The Volvo XC40 Recharge pure electric hides a dirty little secret. It looks almost identical to your wealthy aunt’s petrol-powered XC40 and it’s only slightly more expensive. At first glance, it’s about as threatening as a daisy – it’s a friendly, demure-looking family SUV, and because it’s fully electric, it has green credentials, too. But it also packs 402hp and a whopping 660Nm of torque.
So what’s it like to drive? As usual, we’ll have a full review of this car in due time, but I can tell you right now that the electric XC40 is much faster than a mid-RM200,000 SUV has any right to. It has almost as much power as a Mercedes-AMG A45 S – and way more torque that comes the moment you floor the throttle – so it’s no surprise that the Volvo fires itself at the horizon like you wouldn’t believe. It’s claimed to get from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, and it feels every bit as quick as that.
But it also feels like a more serious car than you’d expect. With all-wheel drive, the XC40 has grip to spare, and it does a reasonable job in the bends; the trade-off is a ride that is quite stiff. It’s not rock hard, but it crashes over bumps in a way that might feel tiresome after a while. As such, it’s not quite the plush, comfortable premium SUV for the everyday commute, and if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty others in this price range for you to choose from.
If you want something that’s fast, however…