2022 Volvo C40 Recharge First Drive Review

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Volvo does not rock the layout boat frequently, but the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is an exception to the Swedish auto company’s staid, but handsome norm. The C40 is a entirely-electric crossover coupe, and it is Volvo’s initial auto to undertake this fastback form. Not only that, but it’s also Volvo’s next electric car or truck, adhering to intently on the heels of the XC40 Recharge, a car or truck we’ll travel before long.

With the C40 Recharge getting a new form for Volvo, the design and technology teams are making use of it to debut some new tips the two within and out. The rear close functions new LED taillight technology from Volvo that capabilities segmented LEDs and sequentially activating transform indicators for a different search than the common absolutely-lit Volvo taillight. Its grille is debuting a new “Iron Mark” that houses a model-new (and enhanced) suite of radar for the driver support methods — the logo is also now heated to make certain that neither ice nor snow buildup will end the methods from functioning. 

As for the crossover coupe portion of this design and style, you are going to see the rear is full of spoilers. Volvo’s head of layout, Eric Beak, tells us that the dual, fin-like rooftop spoilers are there as aerodynamic aids in a bid to maximize variety. In the meantime, the large spoiler jutting out on the car’s trailing edge is intended to give the auto greater security at significant speeds by reducing elevate. The 20-inch wheels you see pictured here are the only selection, so with any luck , you like them. We do, and we like the glimpse of this motor vehicle general. Photos really do not properly seize the angularity and form of the physique panels, but the C40 is a putting crossover coupe when you get up close to it.

What could finally be even extra controversial than the exterior layout are the interior content decisions. You won’t find an inch of leather masking the C40’s inside. As a substitute, Volvo is focusing on sustainable elements designed making use of recyclables. For case in point, the seats are made of Volvo’s suede-like Microtech substance that is created of recycled polyester. Ditching leather-based is fantastic, so prolonged as the replacement is ideal for a luxurious auto at a luxurious value, and in this situation, it operates in practically each individual spot. Our 1 grievance is the steering wheel, for the synthetic leather-based substitute utilized below feels way too much like plastic and is nowhere near as pleasant or supple to maintain as quality leather is.

When it will come to driving and charging the C40, the working experience is a vaguely common 1. The system underpinning this automobile is Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that also underpins the Polestar 2 and XC40 Recharge. For the C40’s very first design year, it arrives in 1 battery configuration: a liquid-cooled 78-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack that has 75 kWh of usable vitality storage potential. For every EPA tests, this nets you 226 miles of vary with a comprehensive charge. That is 3 miles far more than the XC40 Recharge, but 23 miles much less than the twin-motor Polestar 2. Numerous other all-wheel-travel EVs from other firms present even far more selection than that. Charging pace maxes out at 150 kW when plugged into a DC quickly charger, allowing you to go from -80% demand in about 40 minutes. If you’re lucky plenty of to be located nearby, we’d propose hoping out Volvo’s new Starbucks chargers in the Pacific Northwest.

Smashing the throttle on the C40 is adequate to snap anyone to interest quickly. The moment all over again, only one particular drivetrain/motor configuration is accessible: just about every axle gets an identical motor, hence producing the C40 an all-wheel-push crossover. Volvo hasn’t announced a single-motor entrance-drive product nevertheless, but contemplating its existence on other CMA versions, it could conveniently be released in this article, as properly. The two motors incorporate for a complete system output of 402 horsepower and 486 pound-toes of torque. Regardless of the C40’s prodigious 4,817-pound suppress body weight, that energy is however more than enough for a -60 mph time of just 4.7 seconds. Very similar to all Volvos now, leading velocity is electronically confined to 112 mph.

Volvo doesn’t check out to crack your neck off the line, but acceleration picks up promptly soon after the preliminary shove. Where the C40 will try out to give you whiplash are entire throttle apps manufactured when presently in movement. The practical experience is identical to pretty much any other effective EV. Place your foot down, and there is zero delay. An synthetic mild hum is piped into the cabin, but Volvo averted the form of loud futuristic noises that fill other EVs. Even when you are charging up a steep mountain go, the C40 will generally be glad to quietly pin you to the seat.

Managing on the switchbacks up explained mountain pass outdoors Palm Springs is respectable, but don’t go wondering that this auto is a Polestar just simply because it shares its platform with a person — there are no Öhlins dampers to be uncovered below. Sure, the below-ground battery offers the C40 a lovely, minimal centre of gravity, but it even now does not thoroughly disguise the weight. You can experience this car’s mass as you build g’s by way of a lengthy corner or when it doesn’t look as thrilled to gradual down headed downhill as you’d count on for its proportions. Huge 255-area-width tires impart a secure and planted emotion through corners, but you will operate out of grip quickly if you dedicate as well considerably trust in those people Pirellis. A Polestar 2 is significantly additional enjoyable to generate.

There are no push modes — only a toggle to “stiffen steering feel” — so it’s mostly one particular size fits all, and the one sizing mainly functions. Of all the places of feasible enhancements, the most impactful improve could probably be created in the harmony of electrical power delivery. As it stands, the entrance wheels typically have considerably extra torque directed to them (in spite of it getting a 50/50 torque break up at all instances) than you could possibly want, inducing torque steer and disrupting your rhythm. The C40 dumps its energy when you notify it to, but there’s adequate of it there that a restricted-slip differential or a torque vectoring method would be remarkably helpful to enthusiastic driving. 

All-around city cruising is mostly enjoyable, as the C40 has a tranquil cabin, and its just one-pedal driving method will work wonders. We simply cannot inform you how it rides on lousy streets many thanks to Palm Springs’ fantastic pavement good quality, but that concern will be answered when we get a C40 on our personal Michigan turf. 

The 1 nagging annoyance that will come typical in driving the C40 is its supercar-like rear visibility. Wanting via the little window in the mirror is like hunting through a mail slot, and although it did not rain for the duration of our time with the auto, we suspect the deficiency of a rear wiper will deteriorate winter season and rain eyesight even worse. Handful of autos are begging for a electronic rearview mirror more than this one.

Even with the C40’s modest stature and sloping roofline, utility even now receives good marks for a little crossover coupe. The rear seat is downright roomy in equally leg- and headroom, with the latter currently being the genuine shock. Your 5-foot-10 creator didn’t even appear shut to brushing the roof in the rear seat. And whilst cargo place is impacted negatively compared to the XC40 Recharge, it is not a awful reduction at only 1.4 cubic-toes significantly less. A small frunk exists, but it just cannot hold substantially outside of the charging cable.

Like other Volvos in the lineup, the C40 adopts the most current variation of Google’s Android Automotive OS infotainment system to show on the 9-inch touchscreen. It doesn’t guidance Apple CarPlay at start, but Volvo says it will arrive by means of an more than-the-air program update this calendar year. Even with the omission, this infotainment is an excellent one to use with Google Maps as the native navigation procedure and Google Assistant for voice commands. 

We’re somewhat miffed to see some button controls disappear and wind up in the display, this sort of as Volvo’s Pilot Support driving assistant activation — now it can take quite a few button clicks to switch this on or off vs . a easy steering wheel toggle in other Volvos and other brand names. On the vibrant side, Volvo’s 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is a winner with crisp graphics and a useful Google Maps show in the centre.

Volvo has built any trim dialogue pointless by picking out to provide the C40 in a solitary fully-loaded trim for 2022. You get to select your exterior shade and inside … and that is it. We can heartily advise the pictured Fjord Blue, which Volvo states is impressed by the water colour of fjords in Sweden. This can then be paired with the Fjord Blue interior that nets you blue carpeting and a lot of blue interior trim. It seems to be stunning, and it pairs properly with the light-up sprint trim that resembles a topographic map of Sweden’s Abisko National Park.

For $60,940, the C40 Recharge can be yours, and the whole $7,500 federal tax credit score applies. The attribute set is mostly entire, but there are a number of odd omissions like a lack of cooled seats and a 360-diploma digicam. An XC40 Recharge with a very similar stage of equipment is about $1,500 more cost-effective, so that’s the high quality you spend for the exceptional crossover coupe body design and style. There is very little notably video game-shifting about the C40 in the EV place when it arrives to the way it drives or the propulsion technique, but as a fashion assertion, it’s a compelling selection. Distinctive attributes like the sustainably-sourced interior, Google tech, Volvo security status and reasonably little size (compared to the relaxation of the luxury EV crossover sector) make it desirable. We never imagine the C40 ever becoming a quantity leader in the phase, but don’t price cut it in your electrical motor vehicle search.

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