Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

by  Anthony Fongaro  - Photos via Volvo- 09/18/2022 

Over the years, I have come to appreciate both SUVs and electric vehicles. I understand that they are a combination of necessity and evolution. However, there is one trend within the world of SUVs that I have never liked: The SUV coupe. I never understood why somebody would want to sacrifice the disability and utility of an SUV just for increased looks. That is exactly what Volvo did when they created the C40. They took the XC40 Recharge and re-skinned it with a curvier body. With this electric crossover, was Volvo able to change my mind?

Since this is supposed to be a very sporty-looking vehicle, let’s start with the exterior! When you look at the front, it looks pretty identical to the XC40. That means that you have a blanked-out grill with a giant Volvo logo, some fake-looking vents, and some nice Thor’s hammer lights. The side profile is when you start to see the sloping body. The roof and the mirrors are painted black, and this particular car is a light blue, called Fjord Blue. Wheel sizes are 20-inches and it actually looks ok from the side. The rear end, unsurprisingly, is my least favorite side. I like how the lights go from the tailgate and integrate to the top of the hatch, but Volvo made the C40 too slanted. That said the rest of the rear end looks quite nice. There is a little spoiler, and I like how Volvo is written large on the rear, along with the C40 and recharge twin badges. They didn’t try to have any fake vents which is something that I appreciate since this is an electric vehicle.

Jumping inside is the same as the XC40 with some trim changes. Volvo says that the interior is vegan-friendly and the seats are quite comfortable. There is the traditional Volvo steering wheel which has your controls for the adaptive cruise control along with the infotainment system, but you only get arrows instead of actual icons for what the buttons can do. There is a digital display that shows your power usage along with Google Maps and your speed, but you can't really customize the dials. Finally, Volvo has been able to integrate Apple CarPlay into its infotainment system which is great because Volvo’s infotainment system is not the easiest to use. Since the climate controls are at the bottom of the infotainment system, I found it a little difficult to press and use them while driving. This vehicle also has heated seats and a heated steering wheel, but it was 90°F when I was driving, so those were definitely not used. Underneath the infotainment system houses some buttons for the infotainment system. There are a few cupholders along with a small gear shifter and a decent size cubbyhole. Surprisingly, the seats in the back are quite snug because of the drastic roofline. They are still comfortable but you don’t want to be too tall to ride in the rear.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

To brighten things up, there is a full-size fixed panoramic roof. You also get a power-operated tailgate, but because of that souping rear end, there is a compromise with pre-cargo space. All in all, I think that this is very well-made, but a Genesis GV60 has a more lively interior. What was interesting were some of the design elements on the doors which were blue, along with the blue doormats. I think that, along with the blue paint, this was just too much blue! That’s definitely not something I thought I would ever have to say. You don’t have a start button, so the Volvo turns on as soon as you get into the driver seat and turns off once you lock the vehicle. I found that to be rather cool! 

Under the hood, this is an electric vehicle, so there is a little bit of space to put your charging cables. In terms of propulsion, the C40 uses a 75 kWh battery which produces 402 horsepower/300 kW and 486 lb-ft/659 Nm. Since this is all-wheel drive, it propels C40 from 0-60 MPH in 4.3 seconds. This is a very quick SUV that focuses more on straight-line speed than actual cornering. On the move, you will notice something very unVolvo-like: a somewhat choppy ride. Some of my friends and family thought that this felt a little rough compared to some of the other Volvos that I have tested in the past, including the XC40 Recharge. There is some body roll when going through the corners which is ironic because this is supposed to look like a sporty coupe-like SUV. As an electric vehicle, it is quiet and thankfully Volvo has comfortable seats to make up for the suspension. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

In normal use, the accelerator pedal has full regenerative braking capabilities which are quite strong, but you have to get used to the modulation when you use it. It did take me a little bit of time to learn exactly when to let off. There also seems to be a little bit of a dead zone when you first press the throttle. Once you get used to it though it does drive quite well. There was something that I actually hated from the start, and it is the horrible rearview visibility! It has such little rear visibility, that it looks like you’re just looking through a little portal. If it wasn’t for the large door mirrors, you would not be able to see a lot behind you—definitely a detriment to being an SUV coupe. 

With the C40, I noticed that it also was not the most efficient electric vehicle that I have tested. Volvo claims that the C40 recharge can do over 220 miles, and I was able to get about 210. That’s not bad, but that is far off from other competitors such as Genesis. Still comparing the Genesis GV60 and Volvo C40, the Genesis received around 3.5 miles/kWh while the C40 was around 2.5 miles/kWh. There are no different driving modes, but there is a feature to reduce air conditioning to incrementally improve efficiency by 10 miles. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

As tested, this particular Volvo C40 costs around $62,000. After driving it for a week, what I prefer or would I go for the XC40? Actually, I wouldn’t go with either. I would either go for the Genesis GV60, or spend a little less money and get something like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ioniq 5, or Kia EV6. Those are slower but have better interiors and tech. If you do have to go with Volvo, I would stick with the XC40. It is the same price and you do sacrifice some of these looks, but you have the same performance, basically the same interior, and the same range. I don’t think that the Volvo C40 is a bad SUV. I just think that there are better options out there and the thing that hurts it the most is that rearward visibility.