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Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid Review

Volvo charges forward with a plugin-hybrid XC40

Volvo continues to surge forward with its electrification program; what you see here is one piece of the puzzle.

This Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid builds upon the fantastic XC40, with its terrific interior, exterior styling and ride. However, the PHEV model goes a step further and adds an electric motor capable of carrying you 40kms without the use of any liquified dead dinosaurs.

We really liked the combustion-engine-only XC40 when we drove it earlier in the year, so how does this plug-in hybrid compare considering you do pay a premium for the Recharge version?

What’s it like inside?

The interior of the XC40 Recharge varies little from the petrol-powered version the Recharge is built upon.

You get brushed aluminium inserts along the dash and doors and the same nine-inch, vertical touchscreen infotainment system that comes loaded with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with some slightly different functionality that we will touch on later.

A “Lifestyle Pack” was optioned on our test vehicle for $3,000 – this adds a panoramic sunroof, tinted rear windows and a Harman Kardon sound system.

You’ll sit on the same comfortable electric adjustable seats too, with a memory function for the driver. Also fitted was the $900 “Comfort Pack”, which adds heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Definitely a useful addition to consider for those cold winter months.

Looking forwards, nestled behind the simple uncluttered steering wheel, is a 12.3-inch digital driver display. Here, you can access your trip computer, view directions from the satellite navigation and see lane configurations of upcoming intersections – regardless of whether you’re being directed by the satellite navigation or not. Drivers have the ability to customise the look of the dials themselves.

Boot capacity also remains unchanged, with the same 460 litres on offer. This sits behind some competitors like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 but has more space on offer than the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

With the interior and boot space relatively uncompromised, you might be asking “where did they put the battery?”

The engineers have managed to neatly package the battery underneath the centre tunnel, meaning no space is lost due to the extra technology, battery and cabling.

There’s plenty of little storage spaces and thoughtful touches throughout the cabin. Bag hooks, for instance, make quick impromptu shopping runs that much more convenient.

Among the more interesting features within the nine-inch command system is ambient lighting, which can be changed manually or can be selected to automatically adjust based on the temperature. There was also a setting to keep the cabin cooler on hot days when you are not in the vehicle.

If selected, the vehicle will monitor the cabin temperature and close the shade cloth across the panoramic sunroof, blocking out the sun. A great feature for summer in Australia.

You won’t run into any problems in the back either, with a good amount of leg and headroom for your average-size adults.

All-in-all, we like the interior of the XC40 Recharge.

What’s it like to drive?

The XC40 and XC40 Recharge Plug-in hybrid don’t pretend to be anything they are not. You can see that from their styling.

They aren’t sporty – they are sensible, comfortable daily drivers.

As you motor around town, the XC40 Recharge cruises over imperfections in the road surface without trouble. Heading through corners, this soft ride doesn’t translate into excessive body roll, which is often associated with these compact SUVs.

In terms of handling, it is perfect for town driving.

Sweetening the deal, there are crisp reversing cameras and the vehicle comes equipped with an automatic parking functionality, so if you are living or commuting around the city and aren’t all that confident parking, your Volvo will do it for you.

You’ll be glad for the parking assistance, as the large C-pillars on the XC40 negatively impact over-the-shoulder visibility.

Moving on to the powertrain, the XC40 Recharge is powered by a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which is capable of producing 132kW and 265Nm unassisted.

It works alongside a 10.7kWh lithium-ion battery that powers an electric motor. The motor is capable of producing 60kW and 160Nm and able to travel 40kms without the need for petrol when fully charged.

Drive is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that you’ll barely notice shift when you are driving around on fossil fuels.

You can throw the vehicle into a regenerative braking mode too, which slows the vehicle while you are not on the throttle, allowing the XC40 PHEV to recharge its battery and extend its electric range with normally wasted energy.

If you tap into the infotainment system, swiping to the left, there is also a “charge” option which basically uses the petrol engine to top-up the battery.

Using these two features, you can regenerate a decent amount of range. We managed to restore roughly 18kms on a 45km highway trip – handy if you aren’t going to have charging access at your destination.

How safe is the Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV?

It’s a Volvo. I think that says it all. Along with the frontal airbags and side-impact protection system (SIPS), which includes airbags in the front seats, curtain airbags and whiplash protection, you will also get the following as standard:

  • Pedestrian, vehicle, large animals and cyclist detection
  • Intersection collision and oncoming mitigation with brake support
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver alert
  • Adjustable speed limiter function
  • Blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert (CTA)
  • Front and rear collision warning with mitigation support
  • Hill descent control
  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Volvo pilot

They really don’t come much safer than Volvos.

The verdict

The XC40 and XC40 recharge plug-in hybrid are both impressive vehicles and worth considering if you are in the market for a small SUV.

If your daily commute is less than 40kms, the PHEV looks like a good option. With that being said, it is worth doing the sums and consider if the emission-free driving is worth the $8,000 premium you’ll pay.

Whichever one you pick, you’ll be left satisfied.

Compare some options to finance a Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid

1 - 16 of 16
Name Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment
OurMoneyMarket New Car Loan
OurMoneyMarket logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.52% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with.
Apply for up to $300,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
Simplify New Car Loan
Simplify Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.19%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.6%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
IMB New Car Loan
IMB logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,000 - $125,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.24%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.59%
Application Fee
$274.78
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.24% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
loans.com.au - New - Variable Rate Special
loans.com.au logo
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.24%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.36%
to 8.85%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
Verified Lending Used Car Loan
Verified Lending logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $200,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.1%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8.06%
to 22.99%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
More Info
Credit Concierge New Car Loan
Credit Concierge logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $100,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.29%
to 16.45%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.41%
to 17.91%
Application Fee
$553
Monthly Fee
$10
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
RACV New Car Loans
RACV logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.29% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
NRMA New Car Loan
NRMA logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
More Info
Note: Take out a loan for an eligible electric vehicle and receive a 1.5% discount on your personalised interest rate (interest rates start from 5.79% p.a. and comparison rates from 6.49% p.a.)
Credit Concierge Used Car Loan
Credit Concierge logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $1,000,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.8%
to 17.45%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.56%
to 18.91%
Application Fee
$553
Monthly Fee
$10
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
OurMoneyMarket Used Car Loan - No Vehicle Age Limit
OurMoneyMarket logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
NRMA Used Car Loan
NRMA logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
More Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance Used Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate loan from 6.52% p.a. with a comparison rate of 6.95% p.a.
A used car loan of up to $300,000 with quick approval times and balloon payment options.
Simplify Used Car Loan
Simplify Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.19%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.6%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
loans.com.au - Variable Rate Used Car < 5 years
loans.com.au logo
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.74%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8.85%
to 8.99%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
RACV Used Car Loans
RACV logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Benefit from no ongoing fees, 5-hour approval and a 21-day satisfaction guarantee. Interest rate discounts for members.
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Showing 16 of 16 results

Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every car insured by 30 September. Plus save 15% on your 1st year’s premium when you purchase online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $80 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
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Want to read more car reviews? Check out our car reviews section, or, if you already know what you are after, it might be worth comparing car loan options as well as car insurance to see how much you could save..

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Alex Jeffs is the senior publisher for personal, car and business finance at Finder. He has been building websites since he was 14 years old and has tested cars everywhere from race tracks to Oodnadatta. See full bio

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