Volvo XC40 Recharge: baby Volvo keeps it in the family

WHEN it’s time for a recharge, you could do a lot worse than heading to your local Volvo emporium.

The mainstay of motoring for well over a century has been the suck, squeeze, bang, blow of the internal combustion engine – we’ve had a long time to perfect it and we’re really quite good at it. But now it’s time to move on to a more planet-friendly method of propulsion.

There is still plenty of choice available. While pure electric power will inevitably be right up there the T5 plug-in hybrid can travel on pure electric power for short distances – something in the order of 20 miles before you resort to the 1.5 litre petrol engine that accompanies the batteries.

Volvo’s styling has been dubbed Russian Doll by some – a strong resemblance between models which leaves you struggling to tell one from the other. Bit of a sweeping generalisation, but they all have design cues like the Thor hammer headlights and striking LED rear lights which maintain the bloodline. Proportions vary but the family line is very much evident.

So here is a Volvo with a bit of style. Actually, that should read a Volvo with a whole chunk of style. Just one of a range that has encapsulated motoring for those who like a bit of class and quality when they cough up their cash and get behind the wheel.

For a brand that has majored on sizeable vehicles in the past, its first ever compact SUV is a bold move – and it’s selling very well. Particularly with the caravan towing fraternity.

The Belgian built newcomer comes with all the collision avoiding systems and safety features you’ll find throughout the Volvo range. The list of standard kit fitted to every XC40 is impressive with the driver aids being intuitive and easy to use.

it strikes a decent blend of comfort and cruising refinement, the ride quality being particularly praiseworthy even on big alloy wheels, and offers premium SUV appeal in a more compact package.

What it has is a spacious cabin, a level of peerless interior comfort, with the leather upholstery on this Inscription Pro model that you could probably only rival by being a member of an exclusive London gentlemens club, and an enviable reputation for occupant safety. 5 star EuroNCAP to be precise.

XC40 comes with Sensus navigation, a nine inch centre console touch screen, LED headlights, a 12.3inch TFT driver’s information display, and a whole boxful of safety features including emergency braking, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and pedestrian/cyclist/large animal detection. Instrumentation is a model of clarity and style.

XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid , Leather Charcoal in Charcoal interior

In a world where even today some cars seem to be as luxurious as a cave, the Volvo certainly ticks the boxes.

There used to be an unwritten rule that to qualify for Volvo ownership you had to be closer to your pension than your youth – but not any more.

Cars that decades ago has the aerodynamic qualities of a breezeblock are allofasudden very much ‘de riguer’ in the desirability stakes, because while they still major on their commendable safety attributes, they’re also now building a big chunk of style into them.


Volvo XC40 Recharge T5

Price: £42,430 (£47,480 as tested)
Engine: 1.5 litre, three cylinder, petrol + electric
Power: 177bhp + 80bhp (petrol + electric)
Torque: 195lb/ft and 118lb/ft
Transmission: 7 speed automatic
Top speed:112mph
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Economy: 134.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 55g/km

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