Volvo C40 (2023) test: our full review – Cars

The electric market has been turbulent in recent times, with forced price cuts from many manufacturers, forced by Tesla, which has slashed its prices across the entire range. And Volvo has understood this need to pull prices down on its renewed “40” range, with a zero-emission XC40 Recharge which now benefits from the maximum bonus of 5000 euros. A canon price/equipment/autonomy ratio, while waiting for the little brother, the EX30, revealed on June 7, 2023.

If this is not the case with the C40, the very first SUV of the brand to be offered only in electric mode nevertheless sharpens its arguments with an optimization of efficiency and an autonomy which is skyrocketing. All thanks to new versions, a new engine and a switch from traction to propulsion. Should we then fall for this C40 Recharge which is close on paper to what a Model Y can offer? What are the differences with the XC40? We review this C40 “MY24”.

Volvo C40 (2023) Technical sheet

Model Volvo C40 Recharge (2021)

4.43m x 2.04m x 1.58m

Power (horses)

408 horsepower

0 to 100km/h


Level of autonomy

Assisted driving (level 1)

Max speed

180 km/h

Embedded OS

Android AutomotiveOS

Car side socket

Type 2 Combo (CCS)

Entry-level price

62650 euro



Product sheet See the test

The test was carried out as part of a press trip organized by Volvo.

Volvo C40 (2023) Design

Aesthetically, the new C40 Recharge does not really differ from the previous vintage. If not perhaps by new body colors in the range. Cloud Blue and Mist Gray if you want to know everything.

For the rest, the C40 differs from its “big brother” XC40 by its fleeing coupe profile, abandoning the cubism of the family SUV for a “fastback” style profile. A choice moreover mainly aesthetic aiming to please a less traditional clientele, because in terms of habitability and life on board, the differences are not huge. We will see it later.

The visual dynamism of the C40 goes through a few elements so well integrated that you hardly see them at all. For example, would you have noticed that the windshield is slightly more inclined if you hadn’t been told? Another detail that we love is the “cat’s ear” spoiler which blends in perfectly with the roof. An element that is reminiscent of a certain Peugeot 408, which had taken over from a concept car house.

If at the front the Thor hammer lights are obviously present in the beveled optics since taken over by the XC40, at the rear the design of the lights is particularly worked: in dotted lines on the rising part, they also overflow on the tailgate, without going as far as the horizontal band over the entire width, as is so much the fashion of the moment. With the second spoiler on the central edge of the tailgate and the third integrated fire in the center, some will probably find the whole thing a little loaded. For a Volvo anyway!

Volvo C40 (2023) Habitability

Despite its coupé look, the C40 Recharge retains the platform of the XC40. And the dimensions are therefore the same to the nearest centimeter, at least in length and width, respectively 4.44 meters and 2.03 m. On the other hand, the C40 is 5 cm lower.

What SUV coupes gain in visual dynamism, they generally lose in roominess. This is also true on this new C40 Recharge which offers a trunk volume of 413 liters, against 452 for the XC40. A difference which however is not felt too much when loading the trunk, which benefits not only from storage under the floor, but also from the secret boot of the trunk hidden under the 31-litre front bonnet.

The 5 cm less in height are found in less in the headroom inside. But for all that, even if access to board suffers slightly to get on board, an adult of 1.80 m remains comfortable in the back, far from touching the ceiling. As for the legroom, it is strictly identical to that of the XC40, and therefore spacious.

Volvo C40 (2023) Infotainment and in-car technologies

By taking a seat on board this new C40 Recharge, we find everything Volvo has accustomed us to for a few years. Fabric, leather-like “Microtech” or a fusion of the two, the upholstery of the Swedish crossover gives pride of place to vegan materials. Our preference, however, goes to what Volvo calls mixed wool: pleasant to the touch, this material brightens the cabin (as on the Tesla Model Y, the fixed panoramic roof is standard), and comes with the famous gear lever crystal. Guaranteed “hygge” atmosphere!

If there are very few buttons on the dashboard, it’s because the 9-inch touch screen brings together all of the car’s functions. And all in an infotainment system signed Android Automotive. Google if you prefer. If it is a guarantee of ease and quality, it still requires some practice to skilfully navigate the menus and quickly find the essential functions of the vehicle.

We would have liked an overlay perhaps a little easier to use, and more modern as far as it goes. But maybe future remote updates will fix that, if only a little.

To remedy this, you obviously have access to the famous “Ok Google”, the voice command that simplifies driving, especially in the use of GPS which is none other than Google Maps. Electric obliges, the navigation includes a route planner which displays the expected battery percentage at the end of your journey and suggests the terminals at which to stop on the way, if necessary.

If filters also allow you to choose your payment methods, compatible sockets or even the recharging speed (just the possibility of choosing between less or more than 50 kW), the choice of the state of charge of the battery at destination is not in the game.

Last word on driving aids. And Volvo does not fail in its reputation as a brand focused above all on the safety of its occupants with a complete standard equipment: City Safety (intelligent collision anticipation), active lane departure warning, recognition of traffic signs, limiter and cruise control, front parking radars… For level 2 autonomous driving, you have to switch to the intermediate Plus finish.

Volvo C40 (2023) Conduct

Invisible from the outside, it is on the side of the technical sheet that we find the most novelties on this new vintage of C40 Recharge. Starting with a new motor, now with permanent magnets, and developed by Volvo directly. But above all, it is no longer positioned at the front, but on the rear axle. A first for Volvo in 25 years.

In total, three versions of the C40 are offered: the 408 hp all-wheel drive version, which adds an asynchronous motor to the front, and two propulsion versions, therefore, with standard autonomy (238 hp) and extended range (252 hp ).

At the wheel, no need to “start”, we go directly to Drive and off we go. The first turns of the wheel (and the following ones) are done in complete silence. As soon as the pace picks up and the first turns arrive, the C40 is slightly more dynamic than its family brother. And this despite a slightly higher weight (about twenty kilos) than that of the XC40. On the other hand, the ground clearance is very noticeably lower on the “coupe”.

The consequent weight is obviously felt with roll, slightly less pronounced there too than in the XC40. The completely balanced weight distribution between the rear and the front gives excellent balance to the vehicle that knows how to push hard, whether it is the 252 or 408 hp version. Even if this latest version with two motors and four-wheel drive “sends” much more.

In terms of consumption, on our test loop of a hundred kilometers on Swedish roads at speed limits slightly lower than those in France, we noted 16.7 kWh / 100 km for the four-wheel drive Twin version, and 15.6 kWh/100 km for the Extended Range version (average speed between 55 and 60 km/h for both).

Volvo C40 (2023) Autonomy, battery and charging

On the battery side, the Volvo C40 Recharge is equipped with Lithium-Ion technology, and two different capacities depending on the version:

  • 69 kWh for the C40 Recharge (propulsion);
  • 82 kWh for the C40 Extended Range (propulsion) and Twin (four-wheel drive).

As its name suggests, in English at least, it is the Extended Range version which flirts with 600 km, 582 km to be precise. It may be anecdotal, but thanks to the slightly lower weight and a more tapered body line, it’s 9 km more than on the XC40.

However, the other versions are not unworthy since the “basic” C40 offers 477 km (22 km more than a Tesla Model Y Propulsion) while the most powerful of all, with its 408 horsepower, peaks at 550 km.

Last word on recharging which also takes advantage of this new vintage to increase slightly and go to 200 kW. At least on the two most powerful versions, because the basic C40 Recharge will not exceed 130 kW. On paper, it’s a bit light for a car offering a range of almost 500 km and which is therefore well prepared for long journeys.

But the C40’s technical sheet only mentions a difference in charging time of only 6 minutes on a direct current recharge from 10 to 80%: count 34 minutes for the 130 kW recharge, and 28 minutes for that at 200 kW .

Volvo C40 (2023) Price and competition

Unlike its XC40 which benefits from the 5000 euro ecological bonus, which substantially lowers the starting price, Volvo is less lenient with its C40. In reality, the price positioning is just 2000 euros higher for motorization, autonomy and equivalent equipment. But the C40 Recharge does not have the Essential finish, the only one to benefit from the bonus on the XC40, nor even the Start finish on the “small” version.

The good news is that the entry price of 53,330 euros for this C40 Recharge nevertheless concerns the 252 horsepower Extended Range version, in Start finish already very well supplied: front and rear parking radars, reversing camera , City Safety (detection of pedestrians, bicycles, animals with automatic braking, etc.), fixed panoramic roof, 19-inch alloy wheels, 60/40 folding bench seat back, 9-inch central and 12.3-inch touch screen thumbs for instrumentation…

Count 54,580 euros (Plus finish) for the standard 238 hp C40 Recharge, and 60,630 euros (Plus finish) for the two-motor, four-wheel-drive version.

Due to its size and its premium finish, it is the Mercedes EQA and BMW iX1 which would position themselves opposite this C40 Recharge, but without offering the coupé-style bodywork. In addition, the iX1 is only offered in four-wheel drive, so much more expensive.

As for the Tesla Model Y, it certainly does better than the C40 Recharge in terms of habitability (it measures 30 cm more too…) but remains unbeatable with its attack price of 40,990 euros once the bonus has been deducted, but yields 22 km of autonomy in Swedish.

And for a price equivalent to that of the cheapest C40 Recharge (but still 1000 euros cheaper), you will have the four-wheel drive of the Long Autonomy version. But here again, autonomy is lacking in the American (533 km, 40 km less than the C40 Recharge) compared to the Scandinavian. So it all depends on what you are looking for.

Where to buy The

Volvo C40 (2023) at the best price?

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