2022 Volvo C40 Recharge offers peppy all-electric drive, looks and feels like the future

Posted On Monday, 28 November 2022 02:26 Written by
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The C40 Recharge is part of Volvo's transition to an all-electric vehicle lineup by 2030. The C40 Recharge is part of Volvo's transition to an all-electric vehicle lineup by 2030. Photo courtesy of Volvo

Electric cars are no longer the vehicles of the future. They are the vehicles of today, with seemingly every new vehicle announcement focusing on a new EV.

Volvo is one brand leading the charge in the EV landscape, having announced publicly a goal of selling only electric vehicles by the year 2030.

Volvo’s portfolio today includes the all-electric C40 Recharge – a compact crossover model that takes on competitors such as Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen’s ID.4, Audi’s Q4 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQA, and Tesla’s Model Y.

The C40 Recharge competes in a segment that focuses on offering extended range and luxury-light styling. Read on for a full breakdown of how it measures up.


The best way to describe the design of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is that Volvo took its XC40 SUV and gave it a haircut, chopping the roof a bit and creating an attractive coupe-like design. 

While mechanically and structurally it’s quite similar to the larger XC40 Recharge, the C40 Recharge features a lower profile and both looks and drives more like a car than a crossover SUV. In both look and driving feel, the C40 Recharge has a futuristic vibe.

The design does have some drawbacks, though, as one downside directly related to this look is poor rear visibility out the back window. You also lose a couple inches of headroom for back seat passengers.

Standard features on the C40 Recharge include: Adaptive LED headlights that swivel as you turn the steering wheel, providing better lighting as you navigate curves; 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, and hands-free liftgate.

The vehicle weighs in at just over 4,800 pounds, and cargo capacity with all seats in place is just 14.5 cubic feet, a low number for the segment. My test vehicle also featured sharp 20-inch alloy wheels. 

Volvo is skipping the leather seats in its electric lineup, but the C40’s unique Nubuck/Microtech seating is still quite comfortable. Microtech is a suede-like material made from recycled polyester — fitting for a company focused on sustainability. Large, clear screens for driver information and infotainment are included.

Interior features include: Power-adjustable heated front seats, heated steering wheel, driver's seat memory, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated rear seats. There are also several unique, illuminated trim panels throughout the C40.

The back seat is very small, and it’s best if children or only smaller adults go in the rear of the vehicle. Beyond space issues, getting out of the rear seats will be more difficult for taller passengers due to the nature of the roofline.

A “frunk” can be found in the front of the C40, but won’t hold much more than your charging cable. So it’s not really an additional storage space.


As a pure EV, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge features a 1-speed direct drive transmission.

Its power comes courtesy of a 78-kWh lithium ion high voltage battery, and power is sent to electric motors at both the front and rear of the vehicle. So in the end, you’re piloting an all-wheel-drive crossover with impressive numbers of 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque.

The listed driving range on a full charge is 225 miles (more on that later).

One unique aspect of driving an EV is the level of absolute quiet you experience — you can hear a pin drop even after the vehicle has started running.

Also unique is that we've started to move beyond push-button start, as there isn’t even a “start/stop” ignition button on the C40 Recharge. You literally just open the door, sit down, put the car into Drive and go. As long as the key fob is in the vehicle, the car will function. And when you stop the car, just put it in park and get out.

The other unique aspect is this vehicle offers one-pedal driving. Instead of hitting the brake to slow down, you just lift up from the accelerator and it slows down, all the way to a stop. I’ll admit this was strange at first, but I got used to it, and this one-pedal drive helps with regenerative braking to add more juice to the car as you drive.

But how is the quality of the drive? Put simply, it’s awesome.

The C40 Recharge features very fast acceleration and enjoyable handling characteristics, darting in and out of traffic with ease. It blasts from zero to 60 in a very respectable 4.5 seconds (faster than many rivals), and it does a great job on curvy roads. 

The C40 Recharge is rated for up to 2,000 pounds of towing. It also features anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, and electric power-assisted steering.


The center of the tech system on the C40 Recharge is a 9-inch vertical touchscreen featuring a new Google-based infotainment system, which is replacing the previous Sensus system in Volvo vehicles.

The system offered responsive touch controls, and voice commands were mostly understood. My biggest issue with the system in my test vehicle was the navigation interface, which was quirky and didn’t work as it should have in my experience.

The Google connections in this system include access to services including: Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store. And the system can receive over-the-air updates.

Other tech features include USB-C ports in front and rear of the vehicle, remote services including lock/unlock and climate pre-setting, and inductive smartphone charging. And of course you can stream audio and phone calls via Bluetooth.

A premium Harmon/Kardon stereo system is also offered, and Volvo's suite of driver-assistance systems includes its semi-automated driving technology, Pilot Assist.

Other safety features include adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree surround-view camera (very helpful in tight parking situations), LED headlights, blind spot system with rear cross traffic alert and steer assist, forward collision mitigation (including automatic braking), run-off road protection and mitigation, lane departure warning and lane keeping aid, a full complement of airbags, and front and rear park assist.


The C40 Recharge earns a fuel economy rating of 87 MPGe combined (94 city/80 highway). Its charging time is 8 hours with a 240-volt charger, and you can charge much faster with public 150-kW fast-charging systems (You can go from 0 to 80 percent charge in 35 minutes).

Don’t bother charging at home with a standard outlet. Even if you charge overnight, you’ll only gain about 15 percent of the battery life.

The total range on the C40 Recharge is 225 miles, which is less than several of its key rivals. And for those in colder climates, be aware that your range will drop by about 30 miles if you are using the heat. And on the other side, depending on how you drive the vehicle, you may be able to push the total number up closer to 250 miles per full charge.

To put all this in real-world terms, for most people using the C40 for a daily commute, and maybe some errands around town, you will have plenty of juice to complete your daily duties, after which you can do a partial recharge each night (or every other night) at home or publicly to get back up to full capacity. The trickier part will be road trips, but if you can map out your charging points along the way, you can still make that work.

Average estimates to power up the C40 Recharge per month come to $87 per month.


The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge I tested starts at $58,750. Adding in destination charge and a metallic paint job brought the total to $60,540. 

This price is representative of some of the current struggles electric vehicles face, as it’s definitely out of the acceptable price range for most people shopping for a new ride. Going forward, getting costs down will be key to the masses adopting EV technology.

Warranties on the C40 Recharge include a 48-month/50,000 mile limited warranty, unlimited mile corrosion protection, and Volvo’s on-call roadside assistance. The battery warranty is 8 years/100,000 miles.

They also include 250 kW of DC Fast Charging with Electrify America, plus complimentary factory scheduled maintenance and wear coverage for the first 4 years or 50,000 miles.


The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is a well-designed, modern EV that's among the most fun vehicles I have tested in the past year. While the high price is a concern, the bold looks and powerful driving experience of the C40 are something I welcome and expect to see on future EV offerings from Volvo and others.

It’s definitely worth considering if you are looking for a smaller EV that’s stylish and powerful.


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Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge
  • Price as tested: $60,540  
  • Best feature: Powerful drive and acceleration, no gas station needed  
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Drivers seeking an stylish compact fully electric crossover
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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