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Volvo EC40

LIFE BEGINS AT 40? (some text hidden) --NONE--

By Jonathan Crouch

Volvo's EC40 shows the Swedish brand really getting into gear with its EVs. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 83

Volvo knows it needs more SUVs. And it needs more electric vehicles. This EC40 model, originally known as the C40 Recharge, delivers both in one package and shows clearly the direction the brand is heading in the future. There's a base rear-driven version. And a state-of-the-art fully-electric all-wheel-drive powertrain that offers a WLTP-rated range of 274 miles on a single charge and an output of 408hp. The drawback is premium pricing but otherwise, a lot of boxes seem to have been ticked here.

Backgroundword count: 168

Given that Volvo's been making overt noises about full electrification for a decade now, it's something of a surprise to realise that at its launch in 2022, the model we're looking at here introduced the company's very first exclusively electric model line. Back then, it was called the C40 Recharge, a car substantially updated in 2023, then renamed the EC40 in early 2024. As you might expect, the EC40 borrows everything that matters from Volvo's very first all-electric model, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric (now known as the EX40). But clothes that powertrain with more unique styling and a more swept-back coupe-style silhouette. Think of the two models as something akin to what Audi already offers in this segment with its Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron SUVs and you'll be somewhere close to what Volvo is trying to do here. Like the EX40, the EC40 will be sold primarily online. And, as with that car, it rolls down the production lines of Volvo's Belgium factory in Ghent.

Driving Experienceword count: 322

There's a choice of EV powertrains. The base rear-driven single-motor model offers a couple of variants, the base Single Motor version with 238hp, a 69kWh (66kWh usable size) battery and 300 mile driving range. The alternative rear-driven Single Motor Extended Range derivative has 252hp, a 78kWh (75kWh usable) battery size and a maximum 345 mile range. The alternative AWD Twin Motor model offers an 82kWh (79kWh usable) battery pack with a maximum 340 mile range. This is a twin electric motor set-up (one on each axle), a 117kW motor on the front and and a 183kW motor at the rear, the latter contributing majorly to the prodigious total system output of 408hp. Yes, you heard that right - and you can boost it further to 442hp with an optional 'Performance' software upgrade. Either way, this seems like it'd be rather excessive for the needs of most likely customers, the standard AWD variant sprinting you to 62mph from rest in just 4.5s with more torque than you'd get in a Nissan GT-R super sports car - 660Nm of it, at which point, the motor's spinning at a heady 14,000rpm. The decent ride quality of the EX40 is carried forward here as the EC40 sits on the same MacPherson strut suspension set-up up-front, with a multi-link arrangement at the rear. As a driver, you get quite a commanding seating position. It's worth noting that the EV figures we mentioned earlier are a little down on those of an identically-engineered Polestar 2. To get the claimed mileage, you'll need to engage what the Swedish maker calls 'One Pedal Drive', selectable from the 'Driving' menu provided on the centre-dash screen. This dramatically increases the regenerative braking effect when you come off the throttle, to the point where, as advertised, the brake pedal will hardly ever be needed. Other than that, no driving modes are provided, though there is a screen button to firm up the steering.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)




£52,555.00 (At 16 Apr 2024)

£61,855.00 (At 16 Apr 2024)

Max Speed (mph):


0-62 mph (s):

6.9 (Single Motor)

4.5 (Twin Motor)

Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):


Boot Capacity (l):


Power (ps):

238 (Single Motor)

408 (Twin Motor)

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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