buttons or switches but for once, you don’t mind – it’s a clean, sleek, simple look that didn’t take much time at all to learn, so a big thumbs-up.

Price

There’s no getting around it, this is an expensive ride, though cheaper trims are available. The feds will give you a tax credit of up to $7,500, which helps. It starts at a MSRP of $58,150 and $60,090 with all options and including destination charge.

A petrol-powered XC 40, by comparison, starts at a mere $35,100. But the car delivers – it’s not overpriced, it’s just a Volvo, and Volvos ain’t cheap.

It was a uniquely pleasurable week’s test, and, instead of putting me off electrics as many have in the past, it got me stoked for the possibilities, and what the world might be like in, say, 2032.

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