VOLVO

VOLVO XC40 ESTATE 1.5 T5 Recharge PHEV Inscription Pro 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.3s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

We've known for some time that future Volvo products will all be electrified. Going forward, the only decision buyers of the brand will really have to make is whether they want to plug their cars in or not. Those who want to attach to the mains will be opting for one of the company's range of 'Recharge' models - either a plug-in hybrid of a full-electric variant. This was the first of the 'Recharge' models to be launched, the XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid.

Family View (500 words)

Volvo's XC40 Recharge Plug-in hybrid is a pricey but very complete product, thinks Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

We've known for some time that future Volvo products will all be electrified. Going forward, the only decision buyers of the brand will really have to make is whether they want to plug their cars in or not. Those who want to attach to the mains will be opting for one of the company's range of 'Recharge' models - either a plug-in hybrid of a full-electric variant. This was the first of the 'Recharge' models to be launched, the XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid.

Background

The XC40 compact SUV was the last of Volvo's models to get electrification, but it was also the first of the company's cars to get a full-EV electric version, the XC40 P8 Recharge. But if you can't quite face the thought of going for an all-out EV (or that top variant's price of well over £50,000), then this Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid derivative might be more palatable. At well over £40,000, it's still hardly inexpensive, but it can offer up to 27 miles of all-electric driving before needing to revert to its 178bhp three cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine. Compromises over the ordinary XC40 model are as few as the visual changes made and there are plenty of driving mode options to ensure that you can maximise the innovative powertrain's impressive efficiency.

Driving Experience

With this Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid FWD model, the hybrid system's electric motor drives only the front wheels and works via 7-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox. That motor draws its power from a 10.7kWh lithium-ion battery situated in the car's central drivetrain tunnel and will take over from the associated 1.5-litre three cylinder petrol engine to power this Volvo exclusively when you run it in this PHEV variant's provided full-electric 'Pure' driving mode. Most of the time though, you're going to be using this XC40 in its normal 'Hybrid' drive setting, in which the electric motor and the three cylinder engine cut seamlessly in and out, as required. The electrified modes have a specific right hand driving gauge in the instrument binnacle that replaces the rev counter. And a selectable 'Driver Performance' screen on the centre-dash screen can tell you at any given time what's being powered by what. Should you need to press on, there's a sporty 'Power' mode, use of which reminds you that there are plenty of braked horses on offer here, in the case of this T5 PHEV variant 180hp from the 1.5-litre engine and a further 82hp from the electric motor. There's also an alternative T4 Plug-in hybrid derivative which uses the same powertrain but with a slightly de-tuned 129hp version of the 1.5-litre petrol engine. Pushing down past the throttle's kickdown point always brings the petrol engine into play - which you'll obviously need to do if you want to replicate the quoted performance figures; in the case of this T5 PHEV variant, these see 62mph reached in 7.3s, 1.2s quicker than the T4 PHEV version. Both derivatives, like all modern Volvos, top out at 112mph. With this Plug-in model, as with ordinary XC40 variants, ride quality is segment-leading and refinement is difficult to beat in the class too. The brake recuperation system can make it difficult to smoothly bring the car to a standstill though. And you certainly feel this plug-in variant's extra weight (it tips the scales at over 1,800kgs) when pushing on through the bends. Unlike the full-electric P8 variant of this model, this version doesn't have an AWD drivetrain, but Volvo nevertheless, rather ambitiously, provides an 'Offroad' option amongst your various driving mode choices. Unless you find yourself in a muddy carpark, it's probably best to ignore that one.

Design and Build

Visually, unless you happened to pick up the addition of a charging port near the front wheel arch, you probably wouldn't spot any differences between this Plug-in hybrid variant and a more conventional XC40 - and that's exactly the way Volvo wants it. So there's the usual 'robot-inspired' styling, plus piercing 'Thor's Hammer' LED headlights and a clamshell bonnet, along with an inverted front grille and coupe-like rear styling. This Hybrid model's entire powertrain is located under the bonnet, rather than being spread around the car, as was the case with the industry's earlier Plug-in cars. The benefit of that is that cabin room and boot space are completely unaffected by the addition of this car's 'Recharge' technology. Inside, the dash is identical to that of an ordinary combustion-engined variant, save for a few EV-specific electronic gauges. These days, the infotainment system - which works through the standard 9-inch central touchscreen - is powered by Android, which means you get a raft of over-the-air Google features, including Maps and YouTube Music built in. Rear seat room has always been an XC40 strongpoint - it beats most class rivals in this regard: two adults will be very comfortable, even on longer trips. But boot space isn't huge, though the 460-litre capacity figure will probably be quite sufficient for the needs of most owners.

Market and Model

Plug-in Hybrid tech remains pricey: there's no other way of saying it and of course these days, there's no helpful government grant to ease the burden of it a little. The least you can pay for this XC40 Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid FWD Automatic model is around £41,000. It's slightly less powerful T4 Plug-in hybrid showroom stablemate costs from around £39,000 - and that price reduction is quite important because it means you'll avoid the Vehicle Excise Duty Surcharge that applies over the £40,000 price point. In the case of this T5 PHEV variant, the asking figures equate to a price premium of just over £3,000 over the alternative B5 250hp mild hybrid petrol model. For T5 Plug-in hybrid customers, there's a choice of four trim levels - 'R-Design', 'R-Design Pro', 'Inscription' or 'Inscription Pro', that top variant priced at well over £42,000. For your information, the next stage of electrification represented by the full-electric P8 Pure XC40 model costs around £53,000. The 'R-Design' trimmed variants get gloss black styling details including a contrasting colour black roof, plus diamond-cut or matt black alloy wheels, part-leather seats and aluminium dash inlays. Top-spec 'Inscription' versions meanwhile, enjoy full-leather upholstery, an electric tailgate, wood detailing and a crystal glass gearlever. As ever with Volvo, a key focus is safety. An autonomous braking system is standard-fit and this system can specifically detect people and animals. There's also an 'Oncoming Lane Mitigation' set-up that not only stops you from pulling out into the path of an oncoming vehicle but can also steer you away from such an impact. Pilot Assist, Volvo's innovative semi-autonomous drive feature, is an optional extra on every XC40, as is 'Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation'. And Cross Traffic Alert with brake support', which warn you of oncoming vehicles when you're reversing out of a space.

Cost of Ownership

All the efficiency figures for this T5 Plug-in hybrid are also exactly replicated by the alternative T4 Plug-in hybrid variant: let's take a look at them. Volvo claims a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of between 26.1 and 27.3 miles, the kind of typical figure claimed by most Plug-in Hybrids. And, as with most Plug-in Hybrids, the actual real-world result you'll probably get while driving normally is much closer to the 20 mile mark. Accept that at the outset, otherwise, you'll end up disappointed. Like all cars of this kind, unless you regularly plug in, all you'll be driving is a relatively thirsty high-output petrol model. You'll want to tick the box for the £50 optional 3.5kWh Type 2 charger and with this in place, a full charge takes about 3 hours. The fantasy land official quoted efficiency stats are up to 135.5mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 47g/km of WLTP-rated CO2. The important thing is though, that the government believes them, hence this model's low 16% Benefit-in-Kind taxation rate - a major incentive for business purchase. Volvo also throws in a year's free electricity usage. Insurance for the T5 PHEV is group 32E: it's group 28E for the T4 PHEV variant. Maintenance should be relatively affordable for a car of this kind, with three or five year pre-paid servicing packages are available to help you budget ahead. If you pay extra for the useful 'On Call with App' remote connectivity system, this Volvo can be programmed to autonomously realise when a service is due, then automatically book it for you at a dealership of your choice. Finally, we'll tell you that the warranty is the usual three year, 60,000 mile package.

Summary

For all of Volvo's trumpeted plans for electrification, the truth is that up until now, models from the brand that are truly electrified have made up a tiny part of its overall sales volume. That has to change - and will with the introduction of models like this one. The company's short term aim is for Plug-in Hybrids to quickly make up 20% of its sales volume and you have to think that most of that total needs to be accounted for by this Recharge T5 Plug-in hybrid derivative and its T4 Plug-in stablemate. Given the prices being asked here, that might be a challenging goal for the company to reach, but you can't fault the engineering here - or the way that it's been incorporated into such a pleasing, practicality and stylish overall design. If you want a compact, premium-badged SUV with plug-in tech, this is where it's at right now.

  • Rear wiper
  • Heated washer nozzles
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Heated front windscreen
  • Rain sensor with automatic windscreen wiper activation

  • Vehicle deceleration control with Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
  • Stability and Traction Control with Spin control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control
  • Electronic parking brake with auto hold
  • Hill descent control
  • Hill start assist

  • Luxury floor mats

  • Dynamic chassis
  • Electric front axle drive

  • Bluetooth hands free telephone kit
  • Volvo on call
  • Voice activated control for key functions

  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation
  • Speed limiter
  • Drive mode selector
  • Adjustable steering wheel force
  • Lane keep assist with driver alert control
  • Speed sensitive steering

  • 12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's instrument display
  • Sensus navigation with European mapping and traffic information
  • 9" centre console portrait touch screen

  • Colour coordinated auto folding and heated power door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming interior mirror

  • Driftwood inlays

  • DAB Digital radio
  • Steering wheel mounted remote controls

  • Chrome window surround
  • Silver roof rails
  • Roof spoiler
  • Dual exhaust pipes
  • Roof antenna
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Recharging port located in nearside front wing
  • High Gloss silver front and rear skid plate
  • Front aluminium tread plates
  • High gloss black front grille with chrome inserts
  • High gloss black sensus surround deco

  • LED Headlights + Active high beam incorporating daytime running lights
  • Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights
  • LED front fog lights with static cornering light function
  • Active bending headlights
  • Automatic headlamp levelling
  • Home safe and approach lighting
  • Headlamp cleaning system

  • 2 zone electronic climate control and rear air vent

  • Key integrated remote
  • Front door pocket and front cupholder illumination
  • Driver's side lower dashboard credit card storage compartment
  • 12V socket in front tunnel console and cargo compartment
  • Rear armrest / integral cup holders / storage tray
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Illuminated glovebox
  • Rear coat hook
  • Leather faced upholstery
  • Load protection net
  • Illuminated tailgate
  • Bright metal luggage threshold
  • Orrefors Crystal Gear Lever Knob
  • Centre console cupholders and storage
  • Underfloor cargo storage
  • Glovebox bag hook
  • High gloss centre tunnel deco
  • 3 spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim

  • Multicolour theatre lights
  • Front footwell illumination
  • Illuminated luggage compartment
  • Front reading light and theatre lighting
  • Rear reading and courtesy lights
  • Ambient front door and instrumental panel lighting

  • Power seat pack - XC40

  • Front and outer rear seatbelt reminder and pretensioners
  • City safety includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and front collision warning with full auto brake
  • Front seats SIPS airbags
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Inflatable curtain
  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle
  • Run off Road Protection
  • Road sign information display
  • Run off Road Mitigation

  • Multi directional lumbar support
  • Front headrests
  • Heated front seats
  • Isofix attachments on rear seats
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat

  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows
  • Private locking for tailgate
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Care key with user defined top speed

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors

  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 44
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 44
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 42
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min: 15.5
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max: 16.8
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 10.7
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max: 3.7
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min: 4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 27.3
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 26.1
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 27.3

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.01
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 48
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 47
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 55

  • CC: 1477
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 2.1
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 2.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 134.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 117.7

  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 32E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 97
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 71
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 76
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 262
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: Inscription Pro
  • Coin Description: T5 Recharge PHEV
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Power - BHP: 262
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.3
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Engine Power - KW: 193
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5800
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 195
  • Engine Torque - NM: 265
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 27

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 235/50 R19
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 5 DOUBLE SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/50 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY

  • Length: 4425
  • Width: 1910
  • Wheelbase: 2702
  • Width (including mirrors): 2034
  • Height: 1658
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 586
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1336
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1741
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2290
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 48
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1800
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 549

  • Dark tinted windows for rear door side windows and cargo compartment: £350

  • Wireless/Inductive Mobile Phone Charging: £200

  • Cruise control: Included

  • Power operated tailgate: Included
  • 7m 10amp Charge Cable with 3 Pin Plug: Included
  • 7m 3.5kW type 2/mode 3 charge cable: £50

  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto + 2 USB: £300
  • Intellisafe-Blind spot system + steer assist, cross traffic alert with autobrake, rear collision mitigation and autodimming exterior rear view mirror: £600

  • Lower dashboard, tunnel console and door panel in charcoal: Included
  • Lower dashboard, tunnel console and door panel in blond: £0

  • Sensus connect with high performance sound, 8 speakers/250W, front USB and 2 rear type C USB: Included
  • Sensus Connect with Premium Sound by Harman Kardon, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound, Dirac Unsion,13 speakers/600W and subwoofer: £550

  • Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain: £1,000
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £575
  • Premium metallic paint: £850

  • Charcoal headlining: Included
  • Blond headlining: £0

  • Climate pack - XC40: £300
  • Driver assist pack - XC40: £1,550
  • Lounge pack - XC40: £1,750
  • Park assist pack - XC40: Included
  • Versatility pack - XC40 Plug-in-hybrid: £475

  • Metallic - Glacier Silver: £575
  • Metallic - Pebble grey: £575
  • Metallic - Fusion red: £575
  • Metallic - Denim blue: £575
  • Metallic - Onyx black: £575

  • Solid - Black Stone: £0

  • Premium metallic - Crystal white: £850

  • Power child locks on rear doors: £85
  • Mechanical child rear door locks: Included

  • Rear headrests: Included

  • Keyless Start: Included

  • Retractable towbar: £1,150

  • Leather - Blond: £0
  • Leather - Amber: £0
  • Leather - Charcoal: £0
  • Leather - Oxide red: £0

  • 20" 5 spoke diamond cut/black alloy wheels: £750
  • 19" 5 Double Spoke diamond cut/black alloy wheels: Included
  • 21" 5 triple open spoke diamond cut/ matt black alloy wheels: £1,400

  • Tempa spare wheel and jack: £150
  • Tyre sealant kit + 12v compressor: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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