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. 

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  • 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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8/10

“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

8/10

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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

Thanks to the battery being cleverly hidden you get the same boot size as other XC40s but not their nifty shopping bag hooks!

  • Length:4,425mm
  • Width:1,863mm
  • Height:1,558mm
  • Boot space:460/1,336 litres

Practicality and Boot Space

The XC40 is the smallest SUV Volvo makes but that’s not to say it’s small on the inside. There’s more space inside than the BMW X2 for instance, and even if you go for the glass roof the XC40 can easily fit four six-foot adults. Quite a few plug-in hybrids have their batteries mounted under the boot floor ruining boot space, but not the XC40. It’s hidden down the centre of the car and under the floor, and because the XC40 is front-wheel drive only (there’s no four-wheel drive option), boot space is the same as other petrol and diesel XC40s. Strangely though you can’t get the Convenience Pack that comes on other XC40s, though, which is a shame as it not only divides up your shopping but means you can hang your Waitrose bags from a row of hooks preventing expensive (and perhaps embarrassing) breakages.   

Technology

The XC40 is pretty generously equipped but Volvo has scrimped on certain features which will push you towards the options list. R-Design and Inscription models get a digital display for the dials and a nine-inch touchscreen along with LED headlights. A Pro version of each adds headlights with a ‘matrix’ function that allows you to drive along with your full beams on and not dazzle other drivers. But wireless phone charging is a £200 option, so too is a fancy Harman Kardon stereo system at £550 and most unreasonably of all Apple CarPlay and Android Auto costs £300. Not only is that something most manufacturers throw in on a basic hatchback these days, but you’ll have to go for it to bypass the car’s dated looking sat nav system. 

Safety

The XC40 has a full five stars for safety – and that’s the maximum given by the independent testing organisation EuroNCAP – and with a score of 97% it’s one of the safest small SUVs - although it was actually recently beaten by a Mazda. 

You also get blind spot monitoring, On Call (that calls the emergency services if you’re involved in an accident) and City Safety as standard – the latter detects not only cars at low speeds but also pedestrians and even large wooly animals – well, it is Swedish. You can raid the options list for some extra safety kit too, a highlight being the £1,550 Drive Assist pack that includes adaptive cruise control but also Pilot Assist that can take over the car’s steering on the motorway and drive the car in traffic jams.   

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