2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Review


With the skyrocketing EV demand, one thing is for certain, EVs will eventually fill every automotive segment, starting with some of the most lucrative ones. This aligns perfectly with Volvo’s vision. The Swedish luxury car company wants to replace half of its current lineup with pure EVs by 2025, and aims to become fully electric by 2030.

That ambition kicked off with the introduction of the brand's first pure electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge in 2020. This year, Volvo introduced the C40 Recharge, a coupe sibling of the XC40. The C40 is Volvo’s first electric only model, signaling the brand’s commitment to its electrifying goal. 

As with all coupe crossovers, the C40 comes with specific drawbacks, namely, a higher sticker price, a smaller interior, and reduced outward visibility. What the C40 gains though, is an abundance of style. Would it be enough to offset its shortcomings? 

Thanks to Volvo Canada, I had the opportunity to test drive the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge for one week to find out. Below is my unbiased review.


From the front door forward, the C40 Recharge and the XC40 Recharge are indistinguishable. Both 2022 models feature a sharper looking front end that incorporates Smart LED Pixel headlights. The  state-of-the-art headlight consists of 84 individually controlled LED lamps. The C40 uses information gathered by its front camera and front sensing radar to dim specific LED lamps aiming at oncoming traffic. In addition, the iconic “Thor’s Hammer” signature light is preserved. 

The main difference between the two SUVs is the roofline. The sloping roof of the C40 gives it better aerodynamic efficiency and a unique coupe-like style. This smooth silhouette is further enhanced by a fighter jet inspired air separator, a sleek lip spoiler, and striking ascending rear signature lights. It is amazing how these changes make the C40 look so much more stylish than its boxy sibling. This crossover exudes confidence and a polished futuristic vibe.

The sharp styling of the C40 attracted plenty of attention during my one week test drive. In fact, taking photos of this car took twice as long as a normal photoshoot. I was constantly interrupted by curious onlookers and local fishermen on the dock. 


The interior design of the C40 Recharge is the same as the XC40. Volvo has mastered its upscale minimalist design language and applied it to all of its cars. The standardization allows quicker product development and reduced part counts.  

The C40 Recharge, is the first Volvo to offer a completely leather-free interior. Recycled plastic materials are used on the dash, center console, door panels, and the cool-looking Fjord Blue carpeting. While the use of sustainable material is good for the planet, the recycled plastics do feel cheap for a luxury car at this price. One exception are the dash and door inlays. They are made of translucent plastics, which look like typical topology maps during the day. At night though, the back lights shine through the plastic layers and illuminated patterns emerge for a very unique lighting effect. 

The front seats are heated and power adjustable. They are covered in faux leather that is premium to the touch. The same material covers the steering wheel. Heated steering wheel comes standard with the C40.

The rear seats of the C40 offer a surprising amount of legroom. It is one of the best in the sub-compact SUV category thanks to its stretched wheelbase. Rear headroom obviously isn’t as good as the XC40. But even with the sloped roof, rear headroom remains adequate. Volvo cleverly lowered the seat height of the C40 to accommodate for the reduced roof height. Rearward visibility is limiting. Thankfully a large panoramic sunroof brightens the rear cabin. 


The 2022 C40 Recharge is equipped with the upgraded Android-based infotainment system. It is noticeably quicker and more straightforward to use than the old Sensus system. However, some frequently used functions like the seat warmers, cabin climate controls, camera views, and drive mode select still require the driver to go through multiple menus. These functions would really benefit from dedicated physical buttons. 

The 9.1” tablet style portrait screen behaves exactly like a tablet. Swiping left and right reveals additional menus, and there is a dedicated home button at the bottom of the screen. Saying “Hey Google” activates the virtual assistance of the Android Auto system, so does pressing the talk button on the steering wheel. 

The standard 12.3 digital instrument cluster is gorgeous. The screen is large enough to display real time vehicle information and navigation directions at the same time. 

There is no Head-Up display like in some premium vehicles, also missing are AM radio and wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay. 

Safety and Driver Assistance

The C40 Recharge’s safety features are built specifically for an EV.  The front structure was reinforced to maintain good crash resistance without a traditional crumple zone. The Lithium Ion battery pack is placed inside an extruded aluminum cage to offer an extra layer protection. 

Being a Volvo, the C40 Recharge is packed with advanced safety features. The all-new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform uses inputs from cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors to avoid potential driving hazards. 

The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge receives a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS.


First, if you haven’t been inside a Volvo EV before, just know that you won’t find a Start button. Instead, simply put the gear in drive and step on the accelerator. With that out of the way, the C40 is powered by two electric motors: one for the front wheels and one for the rear. Which means, the C40 comes standard as an AWD vehicle. The two motors have a combined max power of 402 hp, and combined max torque of 486 lb-ft. It is a fast car which is capable of going from 0-100km/hr in under 5 seconds. The throttle response is tuned to have a natural gasoline-powered car feel. A Regenerative braking mode is available to allow for one-pedal driving. The amount of regenerative braking is not adjustable, but I got used to the one-pedal driving very quickly.  

The C40 Recharge stores uses a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery to store its charge. It gives the car a 360 km range. Although better than the likes of Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, it is significantly shorter than Tesla model Y’s 531 km range. 

The built-in 11 kW charger accepts both 220VAC and 110VAC. With a 220VAC socket, the C40 can be topped up from zero in about 8 hours. With a fast-charging DC station (up to 150 kW), the battery of the Recharge can be charged from 0 to 80% in just 40 minutes.

The highlight of the C40 Recharge is the suspension. It does a great job of keeping body roll under control while providing a comfortable ride. I find the Tesla Model Y’s suspension unnecessarily stiff. The C40 on the other hand, feels more plush, befitting of a luxury crossover.  The steering is effortless, but can be adjusted to heavy settings for more road feedback. 

Cargo Space & Storage

There is 489.8L of cargo space behind C40’s second row seats. Surprisingly, that is bigger than the 452L of cargo space of the XC40 Recharge. This is because the C40 actually has a slightly longer body. With the rear seats folded the cargo space only increased to 1205L, smaller than the 1328L of XC40. 

While the C40 doesn’t have the largest cargo space, this is still a very practical car for grocery runs and short road trips. There is also a front trunk that provides 21L of additional storage space. I find it to be a great place to store the charging cable. It is also where you will find the tire repair kit. 

In cabin storage options are above average. They include a decently sized glove compartment, a large center console storage compartment with a detachable garbage bin, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, and long side door pockets for front passengers. Rear door pockets are smaller, but there are two additional cup holders in the folding armrest, mesh pockets behind the front seat backs, and additional storage trays beside the rear seats. 


The 2022 C40 Recharge is one sexy looking electric coupe crossover. It has a very unique style that turns heads on the street. The good look is matched with equally great performance. Compared to its boxy cousin, the XC40 Recharge, the C40 has surprisingly few drawbacks. The rear headroom is only slightly smaller thanks to its lower seats. And the trunk space is actually bigger than the XC40 thanks to a slightly longer body. 

What may deter most buyers is the price. The C40 only has one trim, and it is priced at $72,600. Compared to the $59,950 base price of the XC40, it seems to be quite high. However, the C40 comes fully loaded with 20” wheels, AWD, and heated steering wheel. The high sticker price does make the C40 eligible for any EV grants in Canada. 

The bottomline is, if you have the money and enjoy the coupe styling of the C40, it is a great EV to have. If not, the XC40 Recharge maybe a better option. 

Test Vehicle

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge


Base: 72,600 $ CAD


Fjord Blue


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