2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric (Single Motor) Review: Single Life

Derryn Wong

Volvo’s fully electric SUV, the XC40, now has less excitement but far more of what a Singaporean driver needs : usability and range

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge
(P6, Single Motor)

Launched: November 2022 – Price : S$256,000 with Cat B COE
Five-door, electric small SUV, five seats
231hp, single electric motor, 335km range, VES A1, 20.0kWh/100km

Understated design
Balanced performance, excellent range Extensive safety features

Small SUV = less space
Some scratchy plastics 

There are benefits to being single, and that includes having more range. No, we’re not talking about the latitude to swipe right more, but the ability to literally go further, at least in the case of the updated electric Volvo XC40.

Volvo’s small SUV is now offered as a less expensive, single-motor version that’s landed for the first time in Singapore.

Volvo helpfully terms this car the ‘Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Plus’, it has 231hp and a single electric motor driving the front wheels. We will helpfully term this the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric Plus (Single Motor) for the sake of this review.

‘Single’ contrasts ‘Twin’ –  compare it to the ‘Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric (Twin)’. That car, as we tested earlier, had more than 400hp, two motor all-wheel drive, and was very fast.

But like the difference between a Tesla Model Y RWD and Tesla Model Y Performance, or even powerful combustion cars, more go isn’t always the best choice for an everyday car buyer – the thing here being that the lesser XC40 Recharge replaces the previous, more powerful model.

The XC40 has always been unique enough in the world of coupe-inflected SUVs, successfully marrying the high-riding look with some elegance. If you liked the design of the XC40 Recharge, you’re in luck, because visually there is almost no difference besides some minor visuals on the front of the car, and a wheel downsize from 20-inch wheels to 19-inchers.

The vast majority of interior equipment and features on the P8 Twin model are reflected here too, except for the Harman Kardon sound system and 360-degree surround view camera. A new addition (with a twist) we see from the Volvo C40 are the map-countour -styled trim panels – they simply look like hard, black plastic in daylight, but become an interesting visual treat at night when lit-up.

In terms of space, as we’ve noted before, the XC40 isn’t the most spacious of the small SUVs for passenger room, but the panoramic sunroof helps mitigate feelings of claustrophobia, and the boot at 419-litres is decently sized.

That’s all XC40 business as usual, except for the drivetrain. 231hp is far less than 400-plus horsepower, but it’s more than sufficient for the daily Singaporean driver, and it’s very zippy in a straight line.

It’s perfect for the urban grind, extremely refined at low speeds, and easier to drive than a gasoline car – what your right foot demands, it gets with little lag. At higher speeds, there’s some wind and tyre noise, but it’s still much quieter than a gasoline car.

The typical EV foibles apply : Mind the weight, and the jiggly ride, and don’t drive too fast (above 90km/h) to avoid sucking the battery dry. But it does seem to handle bad surfaces better than other electric SUVs, perhaps because it doesn’t wear 20-inch wheels. 

We’ve driven almost every single iteration of this Scandinavian SUV in the past, including the 2.0-litre mild hybrid gasoline version, the plug-in hybrid, and the 400hp+ twin motor variant. 

The important thing here is that the single-motor version is far more efficient than its 20kWh/100km official claim. Our drive spanned 170km and the car rang up 15.5kWh/100km – which gives us an on-paper range of 430km, far more than the 335km homologated figure. That’s impressive not just compared to the Twin motor version (375km by the same driver) but also very good for a modern EV in general, especially one with a sub-70kWh battery pack. 

Volvo values still apply to the XC40 – cast your eyes on the specs and you’ll witness an entire jumble of alphabet soup whose collective purpose is to make it as hard for you to injure yourself as possible. Very useful on tough days, but the adaptive cruise control and Pilot Assist (adjusting steering/distance/speed) is also good for jams and general drudgery.

The other major benefit of a single motor variant – price – isn’t quite realised by the XC40 Recharge, but that’s no fault of the car itself. At S$256,000 with COE, on the face of it, it seems the same price as the XC40 Twin Motor. In reality, without a COE, it’d be at least S$20k cheaper than the Twin Motor version. In other words, in an era with saner COE prices, this would be a sub-S$200k car. 

Back in the now, the XC40 hits the magical circa-S$250k price point, which gets you the entry level Kia EV6. There’s also the ‘T’ word – Tesla’s Model Y price point makes it un-ignorable. But the closest competitor comes from a sister brand : Polestar, whose entry-level Polestar 2 is considerably cheaper.

In more directly-competing SUV terms, there’s the more affordable Opel Mokka-e and Peugeot e-2008, or the more expensive Mercedes-EQ EQA. Twinning up might give you a grin or two, but the pleasing effect of charging less and going further sells the single life more convincingly. 

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge (P6, Single Motor) 

Drivetrain typeFull electric 
Electric Motor / layoutSingle / Front 
Motor power / torque 231hp / 330-Nm
Battery type /net capacity Lithium ion, 67kWh
Normal Charge Type / Time11kW AC / 7 hours
Max Fast Charge Type / Time130kW DC / 32 mins 10 to 80 percent
Electric Range* 335km average 
0-100km/h7.4 seconds
Top Speed160km/h
VES Band A1/ -S$25,000
AgentWearnes Automotive
PriceS$256,000  with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict Less power, one motor, and a lot more range makes Volvo’s XC40 more palatable 


5 door 5 seat electric EV small SUV Volvo xc40 XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

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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