Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

VOLVO EC40 2024 REVIEW

The Volvo C40 Recharge has been revised for 2024, and has now been renamed the EC40; front-wheel drive models switch to rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive models gain more power, and the driving range is improved.

  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
  • Volvo EC40
Green Car Guide Rating: 9/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:    Volvo EC40 Ultimate Twin Motor
  • Fuel:    Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 326 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:    200 kW

Summary

  • The Volvo C40 Recharge has been renamed the EC40
  • Twin Motor all-wheel drive model has lots of power (408 hp)
  • This translates to good performance, with a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds
  • Official combined WLTP range of 326 miles is practical

BACKGROUND

Volvo has switched its XC40 and C40 Recharge models from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, and if you opt for the Twin Motor all-wheel drive model, there’s more power and more range. The names have also been changed, from XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge to EX40 and EC40 (dropping the ‘Recharge’ name). We’ve recently reviewed the EX40 rear-wheel drive model, so how does the EC40 all-wheel drive model compare?

Volvo EC40

Volvo EC40

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

The Volvo EC40 is a fastback version of the EX40 SUV. It measures 4,440mm in length, with a 413-litre boot (compared to 452 litres for the EX40) – or 1,205 litres with the rear seats folded down. There’s space under the boot floor for storing charging cables, as well as a ‘frunk’ – an additional compartment under the bonnet.

The Volvo EC40 Twin Motor has a 150 hp electric motor on the front axle and a 258 hp electric motor on the rear axle, giving all-wheel drive and a total power output of 408 hp, with an 82 kWh battery (79 kWh usable capacity). This compares to 238 hp and a 69 kWh battery (66 kWh usable capacity) for the rear-wheel drive model. The EC40 Twin Motor has a maximum towing weight of 1,800 kg, compared to 1,500 kg for the Single Motor model.

The interior is largely unchanged from when the XC40 was first introduced, but this latest version features some design details on the interior trim that resemble contours on a map, which are illuminated at night. Rear legroom is generous, but the EC40 has a low rear roofline than the EX40.

Volvo EC40

Volvo EC40

VOLVO EC40 2024 DRIVING EXPERIENCE

The EC40 is virtually identical to the EX40 in terms of its powertrain and engineering so the overall driving experience is very similar. The main difference lies in whether you opt for the Single Motor or Twin Motor model.

The Single Motor model delivers a quiet, refined and comfort-focused driving experience thanks to the good ride quality, with performance that’s perfectly adequate. However the Twin Motor model, as tested, is still comfortable, but the power output is increased from 258 hp to 408 hp, which offers much more performance, translating to a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 4.7 seconds compared to 7.3 seconds of the Single Motor model. You also gain all-wheel drive, which, in the case of our test car, can even be transferred to the road in cold weather and off-road, thanks to the excellent Michelin CrossClimate tyres fitted to it.

Even though there’s the extra performance to play with, there are still no drive modes – apart from the options of standard or off-road, hidden away via the settings symbol on the touchscreen. However a new Performance drive mode is due to be added via a forthcoming software upgrade on EC40 and EX40 Twin Motor versions, which will increase power by 34hp. The traction control isn’t particularly intrusive, but there’s no way of switching it off.

If you want to adjust the level of regenerative braking, there’s no quick way to do this when driving; you have to go into the touchscreen via the settings symbol again and at the very bottom of the screen that pops up select ‘one pedal drive on’ or ‘one pedal drive off’; both of these settings do what they say on the tin, but there’s also a ‘one pedal drive auto’ setting which results in the car sometimes being unpredictable in how much regen it applies when braking.

The driving experience of most new cars is spoilt by the lane departure warning system corrupting the steering; not so with the Volvo EC40, the lane keeping aid was switched off when the car arrived, and amazingly it stayed switched off every time the car was started.

Unlike the EX40, the EC40 has no rear windscreen wiper, so rear visibility can be obscured in wet weather, and when reversing you’re offered an overhead view of the car on the touchscreen, but a view from a reversing camera is often more user-friendly, especially when reversing at night.

The central touchscreen ‘home screen’ features four boxes, offering options such as maps, radio, phone and car status. You can swipe each of these boxes to the side to bring up other ‘apps’.

The touchscreen has no permanent shortcut buttons, so if, for example, you have  the radio screen open, and you want to view maps, you always have to firstly press the home button underneath the screen, and then select maps. It’s a similar story with the climate controls, which are at the bottom of the touchscreen; if you press these a separate screen pops up with heating and ventilation settings – if you want to go back to maps, you have to press the home button first.

At the bottom left of the screen there’s an icon with four buttons – if you press this you get a screen with all ‘apps’.

Volvo EC40

Volvo EC40

VOLVO EC40 2024 ELECTRIC RANGE AND CHARGING

The Volvo EC40 Ultimate Twin Motor has an official combined WLTP driving range of 326 miles. After a week of mixed driving, in cold weather, the real-world driving range was averaging 230 miles.

The EC40 Twin Motor has a maximum DC rapid charging rate of 200 kW (compared to 130kW for the Single Motor model), which can provide a 10% to 80% charge in 28 minutes.

The EC40 has a heat pump, which should help to minimise any loss of range in cold weather due to cabin heating.

How to charge an electric car

Volvo EC40

Volvo EC40

PRICE AND MODEL RANGE

The Volvo EC40 Ultimate Twin Motor costs £61,855, so it’s not at the most affordable end of the EV price spectrum, but this is the top of the range model.

The EC40 is available with three trim levels: Core, Plus and Ultimate, and with a Single Motor (238 hp) or with Twin Motors (408 hp). There’s also the EX40, which is an ‘SUV’ rather than a ‘fastback crossover’ body style of the EC40.

The EC40 and EX40 are also now offered with a new Single Motor Extended Range powertrain with a 78kWh battery (75kWh usable capacity) which provides a greater driving range – up to 346 miles in the EC40 and 343 miles in the EX40. The maximum charging speed is 140kW.

Volvo EC40

Volvo EC40

Conclusion

The Volvo EC40 Ultimate Twin Motor is an excellent all-round EV, combining a comfortable driving experience with 408 hp of performance and all-wheel drive grip. It’s not cheap in Ultimate Twin Motor trim, but it does exude a premium feel, and if you want more of a boxy boot shape, then the EX40 may be the answer. The official driving range of 326 miles should be practical for most people, although we struggled to get close to this during our test in a week of cold weather. The Volvo EC40 is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 9 out of 10.

Car facts and figures VOLVO EC40 2024 REVIEW

  • Test electric driving range: 230 miles (cold weather)
  • Consumption (WLTP): 3.3 – 3.6 miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):    £0
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2024/25): 2%
  • Price:    £61,855
  • Insurance group:    TBC
  • Power:    408 hp
  • Torque:    670 Nm
  • Max speed:    112 mph
  • 0-62 mph:    4.7 seconds
  • Weight:    2,110 kg
  • Towing capacity:   1,800 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor