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Volvo's new full-electric SUV, the C40, may be on the pricey side but it 'blue' me away

Volvo’s stunning but pricey SUV blue me away
The new Volvo C40 in Fjord blue is a thing of beauty

The new Volvo C40 in Fjord blue is a thing of beauty

The interior is beautiful but blue carpet isn’t ideal

The interior is beautiful but blue carpet isn’t ideal

Daragh Keany

Volvo has three amazing SUVs in its stable already which all come in a plug-in hybrid or EV version under the mini-brand ‘Recharge’, so when the Swedish manufacturer announced a full-electric SUV we were all a little confused.

Then we saw it and realised what they were attempting. A sloping coupe version of the XC40 under the oh-so-delicately-tweaked name C40 is this week’s test car.

Anyone who has watched any major drama on Sky Atlantic recently will probably have seen this car in the heavy sponsorship drive on the channel so to finally get behind the wheel recently was a thrill.

In fact, both of us here at Motormouths HQ got test drives in the manufacturer’s sexy EV and without giving too much away too early in this review…we both adored it.

The interior is beautiful but blue carpet isn’t ideal

The interior is beautiful but blue carpet isn’t ideal

Based on the same platform as the XC40, the chassis starts off similar from the front but as soon as you start ogling it from the wing mirrors back it takes a dramatic twist and becomes sleaker and sportier and sexier.

Sloping rooflines and dramatic rear light displays are the overriding features on the outside as the €58k (exact same opening price as the EV XC40) car enters the clustered market.

By night you get to fully appreciate the distinctive rear lights, even when you unlock the car it plays a little animation to show off the designers’ years of work that went into them.

It gets contrasting cladding around the bumpers and wheel arches to give it a bold girthy off-road appearance.

Before we get off the topic of the exterior, we have to mention the paint colour. You think between all the different car companies that every single shade of every single colour has been released but Volvo has now given us ‘Fjord’ blue and it is delicious.

And the Swedish giant was so confident about the colour they brought it inside too with complementary shades in the seats, carpets and even some of the seat and front dash detailing. All we will say about the blue carpet, which is a bold move, is that they show up dirt more easily than regular black carpets. But other than that, we are big fans.

A bigger gripe is the fact that Volvo has taken away the ignition button. Like Tesla, you simply sit and drive and while that may sound impressive and amazing, it is a bit soon for this giant leap in car tech. You find yourself leaving the car wondering is it off or locked sometimes! We’re not saying you need to have a key in an ignition, but a simple on/off button isn’t too much to ask.

We got a pleasant surprise when we put the foot down and experienced some of the combined dual-motor set up that boasts 408hp and 660Nm. Enjoy this while you can because Volvo recently stated that were to limit to top speeds to try and reduce the risk of serious injuries in road traffic accidents.

They have, after all, always been at the forefront of safety when it comes to car manufacturers.

It is not just a fast car though as it is a well-grounded and very-capable vehicle. The low centre of gravity thanks to the battery architecture means it is always planted to the road and drives using all four wheels for extra balance.

Volvo quotes a WLTP driving range of up to 444 kilometres on a single charge but, like a lot of claims in current models, we are not sure this is accurate. It isn’t helped by the fact that the range dial defaults to a ‘percentage of battery’ model. When you finally figure out where to find the ‘km’ version you will soon realise that it is not as sensitive as other EVs on the market. The range clock reduces in 10s and 20s sporadically instead of single digits, which is something we would like to see changed.

It defaults to one-pedal driving too which is easily switched off, if you don’t like the sensation of it.

The rest of the driving experience is what you would expect from a ‘premium’ all-electric SUV…it soaks up lumps and bumps very well and doesn’t feel cheap in any aspect.

Rear visibility isn’t great due to the sloping roof, but the rear-view camera is so good that you don’t need to worry about attempting any sort of parking.

When you open the electrically-operated tailgate you will be greeted by a decent-sized boot measuring 489ltr with an added 31 litres in the front, where we suggest you keep the various charging cables.

This is a gorgeous looking car with a few non-deal-breaker flaws but does come with an eye-watering asking price. The entry level €58,730 is only the start of it and pricing can escalate quickly. But this is the most premium of the ‘non-Premium’ badges and it is a great looking EV, so the cost is something that its potential suitors won’t be too worried about.


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