Thursday, July 7, 2022
Reviews 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Review: Still Attractive and Fun, but it’s Slipping

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Review: Still Attractive and Fun, but it’s Slipping

I first drove the Volvo XC40 Recharge almost a year and a half ago, and I still love it.

  • Starting price is $62,365 in Canada, $51,700 in the US.

  • This small premium electric SUV segment is heating up.

  • The XC40 Recharge is as entertaining and feisty as ever.

Much has changed since the Volvo XC40 Recharge and I first came into contact. Specifically, many new electric SUVs have arrived or been announced, increasing the Volvo’s competitive set. Even so, the XC40 remains a truly interesting alternative among them all.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The small SUV’s packaging is only one of the aspects that sells it for me. Unlike many other electric SUVs, be they premium or not, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is nothing more, nothing less, than an electric XC40. Designers at the Swedish automaker did not recreate or reinvent their product with the introduction of a new electric platform – they simply put an existing body on it.

It looks like a typical Volvo SUV

In my opinion, this is brilliant. Unlike the Audi e-tron, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, or even the Ioniq 5, the XC40 will not be spotted driving about as it won’t draw attention to itself. Automakers such as Hyundai and Kia (Kona and Soul) have explored this avenue, as have others, as EVs become less of a showpiece.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Even so, the Volvo XC40 is, in my opinion, the most attractive SUV in Volvo’s lineup. Its proportions are spot on, the overhangs are minimal, and the signature Volvo lighting remains as unique and attractive as ever.

True luxury and quality

I’ve always said that Volvo’s are the thinking person’s premium brand. This thought encompasses numerous points including how easy a vehicle is to live with one. When it comes the XC40 Recharge, the quick and standard power liftgate comes to mind. The large rear door openings are another example. And finally, the quality of the materials, the fit and finish, as well as design are all top-notch. The little Volvo SUV, even in its basic Core trim, has an almost bespoke quality to it.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Quite frankly, the cabin is so welcoming it can be difficult to leave it behind once the trip is over. The always excellent seats are a testament to Volvo’s constant and sustained desire to keep its customers comfortable and happy. Despite the SUVs restrained outer dimensions, it can effortlessly accommodate four adults for long periods of time. Those upfront bear witness to a dashboard that isn’t a void or overwhelmingly busy. It strikes a perfect balance between soothing and functional. Or nearly.

As standard, the XC40 Recharge features a 12-inch digital instrument panel and a 9-inch touchscreen display with Google Services. Navigating the menus, as the screen reacts very much like an iPad, is intuitive and relatively easy to tame. The crucial flaw is that, at the time of writing this review, Apple CarPlay remained unavailable. At this point, it’s inexcusable.

Lovely driver, great power

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Thankfully, the driving experience is really good. The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge shares the same CMA platform as the other XC40 versions which equate to a perfectly balanced chassis. The suspension is tuned for real-world driving conditions as it strikes a perfect balance between real damping and competent handling.

The two identical AC permanent magnet electric motors produce a total system output of 402 horsepower and 486 lb.-ft. of torque. Simply put, the XC40 Recharge’s powertrain feels at least as reactive as that of the Mach-E GT Performance Edition. A great feature is one-pedal driving which is available with the Volvo. Accessing it via the touchscreen menus can be laborious unless you use voice-activated controls.

Already slipping?

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The bugs with the XC40 Recharge boil down to range and price. At over $62,000, it’s more expensive, smaller, not as well equipped, and with a shorter range than many other EVs including the Polestar 2. The 78-kWh battery will deliver a very plausible estimated 359 km (increased from the 2021’s 335 km) of range in ideal conditions. Unlike some other EVs, the XC40 happily accepted its charge on a Level 2 public charger. Incidentally, it is capable of up to 150 kW fast charging which will load up the battery from 0% to 80% in 37 minutes.

The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge, despite some OTA updates, has already fallen victim to the speed at which EVs evolve even though it’s barely more than two years old. I still love it for all the right reasons including it oh-so-Volvo styling, wonderful drive, and performance, but would quickly become annoyed with the ongoing lack of support from Apple for CarPlay.

And this, combined with the shorter range and high price (no heat pump or heated steering wheel included for over $62,000) would gnaw away at my level of satisfaction especially when the neighbour shows up with their new Ioniq 5.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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