Volvo were always regarded for many years as a “safe” car. People bought them because of their safety, and not always for their style and sharp looks. A Volvo was bought for transporting people and kids safely, and for their carrying capacity, the Volvo Estate was a hit globally.
But now Volvo have gone ultra-modern in terms of design and technology. The C40 is best described as a Coupe SUV, as it has all the advantages of a SUV, but the lines of a Coupe with its sloping roof, so does look a handsome car with some nice crisp lines, it’s sort of a “coupéfied” crossover.
Volvo have been working hard recently, first with plug-in hybrids, and now they are breaking into the Full-Electric market, and the C40 is an electric car, with Volvo saying 50% of its will be EV’s by 2025 and 100% by 2030, so a big job ahead for them, in a short space of time.
There are two versions of the C40: Recharge (single motor and front wheel drive 231hp) and Recharge Twin (two electric motors and all-wheel drive that produce equivalent of 402hp). I had the Recharge Twin on test, and it certainly goes, with a 0-100kph in just 4.7 seconds, but it did feel quicker than this.
The car has noticeably hardly any buttons, there isn’t even a start button, you fire it up by simply sitting in the drivers seat … yes the start button is under your bum. You then just put it in to drive or reverse, and away you go, no fumbling with keys, or looking for the start button, your bottom takes care of all of that.
The satellite navigation system and both the screens, one in the centre of the dashboard and the other in front of the driver are crystal clear, so accurate and precise, and is run on Google Maps, very impressive.
Volvo have also fitted their “Birds Eye” parking system. Now I thought Birds Eye did fish fingers and burgers, but no, they also help you park the car. This system works with external cameras all around the car, and the image of the car is super-imposed onto the central screen and it actually looks like there is a camera above the car. It is just so clever and accurate. I could go on and on about the brilliant technology the C40 has, but space is limited.
With a full charge the range on the Recharge Twin is around 350km, which is not bad, and most people can live with that on a day to day basis. But with all electric cars, especially in the UK, going on a long journey does need some planning, and always add extra time to charge the car up.
Prices are not cheap for the C40, starting at £44800 and going up to £58900 in the UK.
The nicest thing about an electric car is they are just so quiet. Turn off the radio, and it becomes such a peaceful and relaxing place to sit, no noise at all. It’s like riding on a magic carpet. Perfect.
Lastly, I just want to say thanks to Clive Brook Volvo Huddersfield for organising this test car.