Launched in Malaysia earlier this week, the Volvo C40 is the Swedish carmaker’s second electric vehicle, and it’s a kissing cousin to another model we’re familiar with, the XC40. In fact, these two cars are so closely related that if you’ve always liked the performance, range, tech and premium feel of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric—but wanted something more stylish and less dowdy—this could be the most compelling alternative yet.
The C40 is priced at RM288,888 for the sole all-wheel-drive Recharge Twin variant, making it RM10,000 more expensive than the equivalent XC40. The two cars share everything from the A-pillars forward, as well as most of the stuff below the shoulder line and all of the mechanicals.
Where the C40 differs is the coupé-style roof, which is lower and slopes towards the rear of the car. To go with the sleeker silhouette, the car gets slimmer taillights and twin spoilers on the roof and lower tailgate, helping to reduce aerodynamic lift. Overall, the redesign makes for a more streamlined vehicle, which brings manifold benefits that we’ll talk about later.
The downside of the lower roofline is that it eats into headroom—especially at the rear, where the C40 drops a whole 62mm compared to the boxier XC40. Thankfully, the 413-litre boot is barely any smaller than the XC40’s, and you still get a 31-litre front boot for you to store items such as your charging cables.
Also unique to the C40 is a panoramic glass roof, not fitted to the XC40. Unfortunately, it not only doesn’t open, but it also doesn’t come with a retractable sun blind, meaning that you’re at the mercy of Malaysia’s finest scorching sun. The topographic map-inspired dashboard and door trims are also only offered on the C40.
The rest of the cabin is identical to the XC40, down to the nine-inch portrait touchscreen that runs the Android Automotive OS, replete with Google Automotive Services such as Google Maps and the Play Store. There’s also wired Apple CarPlay connectivity, and the whole setup blasts tunes through a 14-speaker, 600W Harman Kardon sound system.
Standard kit includes keyless entry, dual-zone automatic air-con with rear air vents, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, a 360-degree camera system and a hands-free powered tailgate. Like the XC40, the C40 starts up immediately once you enter the car, saving you from having to faff about with a starter button.
Like all other Volvos sold in Malaysia, the C40 comes fully featured when it comes to safety, incorporating seven airbags, stability control and autonomous emergency braking. It also receives adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane centring assist, providing Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capabilities.
Other features include evasive steering assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with auto brake, Emergency Stop Assist and Run-off Road Protection. The latter includes impact-absorbing functionality built into the seats to protect the occupants in the event the car leaves the road in a crash.
As you can imagine, the C40 is completely identical to the XC40 under the skin, so you get the same 402hp and 660Nm of torque from twin motors that provide all-wheel drive. It somehow manages to be even quicker, sprinting from zero to 100km/h two tenths of a second quicker at 4.7 seconds; the top speed is again limited to 180km/h.
Juicing the twin motors is the XC40’s 78kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a range of up to 450km on the WLTP cycle, slightly higher than the XC40’s 438km. Users can charge their C40 at a DC fast charging station at up to 150kW, bringing the battery from 10 to 80% in 28 minutes. Alternatively, the car accepts up to 11kW of AC charging through a wallbox, taking eight hours for a full charge.
Want to know how the C40 drives? You can read or watch our review of the mechanically-identical XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, which you can find here.
- Volvo C40 Malaysia: XC40 EV “coupé” with 402hp, 450km range, priced at RM289k
- Volvo C40 Recharge EV is launching in Malaysia in December
- Volvo XC40 EV review Malaysia: It’s great, but the infrastructure just isn’t there yet
- The Malaysia-assembled Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is now on sale for RM262,460