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Volvo EX40 185kW Extended Range Plus 78kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door suv
  • 7.3 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 252 bhp Engine power
  • 343 mi Combined range
  • 78 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

The EX40 is pretty much everything you'd expect a Volvo full-EV model to be but in its early XC40 Pure Electric form, needed a few tweaks. It's had them. In recent times with this design, the base single motor front-driven version's been replaced by a rear-driven variant with longer range - and the dual motor AWD model has got a larger battery, so goes further too. The drawback is premium pricing but otherwise, a lot of boxes seem to have been ticked here.

Background

You might be surprised that it took so long for Volvo to bring us a full-EV: not until 2020 did it launch its first electric car, the XC40 Pure Electric. Which is strange because the marque was, after all, one of the very first to popularise Plug-in hybrid electrification in its models. Having said that, if you know the industry, you might be surprised that this Gothenburg maker is selling any kind of EV at all. Doesn't Volvo's all-electric subsidiary brand, Polestar, deal exclusively with that? It seems not. Volvo wants (and needs in view of current European directives) to dramatically increase the sales percentage of its electrified models and that can't be done merely by concentrating on mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid engineering. Plus the electric XC40 (renamed the EX40 in early 2024) was designed to sit on the same CMA platform used for the Polestar 2 model, so it was pretty straightforward to create a milkfloat mobility version of this little SUV. The early version wasn't quite cutting edge in terms of battery tech, but more recent updates in 2023 have improved that no end. As we're about to see...

Driving Experience

There are three flavours of EX40 on offer. Most customers will opt for the 69kWh 'Single Motor' version, which was once (in this car's original XC40 Pure Electric form) front-driven, but the Swedish maker's now moved the e-motor to the rear axle and slightly uprated its output to 238hp. Without any real impact on performance - rest to 62mph is dispatched in 7.3s on the way to the 112mph top speed that all Volvos these days share. EV driving range is WLTP-rated at up to 296 miles. To get the claimed mileage, you'll need to engage what the Swedish maker calls 'One Pedal Drive', selectable from the 'Driving' menu provided on this centre-dash screen. This dramatically increases the regenerative braking effect when you come off the throttle, to the point where, as advertised, the brake pedal will hardly ever be needed. There's also a 'Single Motor 'Extended Range' 78kWh mid-level rear-driven model, which has 252hp and uses a larger 78kWh battery providing for a 345 mile range. The faster EX40 alternative is the 'Twin Motor' AWD variant we tried, which uses a larger 82kWh battery pack and twin electric motor set-up that has now adopted different front and rear e-motors, with 150hp and 258hp respectively. These provide for a prodigious 408hp total power output figure in the standard Twin Motor model, but if for some reason that's not enough, you can boost it further to 442hp with an optional 'Performance' software upgrade. Even with a standard Twin Motor EX40 variant, performance is startling, a massive 670Nm of torque (at which point the main motor is spinning at a heady 14,000rpm), catapulting the car to 62mph in just 4.7s. In 'Single Motor' form, an EX40 is around 350kgs heavier than the equivalent XC40 B3 mild hybrid model and you certainly feel that at speed through tight corners. Ride quality though is pleasantly supple and better than most similarly-sized EV rivals, aided by this EV variant's switch to a softer 'Touring' suspension set-up. That doesn't deliver a very sharp feel through the bends, but the distinctly modest level of feedback through the electric steering rack doesn't encourage you to seek that anyway, even if you use the centre screen option that switches the steering to its firmer setting. It's worth noting that the EV figures we mentioned earlier are a little down on those of an identically-engineered Polestar 2. To get the claimed mileage, you'll need to engage what the Swedish maker calls 'One Pedal Drive', selectable from the 'Driving' menu provided on the centre-dash screen. This dramatically increases the regenerative braking effect when you come off the throttle, to the point where, as advertised, the brake pedal will hardly ever be needed. Other than that, no driving modes are provided, though there is a screen button to firm up the steering.

Design and Build

This design has been updated in recent times with a smarter front bumper and a frameless front grille. That latter feature is blanked off, which is the main visual difference marking out this full-electric EX40 model from the combustion-engined XC40 versions of this SUV. This sort of thing is rarely a great adornment for an EV - and isn't here. That grille panel's there of course because there's no engine to cool. In another update, the signature Thor's Hammer headlights have been augmented with state-of-the-art pixel LED light technology. Otherwise, things are as before, so if you pop the bonnet where the engine of this dersign used to be, what you'll actually find is a useful 31-litre 'frunk' stowage space. You'll find this a usual place to chuck the charging cables into so that they don't end up getting in the way of everything in the boot. At the wheel, there are few giveaways to this Volvo's battery-powered remit, save for a few EV-specific electronic gauges. Delve into the workings of the central portrait-style 9-inch screen and you'll find that the infotainment system is powered by Android, which means you get a raft of over-the-air Google features, including Maps and YouTube Music built in. What else might you need to know about the cabin? Well because the EX40's basic architecture was designed to accommodate a full-electric powertrain from the start, there are no compromises over combustion versions when it comes to rear seat legroom. Or luggage space. Which is just as well because trunk capacity isn't huge, though the 452-litre capacity figure will probably be quite sufficient for the needs of most owners.

Market and Model

The EX40 model comes with a choice of single or dual-motor powertrains and and a choice of either 'Core', 'Plus' or 'Ultimate' levels of trim. Prices start from around £46,000 for the rear-driven 69kWh Single Motor version, rising to just under £48,000 for the 78kWh Single Motor Extended Range derivative. The bigger-battery AWD Twin Motor 82kWh model costs from just under £58,000. Whatever kind of EX40 you decide upon, it's worth pointing out that almost no one considering this car will be thinking in terms of purchasing it outright. In most cases, they won't even be buying it from a dealer; this Pure Electric model was the first of the brand's cars to be offered exclusively online - which is the way that all future Pure Electric Volvos will be sold. You can still go into a dealership and order it if you want, but it's probably easier just to go on line and order it from home - probably using the 'Care By Volvo' subscription service, which is the way that up to 95% of EX40 models are apparently likely to be acquired. Whichever trim level you decide upon, there's plenty of equipment included - as you'd hope given the figures being asked here. Tick off automatic LED headlights with active high beam, high gloss black roof rails, rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate and 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, across the range there's 2-Zone climate control, a 12.3-litre 'Progressive Driver Display' instrument cluster screen, a wireless 'phone charger and heated front seats with lumbar support. Media stuff's taken care of by a 9-inch Centre Console Portrait Touch Screen with navigation, a 250-watt 8-speaker DAB audio system, voice recognition, wired 'Apple CarPlay' and four years' use of Google Automotive Services.

Cost of Ownership

We've already given you this EX40 model's operating range in our 'Driving Experience' section; a maximum of 296 miles for the base Single Motor model, up to 343 miles for the Single Motor Extended Range version and up to 332 miles for the Twin Motor version. These figures postion this Volvo much more competitively in its segment, but they're still some way from being up with the class-leaders; thank this Swedish contender's portly kerb weight (around 2-tonnes) for that. Even to achieve this Volvo's stated figure, you're going to need to make a lot of use of the 'One Pedal Drive' feature that maximises regenerative braking. Still, at least charging times are competitive. The base Single Motor model DC charges at up to 135kW, the Single Motor Extended Range version DC charges at up to 140kW and the Twin Motor version now DC charges at up to 205kW. In each case, a 10-80% DC charge will take around 33 minutes. Overnight AC charging via a home wallbox will occupy around 8 hours. There are of course, lots of taxation advantages in running an EV. With this one, as with its main rivals, you'll be rated at just 2% for BiK Benefit-in-Kind taxation until this is reviewed in 2025. Servicing will be at the same intervals as an ordinary XC40 (every year or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first), but the bill you get should be cheaper because there will be fewer consumables to replace, though remember that with an EV, tyre wear tends to be greater than with a combustion model.

Summary

The government talks about incentivising the sale of electric vehicles. But then progressively reduces buying incentives on them. Car manufacturers talk about wanting to increase the EV percentage of their sales: but then price full-electric models beyond the reach of most buyers. It's a conundrum. And for the time being, it doesn't show any real signs of being solved. This EX40 model is a case in point. It's a very well engineered little electric vehicle, particularly in this much improved form. But, like all its direct rivals, it costs quite a considerable amount. There are lots of things we like though, about what Volvo's tried to do here. The accessible 'Care By Volvo' finance package; the sophisticated Google-based tech for the media and Pilot Assist driving systems; and the practical front storage area. The brand's really thought carefully here, not only about what customers might want but also what they might really need in a premium EV of this kind. Which makes this EX40 model a difficult car to ignore if you're seeking a premium compact crossover that allows you to more easily make that seismic switch to EV motoring. It's an electric vehicle; and now one with a bit of a spark.

  • Emergency services call system
  • Handsfree tailgate opening/closing
  • DAB Digital radio
  • High performance sound, 8 speakers/250W, 2 front type C and 2 rear type C USB
  • Low speed exterior sound speaker
  • Steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • Black stone A pillars
  • Black stone roof
  • Black stone roof spoiler
  • Colour co-ordinated front grille and surround
  • Front metal tread plates engraved with EX40
  • High gloss black front bumper deco
  • High gloss black rear bumper lower deco
  • High gloss black rear skid plate
  • High gloss black window trim
  • Integrated roof rails in high gloss black
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof antenna
  • Roof side cant-rail
  • Visible VIN plate
  • 12V socket in front tunnel console
  • 3 Spoke tailored steering wheel with chrome trim
  • A-pillar parking ticket holder
  • Bright metal luggage scuff plate
  • Centre console cupholders and storage
  • Charcoal headlining
  • Connect suede textile/microtech upholstery
  • Flexible load floor and grocery bag holder
  • Front door pocket illumination
  • Front load compartment (31 litres)
  • Front tunnel net pocket and integrated waste bin
  • Glovebox bag hook
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • High gloss black centre tunnel deco
  • Integrated waste bin
  • Load cover
  • Load protection net
  • One pedal drive mode
  • Rear armrest with cupholder
  • Rear coat hook
  • Sports steering wheel
  • Underfloor cargo storage
  • Climate pack - EC40/EX40
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + front collision warning with full auto brake and rear auto brake
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • First aid kit
  • Front and outer rear seatbelt reminder and pretensioners
  • Front seats SIPS airbags
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • ISOFIX attachment (Front passenger and Rear outer seats)
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • Power child locks on rear doors
  • Road sign information display
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • 2 x Key integrated remote control central locking including recharging port with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Care key with user defined top speed
  • Convenient entry and start
  • Keyless drive with keyless entry and keyless start
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Private locking for tailgate
  • Remote door locking and unlocking
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: N
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 78
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 2280
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 1440
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 3.7
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 720
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 7.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): 33
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: 10-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: 155
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 155
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 75
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 18.3
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 16.6
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 3.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 3.7
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 552
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 498
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 552
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 343
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 309.4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 343
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 252
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: 185kW
  • Coin Series: Plus
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 252
  • Engine Power - KW: 185
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 309
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 42.8
  • Engine Torque - NM: 420
  • Engine Torque - RPM: N
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/50 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/45 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: 5 SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1596
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4440
  • Wheelbase: 2702
  • Width: 1938
  • Width (including mirrors): 2034
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2520
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1286
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 536
  • Max. Loading Weight: 519
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2001
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4