Volvo C40 Recharge Electric Car: Pure Power in a Stylish Package

Very Swedish, stylish and playful, the all-electric Volvo C40 Recharge is filled with modern design, recycled materials and comes with a multimedia system from Google

The Volvo C40 Recharge In Fjord Blue. Photo: Patrick Anderson
The Volvo C40 Recharge in Fjord Blue. Photo: Patrick Anderson

The modern design and technology are delightful! 

I spent a week with the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate, and the first thing I did was take it to Ikea. You’d think the irony was obvious but it was only when I parked and saw the Ikea logo reflected in the glossy blue sheen of the C40 that I chuckled. Swedish car at a Swedish store. And as I walked around the labyrinth of decor, peering at clean, simple designs, multi-functional features, and carefully chosen textures, I wondered if the C40 would feel similarly well-designed.

It does.

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Volvo C40 Recharge Looks Elegant And Sleek In Any Lighting. Photo: Liv Leigh

Volvo C40 Recharge looks elegant and sleek in any lighting. Photo: Liv Leigh

Subtle Lights Illuminate the Handles in Dim Lighting

The Fjord blue exterior, is a clean, cool blue with a gray hint that hides dirt and dust super well. Pixel LED headlights in Volvo’s Thor’s Hammer design welcome you, and the door handles illuminate against the metal sheen to make it easy to see where to grab, even in the dark.

How well put together!

Related: The 2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid SUV Has Me Saying Yes!

Illuminated Door Handles Make It Super Easy To Grab The Door In Dim Lighting. Photo: Liv Leigh

Illuminated door handles make it super easy to grab the door in dim lighting. Photo: Liv Leigh

Ambient Interior Lighting Takes you on an Adventure

Specifically, to Abisko, Sweden. Opening the door in that dim parking lot, I was struck by a feature that I wasn’t expecting. What initially appears to be a sporadically embossed topographical finish on the dash turns into a subtle and elegant ambient lighting feature as the multiple levels of terrain illuminate automatically in diminished lighting. Turns out this pattern is inspired by the topography of the mountains in Northern Sweden!

Multi-Level Topography Serve As Ambient Lighting In The Door And Dash. Photo: Liv Leigh

Multi-level topography serve as ambient lighting in the door and dash. Photo: Liv Leigh

This car is Leather-Free!

And if feels so good. Inside you’re greeted by a completely leather-free interior that features a combination of Microtech Vinyl, Connect Suede textile and, in the case of the Fjord blue model, matching felt-lined doors. Power-operated front seats with 3-way lumbar support and a seat extension for tall folks welcome you and add to a rather cushy and well-supported ride. Even the rear seats feature the same bolstering and comfort of the front seats but the middle spot is definitely not as comfortable.

Related: Five Features I Loved in the 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid T8 R-Design

The Rear Seats 3 But 2 Would Be Most Comfortable. Photo: Liv Leigh

The rear seats 3 but 2 would be most comfortable. Photo: Liv Leigh

Speaking of the Back Seat

The Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate showcases a sportback style swooping rear which gives it an athletic look but does decrease some headroom inside. Fortunately for me and other shorties (I’m 5’5”) it’s still super comfortable and spacious. The middle seat, while not really designed for a full adult, makes for a comfortable arm rest with two cup holders inside. Two air vent controls, dual seat warmers, and two USB C ports finish up the well-appointed and comfortable rear.

Related: Volvo Charges into the Electric Era with the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Climate Controls, Heated Seats, And Usb C Ports Outfit The Rear Cabin. Photo: Liv Leigh

Climate controls, heated seats, and USB C ports outfit the rear cabin. Photo: Liv Leigh

Navi Mode Gives you Google Maps Right on Your Driver’s Screen

When you hop into the front seat, you’ll immediately notice it. The 12.3 inch instrument cluster display embedded behind the steering wheel. It’s a relatively simplistic display with two dials. The left one showing speed and road signs and the right one showing power and regen meter which is really cool to have. While you accelerate you can watch how much energy you’re using to propel the car forwards and how much energy you’re regenerating when you apply the brakes.

Your only option to customize this display is to change the center between Calm mode and Navi mode. Calm mode basically leaves the center black while Navi mode places your map and navigation in the center, which is a feature I love! Any way to make it so that I don’t have to turn my head to see my navigation makes me happy!

Related: Volvo C40 Recharge: Recycled materials, Fresh Design and a Peek at the Future of Driving

The 12.3 Inch Instrument Cluster Is Simple But Packed With Features. Photo: Liv Leigh

The 12.3 Inch Instrument Cluster is simple but packed with features. Photo: Liv Leigh

Built-In Android Automotive is Great

It means no fiddling with phones to get Google Maps at your command. Using the 9” center display touchscreen, you have access to all the power of Google, maps, and all the features it comes with, without having to use your phone at all or drain your battery, like some vehicles that use Android Auto (which is the non-built in version) or Apple CarPlay.

Having all these features built-in makes interacting with the display snappy and responsive. You can go deep into the settings and customize to your heart’s delight, then a subtle home button takes you right back to the straight-forward main screen. Volvo recently gave users the ability to use wired Apple Carplay so, if that’s your preference then you can still use it with this car! One thing to note is that you do not get any navigation or maps on the instrument cluster when using AppleCar Play, so you’re essentially stuck in Calm mode.

Related: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: How to Get the Most Popular In-Car Phone Systems

The Front Cabin Features A 12.3 Inch Instrument Cluster And 9 Center Display. Photo: Liv Leigh

The front cabin features a 12.3 inch instrument cluster and 9 center display. Photo: Liv Leigh

Driving the 2022 Volvo C40 is a Joy

It’s powerful and zippy but planted and really well-balanced! Like most EV’s, it comes with the option for One Pedal mode, which means that the car go’s when you accelerate and brakes when you stop accelerating, no brake pedal needed. In fact, this type of braking is called regenerative braking as it regenerates power to the battery as it slows the vehicle down. Some vehicles allow you to set how much regenerative braking is used but the C40 only offers On or Off.

I’m personally not a fan of One Pedal driving since I have a leg injury and drop-foot that makes it hard to use, so I drove with it off and found the experience perfectly pleasant. The absolute only negative that I found was that the sportback design greatly impedes rear visibility.

Related: 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Goes For A Less-Jetsons Approach to Electric Cars

The Built-In Removable Trash Can Is Such A Useful Feature. Photo: Liv Leigh

the built-in removable trash can is such a useful feature. Photo: Liv Leigh

The removable trash can is a simple but awesome little feature!

And it’s not the only one. There are a couple features that I absolutely love in this vehicle. One is the built-in, removable trash can. Maybe I’m messy but I find I generate a lot of trash while I drive. I might have a stick of gum, or use a glasses wipe, or have a receipt I don’t need, and I tend to just jam that stuff in my purse to be cleaned later. In other vehicles, I’ve found aftermarket trash cans but they can get in the way. Having a little built-in trash can right there is SO helpful and you can easily remove it to empty or wash it!

Another feature that I love is the bag hook. Neatly hidden inside the glove box, there’s a little flip out bag hook that can hold up to 2 lbs. I flipped it out and hung my bag there, which made it super easier to snag my wallet when I was going through a drive through instead of scrabbling on the floor. I could definitely see using that for small shopping bags that I don’t want to throw in the trunk.

Related: BWM x5 45e: Electric Car Fun Without Compromising the Sporty Luxury of BMW

The Glove Box Hides A Handy Purse Hook. Photo: Liv Leigh

The glove box hides a handy purse hook. Photo: Liv Leigh

There are lots of handy little hidden features around the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Speaking of the trunk, there are bag hooks back there too! Fold up the load floor, slot it into two side notches and you have 3 handy bag hooks. I used them for a load of groceries and it was honestly super convenient. Normally I loosely tie my groceries so they don’t roll around and open but sometimes that can be hard to grab once I get home.

Using the bag hooks kept the handles free for me to slip my hands into easily. I only wish that there was a way to have the bags still touch the floor when they hang since it felt like they might break if they were heavier. But then again, we probably need to get away from using plastic bags anyway.

Related: The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ Electric Car: My Happy Place Just Got Happier

The Trunk Houses A Removable And Adjustable Floor With Built-In Bag Hooks. Photo: Liv Leigh

The trunk houses a removable and adjustable floor with built-in bag hooks. Photo: Liv Leigh

What this Car Costs

For a while, only the Ultimate, aka highest trim C40 Recharge was available in the US but now you can pick up one of the lower trims, if you’re okay with sacrificing a couple creature comforts. All trims come in permanent all-wheel drive, with a 78 kWh battery capable of 226 miles of range and 150 kW DC Fast Charging which gets you from 10-80% in about 40 mins.

402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque get you from 0-60 in the mid 4 seconds so, no matter the trim, this car is no slouch! With the ability to tow up to 2000 lbs, 7 inches of ground clearance, and an off-road mode, this elegant and understated Volvo packs a hell of a punch!

You can pick from an assortment of colors like Black Stone, Crystal White Metallic, Fusion Red Metallic, Silver Dawn Metallic, and Thunder Gray Metallic. Onyx Black and Sage Green are available on the Ultimate trim only.

The Core Trim starts at $56,395 and includes:

  • A Panoramic UV-Coated Glass Roof
  • Android Automotive with Google Assistant, maps, and play store functionality for 4 years
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert
  • And more

The Plus Trim starts at $57,945 and includes all the Core features plus:

  • 360° Camera
  • Fog Lights
  • Power passenger seat

The Ultimate Trim starts at $61,195 and includes all the features of the previous trims plus:

  • A Premium Harman Kardon Sounds System
  • Pilot Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heat Pump
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Headlight High Pressure Cleaner
  • And lots more

All in all, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate is an absolute pleasure as a daily driver, with power enough to play with, and a good dose of sportiness on the side. If you can get past the limited rear visibility, you won’t be sad to take this sweet ride home!

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An enthusiastic supporter of everything she’s passionate about, Liv got her first Electric Car and immediately made a YouTube... More about Liv Leigh