2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Review: Changing Around

Lionel Kong
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

Volvo’s first coupe-SUV is also fully-electric – we find if its blend of sleekness and electric go work well in Singapore

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Launched: September 2022, Price S$282,000 with COE (October 2022)
Four-door, small crossover SUV, five seats
408hp, twin electric motor, VES A1, 21.0kWh/100km


Stylish, very different image from the XC40
A quick and generally comfortable drive
Android-based software is very easy to use


Poor back seat headroom
Panoramic glass roof cannot be ‘shut off’
Suspension is choppy on bumpy roads


A Swedish urban crossover SUV-coupe that’s also fully electric. As far as present automotive consumer buying trends go, the new Volvo C40 Recharge ticks all the right boxes for a top-selling product. So, let’s check out what you’re really getting here.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

First announced to the world in early 2021, the C40 is in reality only the second electric vehicle from Volvo, after the XC40 Recharge that arrived in Singapore at the start of 2022. Here’s where your suspicions are confirmed: the C40 Recharge is a re-skinned version of the XC40, taking its boxy SUV body off, and replacing it with a sleeker SUV-coupe design.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The good news is that it uses the XC40 Recharge’s powerful twin-motor four-wheel drive powertrain as well, and through the more aerodynamic body shape plus various unseen updates the C40 is not only slightly quicker, but also more efficient with its power usage. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The chassis upon which the C40 is built also has another relation in the form the Polestar 2, which as you may or may not know, is a brand that started off as an independent company that prepared Volvo’s racing cars in the mid 1990s. Polestar is now a standalone EV manufacturer that Volvo and its Chinese parent company Geely co-own, and shares much of its current tech with Volvo EVs. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

Before we go too far off on a tangent, let’s get back to the C40, of which first impressions mark it out for a very tidy and understated product. There’s also a sustainability angle to the manufacturing, with a lot of the materials used in the cabin coming from upcycled and sustainable sources. It’s still very Scandinavian and oozes quality, even though it has its manufacturing origins in China. That’s actually a good thing in 2022 and beyond because China has, over the last couple of years, been acknowledged as the world leader in EV manufacturing. Even the BMW iX3 is assembled there, and the new BYD Atto 3 has been receiving positive feedback from users worldwide. 

Derryn explains Polestar’s German-beating ambition with its new SUV

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The sloping roofline, all in the name of making the car sleeker and less boxy, unsurprisingly reduces headroom for the back seats but another less obvious modification over its XC40 sibling is that the C40’s back seats are also set in a more upright position, so that the passengers don’t bump heads onto the dramatically sloping rear window.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore back seats

From the ubiquitous but polarising Toyota CH-R, Tesla Model Y, and across to the Audi Q3 Sportback, SUV-coupe type styles are everywhere these days. The marketing speak is that they are big amongst urbanites that want something SUV-ish but not want to give away the sporty, sleek lines of a fastback coupe. The end result is that we have cars looking like mecha-turtles. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore screen

However in the case of the C40 Recharge it’s quite restrained and the body’s smooth curves are typically Volvo understated. The interior is practically identical to the XC40 Recharge, which means there’s the tablet-shaped, Android-powered entertainment system. Apple will have to link their smartphones with the wired Apple CarPlay connection.

The car’s software is Android-based, so you get everything that an Android-powered tablet and smartphone has. Navigation is via Google Maps, you can stream music directly through Spotify, and the Google Assistant is excellent at following verbal instructions.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

It’ll do over-the-air updates, and the clever thing with Volvo is, because it’s not a proprietary in-car system like what BMW and Mercedes-Benz use, the whole package feels a lot more nimble and customisable.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

Backlit panels at the front half of the car’s cabin add a nice after-dark ambience, and like all current-gen Volvos there are clever storage cubby holes scattered throughout the car. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore glass roof

The demo car was fitted with a full-length panoramic glass roof. Like in the Tesla Model Y, It’s heavily tinted and cannot be closed off at all. It did feel like it reflected UV rays better than the one in the Tesla though, with the cabin gaining less heat during the day. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

It’s a reasonably dynamic car with the usual punchy electric power curve, which means it’s got no multi-speed transmission and speed directly correlates to the speed of the electric motors, of which there’s one at each axle. Unlike the Mercedes-EQ EQS cars with bonnets that cannot be opened by drivers and the Peugeot e-2008 with a bonnet that opens to a jumble of electrical componentry, the Volvo C40 helpfully has a front storage compartment, since there’s no engine to mess with anyway. It’s a handy place to stash an extra bag. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The downside of heavy-set EVs is that they tend to have stiffer suspensions and the C40 is a victim of this, with the backseat passengers really feeling it on bumpy roads. The positive side is that it feels like a decently fun car to drive, which hasn’t always been the case with other petrol-powered Volvos. It’s not an agile sports car the same way a Tesla Model 3 isn’t, but like the Tesla it can also be terrifyingly quick in a straight line. The four-wheel drive gives it plenty of grip, but due to its weight curvy roads aren’t really the C40’s natural habitat.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The car has an official power efficiency of 21.0kWh/100km and claims a driving range of up to 450km. In practice, we found that with our test drive of 200km+, it uses only around 20.5kWh/100km, which is good for 380km. That’s impressive, as we did a lot of start-stop urban driving.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore boot

While charging an electric car is still a whole lot cheaper than filling up with petrol, an efficient car allows you to charge up for less, which is always a good thing. While the C40 can accept up to 150kW DC fast charging, the public SP Power group’s charging stations only put out up to 60kW DC for now. We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s more than adequate for local usage, as you can charge up almost all locally available EVs in an hour. That’s the time it takes for a grocery shopping run or a meal.  

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore charge port

There are more efficient EVs such as the BMW iX3 and BYD Atto 3, but as a compromise between power and economy the Volvo C40 Recharge is quite acceptable.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

The car’s main competition will come from the Tesla Model Y, but unlike the Orwellian appliance interior of the Tesla the Volvo still feels like a properly laid out car. It is very much more expensive than the similar XC40 Recharge however, and we think that if you like the idea of a fast little electric Volvo SUV, that will trump the C40 Recharge. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Singapore

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Drivetrain typeFull electric 
Electric Motor / layoutDual/ Front – Rear
Motor power / torque 408hp / 660Nm
Battery type /net capacity Lithium ion, 78kWh
Normal Charge Type / Time11kW AC / 8 hours
Max Fast Charge Type / Time150kW DC / 28 mins 10 to 80 percent
Electric Range* 450km 
0-100km/h4.7 seconds
Top Speed180km/h
Efficiency*21.0 kWh/100km
VES Band A1/ -S$25,000
AgentWearnes Automotive
PriceS$282,000 with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict A good drive that is really a more curvy version of the XC40 Recharge, but with a bigger price tag too

*According to battery capacity and LTA homologated efficiency figures


5 door 5 seat C40 electric recharge SUV Volvo

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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