Stylish, Eco-Friendly, Swedish: Volvo C40

Volvo, known for its association with durability, had a gap in its product lineup: a compact hatchback. After bidding farewell to the long-standing V40, users were increasingly opting for SUVs over hatchbacks. Although Volvo already had an SUV option with the XC40, the brand aimed to capture more sales in the compact premium segment, leading to the introduction of the C40 Recharge. Bearing a strong resemblance to the XC40, the C40 features a design with a sloping roof structure after the B-pillar, differentiating itself with a coupe-like appearance. Despite its elevated structure, Volvo categorizes the C40 not as an SUV but as a crossover. In today’s automotive landscape, even hatchbacks and sedans are transformed into crossovers by raising and beefing up their designs, as seen with models like the Citroen C4 and C4X.

The Volvo C40 stands out as the brand’s first car offered exclusively as an electric vehicle. Sharing an identical design with the XC40 up to the B-pillar, the C40 maintains a modern and stylish appearance despite its design being introduced five years ago, with undeniable influence from subsequent updates. The Thor’s hammer-shaped LED daytime running lights and the entire front light system are offered in full LED, with the option to include the “Pixel” feature. The closed grille design, housing the adaptive cruise control radar behind Volvo’s prominent logo, combines seamlessly with a distinct, flat, and sharply lined front bumper, perfectly complementing Volvo’s minimalist design approach. The absence of intricate lines enhances the vehicle’s straightforward, distinctive, and well-placed features. The unpainted lower sections of the bumpers, fender protectors, plastic guards on the doors and sills emphasize the car’s elevated stance. The broad rear fenders and the cross-profiled view of the roof sloping towards the rear are particularly appealing. The “cat ear” shaped spoiler elements on the upper corners of the rear window, reminiscent of those found on the Peugeot 408 and Lamborghini Urus, have been reinterpreted in a Volvo-appropriate manner on the C40. Adhering to the brand’s vertical layout for rear lights (except for the XC40), the C40 Recharge captures attention with its C-shaped light signature, extending from the fenders to the rear trunk. The spoiler located on top of the rear window, the absence of a logo and wiper at the rear, and the continuation of the design language at the back contribute to the cohesiveness of the car’s design.

Volvo is embarking on a new identity quest with the C40. Alongside the C40’s debut, Volvo announced its intention to become a vegan manufacturer, aiming to add an environmentally friendly image to its well-established reputation for safety. Leather will no longer be used in the interior, and the vehicle’s components will be produced in a more carbon-neutral manner. The initial C40 Recharge models were offered with a single-motor option with front-wheel drive, along with the option for an all-wheel-drive system. In a surprising move, Volvo announced that the single-motor version would be rear-wheel drive, marking the brand’s first rear-wheel-drive car in 25 years. With minor changes to the cooling system and battery, the single-motor version’s range increased by 43 kilometers to 477 kilometers, while the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version achieved a range of 483 kilometers. The newly added single-motor, long-range version, introduced with the facelift, offers a range of up to 534 kilometers. The acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour for the single-motor versions takes 7.4 seconds, whereas the dual-motor version achieves the same speed in 4.7 seconds.

Volvo maintains its commitment to minimalism in the interior of the C40, offering the same interior as the XC40. The C40 opts for recycled fabrics instead of leather, featuring a digital instrument panel, a square-centered steering wheel, an Android-based multimedia system with vertical orientation, vertically placed ventilation grilles, and a minimal number of shortcut buttons, continuing the design language. The center console with two cupholders, a spacious gear selector, and wireless charging contribute to the console’s airy design. Backlit accents add a touch of uniqueness. The standout interior option for the C40 is the visually striking choice with blue carpeting extending up to the door interiors and the center console. The frameless panoramic sunroof is the only feature that sets the C40’s interior apart from the XC40. Due to the sloping roofline in the rear, there may be a compromise in headroom, but the model offers a good rear seat legroom. Vertical ventilation channels and distinct chrome-accented door handles add a touch of flair to the interior. While the 413-liter cargo capacity is decent for its class, the 31-liter front trunk provides an added advantage in this aspect.

The C40, equipped with all the latest security systems, clearly demonstrates its Volvo identity here and offers safety features as standard. With emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, blind-spot warning system, and many other safety features, the Volvo C40 has successfully earned a 5-star rating from EuroNCAP tests. Features such as the Harman Kardon sound system and built-in Spotify support will capture the interest of music enthusiasts. How do you find the Volvo C40 Recharge?

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