2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) review | CarAdvice

7 min read
Volvo's most affordable plug-in hybrid has arrived. But is it the pick over regular petrol versions of the XC40 that have made it our favourite compact luxury SUV?
$ 64,990 Mrlp Fuel Economy 2.2 L

Engine Power 132 kW

CO 2 Emissions 50 g

ANCAP Rating 5 Stars

Pros and Cons Pros Smooth electric driving at variable speeds

Strong performance in hybrid mode

Cabin space and quality

Relatively short charging time on just a household socket Cons Big premium over regular XC40s

Brake pedal feel

We couldn't quite match claimed EV range

Hybrid loses clever folding boot floor

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Get used to rechargeable Volvos. The Swedish company is going full steam ahead towards a showroom of electrified vehicles, with an ambition for half its global sales to be fully electric cars by 2025. Volvo's first fully electric car – the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – is due here about mid 2021, though freshly arrived a year ahead of that is the XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid. Wearing the same 'Recharge' umbrella label now being applied to petrol-electric and electric Volvos, the plug-in hybrid XC40 will sit in the middle of the compact luxury SUV's future range – below the fully electric version but above more affordable 'mild hybrid' petrol-engined variants.

For now, the XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid acts as a flagship model … and is priced accordingly. Although the $64,990 price tag (plus on-road costs) makes it much more affordable than the 'T8' plug-in hybrid versions of the XC90, XC60, S60 and V60, the XC40 Recharge carries a hefty $8000 premium over the T5 R-Design with which it shares its trim and equipment. It's more like double figures if you factor in the T5's all-wheel drive; the Recharge is front-wheel drive. That's just one of the technical differences. Where T4 and T5 XC40s are powered by 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines, the Recharge Plug-In Hybrid combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with an electric motor and 10.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The 132kW/265Nm engine and 60kW/160Nm electric motor create combined outputs of 192kW/425Nm that exceed the T5 R-Design's 185kW/350Nm, though this is…
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