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Volvo EX40 2024 Review

The Volvo XC40 Recharge has been revised for 2024 and renamed the Volvo EX40, as well as changing from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, and gaining a longer driving range.

  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024
Green Car Guide Rating: 9/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Volvo EX40 Plus Single Motor
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 294 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:   130 kW

Summary

  • Volvo XC40 Recharge renamed to Volvo EX40
  • Swaps from front to rear-wheel drive
  • Very comfortable driving experience
  • All-wheel drive powertrain also available

Background

We’ve previously reviewed the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the conclusion was that it was a comfortable electric SUV with a premium feel. Volvo has now renamed the XC40 Recharge as the EX40 and swapped its front-wheel drive layout for rear-wheel drive, so does this make it a better car?

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Design & Engineering

The Volvo EX40 is styled like a chunky SUV with the looks of a Tonka toy. This shape combined with the EX40’s 4,440mm length results in a spacious interior, with lots of legroom for rear seat occupants, and a large boot offering 452 litres of space, or 1,328 litres with the rear seats folded. There’s a big space under the boot floor, and also an additional compartment under the bonnet, both of which can be used to store charging cables. The interior is a fairly standard Volvo affair, with some added creativity in the form of interesting illuminated graphics on the dashboard and on the door trims resembling contour lines on a map.

The EX40 Plus Single Motor is rear-wheel drive with a 69 kWh battery (66 kWh usable size) and a 238 hp electric motor.

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo EX40 2024 Driving Experience

Comfortable is the best word to summarise the EX40’s driving experience. This applies to the ride quality, but the seats are also a contributing factor. The EX40 soaks up whatever is thrown at it around town, and it’s a very quiet and refined way to cover long distances on motorways. The only thing that can spoil this experience is the occasional noise from the suspension when in contact with large potholes.

The switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive eliminates wheelspin when accelerating from standstill, and helps to provide more rewarding handling. However don’t expect to be doing any drifting (in fact don’t expect a sporty or agile chassis), as the traction control system ensures there’s virtually no slippage of the rear wheels, and there’s no button to switch off the traction control system.

The performance of the EX40 Plus Single Motor is perfectly adequate, with a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 7.3 seconds, but more performance is on offer from the Twin Motor model. One thing you don’t get is any option to select different drive modes, other than the choices of standard and off-road, accessed in the touchscreen via the small cog button at the bottom right-hand side of the screen which then gives you the option of the driving menu (ie. this is quite hidden away).

You even get a ‘traditional’ gear selector with the EX40, however this doesn’t give you any option to change the amount of brake regeneration, and there are no steering wheel-mounted paddles to do this. If you want to change the level of brake regen while you’re driving, this isn’t easy, because you need to go into the touchscreen, again by pressing the small cog button at the bottom right-hand side of the screen, which gives you the option of driving dynamics. No regen settings are still evident on this screen; you have to scroll down to the very bottom of the screen, when an option for one pedal drive appears, with the choices of auto, on and off.

The on and off settings – ie. strong regen or no regen – work fine, but we did find that the auto setting results in the car sometimes applying harsh regen braking, and applying no regen braking at other times; this inconsistency makes it difficult to know what force to expect when you apply the brakes.

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’.

There are no shortcut buttons, so if 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 – again, 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’.

There was no annoying lane departure system intervention with the EX40 – the car arrived with the lane keeping aid button switched off, and it stayed switched off during our whole week with the car.

When reversing, the EX40 displays an overhead view of the car and its surroundings, which is impressive, although at night, a view from a reversing camera is probably clearer.

The EX40’s seat doesn’t go particularly low, resulting in the driving position being quite high – this is quite common in SUVs, but some other rivals have seats that can go lower.

Our EX40 press car was fitted with Michelin CrossClimate tyres, which we’ve tested extensively on other cars over the last five years, and which have proven to be excellent in snow and ice, grippy off-road, and they don’t appear to have any significant downsides in normal driving.

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo EX40 2024 Electric Range and Charging

The Volvo EX40 Plus Single Motor has an official combined WLTP driving range of 294 miles. After a week of mixed driving, in cold weather, the real-world driving range was averaging 220 miles.

The EX40 Plus Single Motor has a maximum DC rapid charging rate of 130 kW, which can provide a 10% to 80% charge in 34 minutes.

As well as heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel (which can get very hot on its maximum setting, perhaps something to do with Volvo’s origins being in Sweden), the EX40 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 XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Price And Model Range

The Volvo EX40 Plus Single Motor costs £52,555. The XC40 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 EC40, which is a ‘fastback crossover’ version of the EX40.

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Volvo XC40 Recharge 2024

Conclusion

The Volvo EX40 offers a very comfortable driving experience, with good ride quality, and a premium feel. Volvo says that the change from front to rear-wheel drive delivers improved efficiency – as evidenced by the range of 294 miles – but in our view this primarily makes it a better car to drive, by eliminating wheelspin, and helping to provide a more rewarding driving experience – although the EX40 remains comfort-focused rather than sporty. Because it’s an SUV, the EX40 has a practical body shape, with lots of rear legroom and a spacious boot. The Volvo EX40 is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 9 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Volvo EX40 2024 Review

  • Test electric driving range: 220 miles (cold weather)
  • Consumption (WLTP): 3.4 – 3.7 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:   £52,555
  • Insurance group:   41
  • Power:   238 hp
  • Torque:   420 Nm
  • Max speed:   112 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   7.3 seconds
  • Weight:   1,959 kg
  • Towing capacity:  1,500 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor