WHEN did Volvo become so cool?
I’ve been trying out the Swedish car firm’s latest motor – the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro – and it’s an electric wunderkind.
In all-black, it fits in among the Range Rover Evoques and Jaguar E-Paces of the world.
But it’s fully electric, and can even be driven in one-pedal mode – lifting off the accelerator to brake.
In fact, so futuristic is this car that there’s not even an on button.
Unlock it, sit in the car, and it knows you’re ready to go.
Entry is easy too – just walk up with keys in your pocket and it unlocks.
Get out, walk away, and the car turns off and locks itself. Spooky, but cool.
Importantly, the XC40 is fast.
The model I drove has two electric motors, one for the front and one for the back.
This all-wheel-drive configuration generates a very hefty 408horsepower.
As such, it’ll make mugs of a lot of similarly-sized SUVs running on straight combustion engines.
You get a very nippy zero-to-60mph speed of 4.7 seconds.
And because you get instant torque from the electric motors, you’re smashed against the back of your seat with supercar force.
Who said Volvos were boring? This is some of the best fun you can have in a small SUV.
The tech on board is great.
There’s a 9-inch central touchscreen, fitted out with Google Automotive Services.
It means you get built-in Google Maps, Google Assistant, the Google Play Store – and four years of cellular data with your purchase.
If you prefer (and I do) then you can use Apple CarPlay, which simulates your iPhone on-screen.
There are USB ports (four!) for charging, or a wireless pad that will also power up your phone.
Seats are heated, as is the steering wheel, and there’s a dual-zone climate function too.
So you can be toasty in winter while your passenger is freezing, if you want to punish them for still driving an petrol-guzzling motor. Or just for fun.
There’s eight-speaker surround sound that is lovely on the ears.
Driver assistances are aplenty, with adaptive cruise control and lane assist functions.
It’ll also warn you if you’re about to crash.
You get parking sensors to help guide you into spots.
And there’s even a cool off-road protection that automatically tightens the front seatbelts if the car “accidentally” leaves the road. Nice.
Probably the best thing about this Volvo is that it has a very decent range of 256 miles.
Anything under 200 miles is a recipe for serious range anxiety, but north of 250 miles and you’ll forget all about it.
It’s not cheap, starting at about £49,000.
But the idea is that you’ll make huge savings on journeys, given that filling it up at home costs just north of a tenner.
Somewhat uniquely, you can only buy this car online.
That’s appropriate, as it feels like a car from the future. Heck, you don’t even need to switch it off!
The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin starts from £49,150. This rises to £52,150 for the Twin Plus, or £56,645 for the Twin Pro. You can get the car from Volvo from £619 a month.
- Volvo XC40 Recharge from £619 a month – buy here
All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.
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