2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV (car review)

THE 2020 Volvo XC40 was already fun, fresh, flirty and sophisticated, but now Volvo has electrified it, with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid variant known simply as the Recharge.

Still loaded with Volvo’s extensive safety suite, and signature, head turning style, the XC40 Recharge available exclusively in R-Design format here in Australia, with pricing starting from $64,990 (plus on-roads).

Under the hood is a three cylinder 1.5-litre turbo charged petrol engine producing 132kW. This is paired to an electric motor, that see’s a respectable 60kW. Couple the two together, and that number grows to a flirty 192kW combined.

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All this see’s the PHEV achieve a top speed of 205km/h, while the 0-100km/h sprint is done within 7.3 seconds. Not bad for a hybrid. The small SUV does weigh a little though, coming in at 1760kg.

With a 48-litre fuel tank and about 46Km worth of electric range it has a claimed combined fuel consumption of 2.2-litres/100km. So, even with a bulging waist line, it does achieve staggering numbers in the consumption department.

Don’t be turned away by the 1.5-litre power plant either, as it is super zippy, and when engaged with the electric motor, it sure does gives it a good hit of power at launch.

The XC40 Recharge PHEV also has a party trick up its sleeve, and can regenerate power on the highway while you’re driving along. Cool right! The Recharge does feel more at home in the urban cityscape, where it will mostly use the electric motor.

That said, we wouldn’t hesitate to stretch its legs on the open road. It’s certainly more than capable there too.

The exterior is nothing short of gorgeous, with the R-Design glossy black integrated roof rails, R-Design grille, black exterior roof colour and colour coordinated door
handles (with illumination and puddle lights)

Dual integrated tail pipes, wipers with integrated washers, Hammer of Thor LED active bending and high beam headlights, with headlight high pressure cleaning, and 20-inch 5-double spoke matte black diamond cut alloy wheels, complete the package.

The interior doesn’t change a whole lot from the non-hybrid version, which provides cutting edge aluminium decor inlays, and a combination of beautiful charcoal nubuck textile and perforated Nappa leather in the same colour.

The front seats are power adjustable with cushion extensions, with a memory function for the driver. You also grab illuminated vanity mirrors in the sun visor, a very stylish R-Design gear lever knob and a three-spoke R-Design steering wheel with Uni Deco inlay.

Within the centre of the of the dash is the all important 9.0-inch vertical touchscreen, positioned perfectly. It gives you great access to enable smart phone integration, digital radio, Bluetooth, in-car web apps, and satellite navigation with road sign information.

You can also configure your drive modes and other vehicle settings using the same display, and there’s a wireless phone charger beneath it too.

Volvo have also looked after you on the air-con front, with the XC40 featuring 2-zone electronic climate control, including a cooled glove box and CleanZone interior air quality system. Which means you don’t to worry about smog floating around the cabin.

In the back, the XC40 has a powered tailgate with kick to open (that worked most of the times we tried it), and a rather large boot space that can easily fit large bags, a pram or even an arm chair. The cargo space gets bigger once the seats fold forward. 

Volvo’s safety is undoubtedly ahead of the game too, and has been for some time now. In this case, it features a large suite of technology, including city safety, pedestrian and cyclist detection, Intellisafe assist, a lane keeping aid and driver alert.

It also grabs surround monitoring, cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

Hybrids have always been kind of like the vegetarian option at a restaurant. Car makers will have a whole menu of diesel and petrol variants in a range, and then maybe a hybrid version, if you’re lucky.

But Volvo is changing that and adding more and more hybrids to their lineup. It’s a great thing, and the 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV is no side salad.

It’s available with a number of options along with an array of colours such as Black Stone, Crystal White, Onyx Black, Bursting Blue, Fusion Red, Thunder Grey and Glacier White.

Our test vehicle, which came with optional metallic paint, the R-Design Comfort Pack, the Lifestyle Pack, a 360-degree camera and power folding headrests in the rear, was priced at $71,230 plus on-roads.

Our 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV R-Design was provided by Volvo Australia. To find out more, contact your local Volvo dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - ample storage; driving experience; overall styling; Volvos safety suite.
Cons - restricted charging, limited interior options, lacks some gimmick options.
Jason Clark
Jason Clark
Jason has a particular interest in understanding styling and design cues when it comes to new cars, along with a focus on how automotive engineering improves vehicle performance. He has a wealth of experience gained from riding dirt bikes, racing karts and driving cars.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> ample storage; driving experience; overall styling; Volvos safety suite.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> restricted charging, limited interior options, lacks some gimmick options.2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV (car review)