2022 Volvo C40 Recharge First Test Drive: Style Count

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The new Volvo C40 is all about style.

Volvo

The 2022 Charging Volvo C40 packed with firsts for the Swedish brand. It is Volvo’s first car that is only available with a fully electric powertrain, with roughly each model to come to follow suit. This is Volvo’s first entry into the crossover coupe market, and it is the first Volvo to be only available with a leather-less interior, such as all future Volvo EVs will be. The C40 is also the company’s first car only available for purchase online. Despite all these firsts, the C40 Recharge looks like, well, a regular Volvo – and a great one, too.

Driving impressions and technical data aren’t what matters most with the C40. The coupeover is available with a powertrain configuration that uses a 78-kilowatt-hour battery and a pair of electric motors, one on each axle. The configuration is identical to the XC40 refill, but with 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque, the C40 is slightly more powerful than the XC40. Volvo quotes a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, a few tenths faster than the XC40. While the EPA has yet to officially assess the C40, Volvo estimates a range of 225 miles, also slightly better than the XC40’s estimated 208 miles.

The C40 seems quieter on the highway than the XC40, probably helped by its better aerodynamics. 20-inch wheels with a cool aerodynamic design and all-season tires will be standard in the US, and the C40 has non-adaptive shocks. Its ride is firm but smooth and comfortable, even on the paved roads of Ghent, Belgium. There are no drive modes beyond off-road, although you can add weight to the steering and adjust the level of regenerative braking – I love the C40’s true one-pedal capability. Overall, the C40 drives pretty much exactly the same as its XC40 sibling, and that’s a good thing.

The rear of the C40 is its best asset.

Volvo

Now for the good stuff. Almost every body panel is unique to the C40: Its front end is similar to that of the XC40, but the stuck grille is more integrated and the standard pixel LED headlights are more angular. The logo in the grille is heated so that the camera and sensors inside do not get dirty in bad weather. The lower skin has a more horizontal line that continues at the rear bumper, but the bumper itself remains the same. Exclusive to the C40, the new Fjord blue color is inspired, you guessed it, by the waters of the Swedish fjords, which are a deeper blue than the dark water of the lakes or the greener ocean. Blue was chosen partly because it is currently in fashion, but also because it is indicative of the eco-conscious vibe of the C40.

That said, the roofline is obviously the main event. It’s a continuous curve from the base of the hood to the tail, and the side windows lift up at the C-pillar to line up with the roof spoiler. The C40 will only be offered with a black roof, regardless of the paint color, and I think it really works. The two upper spoilers are stylish and functional, increasing aerodynamics and hiding the hinges, while the lower spoiler at the base of the window is purely functional, improving stability. My favorite design feature is the new tail lights, which extend all the way to the tailgate with segmented LEDs and have cool body color inserts on the tailgate.

The interior of the C40 doesn’t stray that far from the XC40, but it gets some unique touches. The car is launched with an all-black color scheme consisting of suede and Microtech upholstery. And while the interior of the C40 is completely leather-free, Volvo is careful not to call the interior vegan. (There are animal by-products used in creating the interior.) Similar to what is found in the Polestar 2, the Microtech material is durable and premium, much like a wetsuit or bag. fancy. Next year that same material combo in another color, two textile choices, and even a great silver wool option, although I’m not sure which (if any) will come to the United States.

Please specify the blue interior if you purchase one.

Volvo

To spice up the black interior, the available Fjord blue rugs and felt door inserts, which are a no-cost option and an absolute must-have. A large fixed panoramic roof is standard, and although it’s UV tinted, I still wish there was a sun visor. The front cabin receives cool 3D trim on the dashboard and doors that has a geometric pattern, and the plastic is illuminated from behind, a very cool effect when it lights up at night. The motif is an actual section of the topographic map of Abisko National Park in Sweden.

Standard on the C40 is a 9-inch portrait touchscreen running Volvo’s new Google-based infotainment system, which is a big upgrade from the old Sensus software. The C40 has a few new features that will come to the XC40 via a live update, like a new range optimization button that adjusts the air conditioning for better efficiency without turning it off completely. Volvo says more apps are in the works, including more than the multimedia apps currently available.

Obviously, the coupe-like roof reduces the cargo space of the C40 compared to the XC40, but honestly not by much. The XC40’s tailgate is already sloped enough, and the C40 still has a three-way split bench seat that folds completely flat, although the headroom at the rear is significantly narrower for people taller than 6 feet. . There are also a few storage lockers under the cargo area floor. Rear visibility is a bit poorer in the C40, mainly because of the much smaller rear window, and I would like the C40 to have a rear wiper. But the style is for me the practical compromise, especially when it comes to the price.

The interior space is not so badly affected by the lower roof.

Volvo

The C40 starts at $ 59,845, including a destination charge of $ 1,095, and there is only one trim level and no options beyond metallic paint, which costs $ 695 (the only free color is black). Otherwise, the C40 is fully equipped, including features that are optional on the XC40. The XC40 Recharge starts at $ 56,395, but add those options and it’s only a few hundred dollars cheaper than the C40.

C40’s nearly $ 60,000 price tag includes dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, power front seats, folding rear headrests electrically, an excellent Harman Kardon audio system, a wireless charger, an electric tailgate and a heat pump for better efficiency in cold weather. Volvo’s adaptive cruise control Pilot Assist is also standard with stop-start, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, 360-degree camera system, and front and rear parking sensors. .

The C40 Recharge is available for reservation now with a refundable deposit of $ 500. No C40s will be stocked at dealerships as the car is only available for purchase online, a decision Volvo will also use for future electric vehicles. Volvo says this is achievable thanks to the C40’s small list of options, and while I don’t have much information on the delivery process yet, it is said to be “fast”.

Not everyone’s style and buying process for the C40 will be for everyone, but for design-conscious and forward-thinking people who want a solid EV, this new Volvo is a great option – and it foreshadows a lot of it. which will come from the more classic offerings brand.


Editor’s Note: Travel expenses related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow staff are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.


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