Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV Review

Smart, swish and very Swedish, the XC40 Plug-In is an excellent small SUV. Just make sure it’s for you though as it’s pricey.

Watch Tom's in-depth road test video here. 


  • Battery size: 10.7 kWh
  • Miles per £: 15.4
  • Battery warranty: 8 years / 100,000 mi
  • Emissions: 47g/km
  • Range: 27 miles

Tom Says

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“A lovely car this: looks great, a very useful size, a decent powertrain. But it does feel like a bit of a halfway house when you know that the full BEV XC40 Recharge Pure electric is on the way. The Goldilocks in the range, or for those who fear going fully electric? Mind you, it’s £10k cheaper…”

Ginny Says


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“The XC40 is stylish, safe and sophisticated small SUV and the PHEV version is surprisingly fast too. It makes enormous sense for company car drivers, but unless you really need the back up of the petrol engine I'd be tempted to hold out for the full electric version.”

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Volvo XC40 Recharge

Despite having a juicy-sounding 258bhp in the T5 version, the XC40 isn’t a sporty SUV to drive. It’s more of a comfortable cruiser.

  • 0-62mph:7.3- 8.0 seconds
  • Top speed:112mph


Being a plug-in hybrid, the XC40 gets two power sources – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine developing 178bhp and an 80bhp electric motor that’s powered by a 10.7kWh battery. In total there’s 258bhp making the T5 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid more powerful than all other petrol and diesel powered XC40s, and it’s only beaten by its 400bhp all-electric brother. Power is sent to the front wheels only – there’s no four-wheel drive option – through a seven-speed automatic gearbox and it’s a surprisingly quick car. The 0-62mph sprint takes just over seven seconds and the tiny petrol engine and electric motor combo work very well together – especially in ‘Power’ mode. Even in ‘Pure’ electric mode, the XC40 is no slouch but with the car weighing a hefty 1,800kgs, the petrol engine will kick in to help out if you come across a hill . It’s a smooth transition, though. 


Even with a combined 258bhp the XC40 is no sports SUV. Even in ‘Power’ mode it’s clear the XC40 doesn’t really like to be driven with a lot of enthusiasm as the body leans in fast corners and the steering feels a little imprecise. You’ll probably only do that once and then realise the XC40 is all about a relaxing driving experience. The ride is very smooth (it gets a bit harder if you go for the R-Design Pro thanks to its 20-inch wheels) and the whole car just glides along very comfortably. The three-cylinder petrol engine does make a bit of a noise but it’s not a problem, and in pure electric mode the electric motor whines – it’s a bit odd at first but fine after a while. The only thing that annoys is the brake pedal that feels a little odd if you’re used to driving a petrol or a diesel car, and will take some getting used to. But overall the XC40 excels on the road.

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