The Volvo XC40 and Going Fully Electric

It makes no sense nowadays not to buy an SUV, like it’s the most logical option out there, now the biggest question is – which SUV suits your pocket and lifestyle? Others prefer to design and heritage when it comes to choosing a car brand they would love to own while others go with safety over everything. Decades ago, Volvo was viewed as the safest option, but also boring when it came to their design and technology. It was bought mainly by dads and if you saw a guy driving a Volvo you knew that he was married. Now that Volvo has made a 180 when it comes to their design and technology, they are a great contender now when it comes to SUV brands that one would consider buying today.

Personally, the XC60 is perfect, especially if you get it in the R-Design package, but today we speak specifically about the XC40 – the baby SUV. If you can afford R500k on a car, this might be an option that you want to consider. Firstly, the design is really great and very funky and stylish, it’s an SUV and this one will fit in well when you go off-road. One of the features that I enjoyed the most was when you put it in off-road mode and the car adjusts itself accordingly to the environment, that was quite impressive. We took the Volvo XC40 to Magaliesburg to visit my grandmother and the gravel roads there are usually terrible but they were no contender for the XC40, one has no fear and because of the size of the car, it’s easy to get through small spaces.

It’s a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder unit producing 115 kW and 265 Nm, while consuming a claimed 6.8 L/100 km and putting out 154 g/km. The rest of the engine line-up are engines we’ve experienced before in Volvo’s products. The D4 is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder unit with 140 kW and 400 Nm, while the T5 packs 185 kW and 350 Nm, and is definitely the fastest model in the range. The diesel engine will be the thriftiest of them all, with a return of 5.2 L/100 km. At launch, both the D4 and T5 will feature all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic gearboxes, with the option of manual gearboxes and front-wheel drive coming later.

The XC40 features safety, connectivity and infotainment technology seen on the XC90 and XC60 which includes the impressive 9-inch Sensus Connect touchscreen and digital instrument cluster. Safety and driver assistance features on the XC40 include Pilot Assist semi-autonomous assistance system, City Safety, Run-Off-Road protection and mitigation, Cross-Traffic Alert with brake support and a 360° camera for safe parking.

The XC40 Recharge, based on the multi-award-winning and best-selling XC40 small SUV, is the first of a family of fully electric Volvos. It represents a true milestone for Volvo Cars; the company’s first electric car and the first Volvo with a brand-new infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system. Over the next five years, Volvo Cars will launch a fully electric car every year, as it seeks to make all-electric cars 50 per cent of global sales by 2025, with the rest being hybrids. Recharge will be the overarching name for all chargeable Volvos with a fully electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain.

From early 2020, customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not. To further encourage electric driving, every Volvo Recharge plug-in hybrid model will come with free electricity for a year, provided through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period. “We have said this several times before, for Volvo Cars, the future is electric,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Today we take a major new step in that direction with the launch of our fully electric XC40 and the Recharge car line.”