2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric (Twin Motor) Review

Derryn Wong
2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - front

Volvo’s first EV, the XC40 Recharge, in Singapore is basically a Polestar 2 in SUV form, and is more value-packed than its pricetag implies

SINGAPORE – The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin is the electric version of Volvo’s small SUV, and it’s also the Swedish brand’s first fully-electric vehicle here.

First off: Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Twin is a horrible name, so let’s just call it the XC40 EV, shall we? But mouthy monikers aside, the car’s a small shocker and in a good way.

The XC40 SUV is a well-known quantity by now – we tested the petrol 2.0-litre back in 2018 and found it stylish and practical, though not the nicest to drive. In 2021 we tested the plug-in hybrid version, which was very efficient though also less nice to drive, and a little too expensive.

That the full EV version goes (S$255,000 with COE) for even more than the PHEV (S$245,000 with COE) seems a bad sign at first, but the XC40 EV does have two compelling things going for it: 1. It delivers essentially the same performance as the top-spec Polestar Model 2 and 2. There aren’t any cheaper direct competitors.

Vole Dancer

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - grille
EV version looks almost identical to the regular XC40 except for the closed off grille

Regarding the first thing, if you read our launch story on the Polestar 2, you’ll know that the car is the first from the Volvo-offshoot EV-only brand here, and in our review we praised it for offering Tesla-matching performance as the first direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 here.

Both that car and the XC40 run on Volvo’s CMA platform. This version – dubbed the ‘P8’ overseas – is the top-rung XC40 EV, so it has the same twin motor all-wheel drive setup as the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor and exactly the same horsepower/torque.

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - side

In future, Volvo Singapore says, there will be a less expensive P6 model with a single motor and smaller battery, just like the Polestar 2 Standard Range Single Motor. 

But back to the P8: Which is why there’s a majorly-entertaining disconnect here: A small SUV body crammed with 408hp from two motors – that’s more than the two-sizes up BMW iX, and the one-size up Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron.

‘Big horsepower / small body’ is what people call muscle cars for ICE-powered machines, so I’m inventing a new term for the EV age – myomer car

And if you think about it another way, on a pure horsepower basis, the XC40 EV outguns the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and GLA 45 (non-S), both of which cost quite a bit more than the Volvo. 

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - engine bay
Nothing under the bonnet but a frunk – yet plenty of power on offer

So there’s plenty of performance and brawn, but like many EVs, no audio drama to pair with. Foot hard on the ‘gas’ and the car rockets forward with no preamble and no tyre squeal, just the increasing sound of wind noise and the feeling of being squished into your seat.

With the mass of the battery pack being in the floor and low to the ground as possible, the car feels planted and agile at urban speeds and goes through corners (sub-90km/h) with a firm confidence that makes up for the lifeless steering.

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - front 3/4

But like American muscle cars of old and EVs of the now, don’t get carried away in corners. It’s very quick up to a point, but go over that point and you will remember this is still a 2,113kg car (it weighs the same as the Polestar, despite having a smaller footprint) as gravity overcomes engineering. 

Daily Buzz

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - rear seats

The XC40 EV remains identical to its brothers in space and practicality terms. The floor is a little higher, with rear passengers having to raise their knees a little, and three adults will be a little squeezy in the back row. The boot space is good, at 452-litres, expandable to 1,328-litres.

What’s new on the XC40 is the Android Automotive infotainment system, presented on the 9.0-inch touchscreen – it has an inbuilt SIM card with its own 4G data (five years free, price TBC after that) and is basically Google on wheels.

While it’s not the prettiest looking system, it is very useful and simple, giving access to Google Assistant, Maps, and you can download other apps like Spotify. The downside is iPhone users won’t be able to CarPlay and just have to roll with Android onboard. 

2022 Volvo XCX40 Recharge Pure Electric EV Singapore - Android automotive infotainment
Volvo is the first automaker with Android Automotive, a fully-android powered infotainment system

Lastly, this is also a high-spec car, which means you have goodies such as a 12.3-inch driver’s display, a panoramic sunroof, wireless device charger, auto seats, powered tailgate, Harman Kardon premium sound system and Volvo’s horde of safety systems that can also help you drive a little on the highway. 

Page 2: Volvo XC40 EV – Range in Singapore, competition, conclusion

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5 door 5 seat electric Recharge Pure Electric Twin SUV Volvo xc40

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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