Volvo EC40 Review & Prices

The Volvo EC40 is effectively the coupe version of the popular Volvo EX40 electric SUV. It looks great, but that sloping roofline affects practicality

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RRP £52,555 - £63,105 Avg. Carwow saving £2,489 off RRP
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wowscore
7/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Looks great on the outside…
  • …and on the inside
  • Blistering electric performance

What's not so good

  • Terrible rear visibility
  • Not particularly fun to drive
  • Other electric SUVs have bigger boots

Find out more about the Volvo EC40

Is the Volvo EC40 a good car?

This is the Volvo EC40. It’s an electric family SUV that majors on style appeal, and which goes up against alternatives such as the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback, Tesla Model Y and Skoda Enyaq Coupe.

Essentially, it’s the same car underneath as the EX40 – a car that we think is really rather good.

Until April 2024, the EC40 was known as the C40 Recharge - but it's been renamed to be more in keeping with Volvo's other EVs, the EX30 and the EX90.

Where you might view the boxier SUV as being akin to the sensible, grown-up older brother, the EC40 is more like the trendier, edgier younger sibling. Just look at that sloping, coupe-style roofline – it almost makes it look like it’s wearing a turned-around baseball cap.

There are a handful of other new sporty details dotted around the place, too. The EC40 gets some sportier side-skirts and bumpers, and there’s also a small bootlid spoiler round the back.

Up front you get the same closed-off front grille that marks the EX40 out as an electric car, while the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, whose main beams now feature ultra-bright Pixel LED technology, make a classy appearance too.

It’s a very good looking car, this, and that abundant style appeal continues on the inside.

The single-motor version is definitely the one I'd go for, as it has more than enough punch day-to-day. The twin-motor is super fast but not very necessary

All EC40s get a fully vegan interior as standard (say goodbye to leather, folks), while funky blue-coloured carpets and door trims are available to give the car a bit of extra visual pizzaz. There are some swish-looking trim inserts on the dash too, which feature a map-like contour line motif – the design of which is supposedly influenced by Swedish mountains.

Volvo’s latest touchscreen infotainment system is also included. This comes with Google Maps built-in, and supports over-the-air software updates. It’s easy enough to use, and the graphics are clear and responsive. The system also now supports Apple CarPlay, although Android Auto isn’t available as the whole system is Android-based.

The EC40 offers plenty of comfort up front and a decent enough level of adjustability in terms of driving position – though you might find yourself wanting to be able to bring the steering wheel a bit closer into your chest. The sporty-looking seats are heated and electrically adjustable, and do a good job of keeping you comfy and supported over longer trips.

It’s not all rosy in here, though. For starters, the dramatic coupe roofline eats into headroom in the back seats compared with the regular EX40. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but taller passengers will find that the tops of their heads brush the headlining in the back of the EC40. Smaller rear windows means it feels a bit dark in the back, too.

With a more steeply sloped rear window, the view out the back is also extremely restricted. Being a Volvo, however, there are plenty of parking cameras and sensors available to help keep you from accidentally bumping bumpers in a busy car park.

Boot space comes in at 413 litres, which is a tiny bit less than what you get on the EX40. It’s a hatchback opening too, so loading bulkier items is just as easy. However, the Q4 e-tron Sportback and Enyaq Coupe have more room, while all lose to the cavernous Tesla Model Y.

Group Test: Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback vs Tesla Model Y vs Volvo C40 Recharge

An update for 2023 means you get more range than before. There are two versions of the EC40, a single-motor with rear-wheel drive (switched from front-wheel drive previously) and a dual-motor with all-wheel drive. The RWD car makes 238hp and gets a 70kWh battery that allows for 297 miles of range (up 25 miles). The dual-motor has seen its battery increased to 78kWh, helping the motors develop 408hp and upping the range to 342 miles from 278 miles before.

The result of fitting the two motors is blisteringly quick acceleration when you plant your foot – it really does surpass the point of ridiculousness. But it does at least mean overtaking manoeuvres are a breeze, and when you’re cruising about it remains a smooth and quiet car to plod around in.

Overly light steering and fairly soft suspension does mean it’s not all that fun to drive quickly, but it does make it more than comfortable enough for trundling around town – even if its big alloy wheels can make it feel a bit fidgety over lumps and bumps.

And as for charging? Well, plug into a 7kW home wallbox and you’ll replenish the EC40’s battery overnight. Track down a 150kW DC rapid charger, and it’ll be topped up from 10% to 80% in under half an hour in both models.

If you like the sound of this stylish electric SUV, check out the latest Volvo EC40 deals available through carwow. There are also a number of used Volvo C40 Recharge models available through our network of trusted dealers, as well as other used Volvo models that might take your fancy. You can also sell your car through carwow, and we can help completely change your car.

How much is the Volvo EC40?

The Volvo EC40 has a RRP range of £52,555 to £63,105. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,489. Prices start at £51,004 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £598.

Our most popular versions of the Volvo EC40 are:

Model version Carwow price from
175kW Plus 69kWh 5dr Auto £51,004 Compare offers

The electric SUV Coupé segment is growing all the time, with manufacturers keen to impress with different variations of the theme. In the case of the Volvo, it is competitively priced, with the base model undercutting the Audi Q4 e-tron sportback.

The specification levels of each model in the range is generous. For example, Core offers – as standard – powered tailgate, two-zone climate control, wireless charging and cruise control. As you might expect from Volvo, there’s also a plethora of safety features such as City Safety and Oncoming Lane Mitigation.

Moving up to Plus gets drivers: heated seats (front and rear) and steering wheel; a rear parking camera and front parking sensors. Move up one more grade to Ultimate and the C40 adds in a 360° surround view parking camera, a Harman Kardon surround sound system and active bending LED headlights.

Performance and drive comfort

The Volvo EC40 isn't particularly sporty to drive, but it certainly has plenty of power to play with and is comfortable to drive around town

In town

There are two choices when it comes to driving modes in the EC40. You can either opt for the standard setup, or choose one-pedal braking, using the regenerative technology onboard to conserve as much energy in the system as possible.

At first the one-pedal brake setup feels pretty severe and can take some getting used to. It’s quite hard to control when lifting off the accelerator and is a bit sensitive in some situations, but you quickly get used to it. The brakes are quite sensitive, too, so smooth progress can be tricky when you're not in one-pedal mode.

The suspension has been well engineered for town driving. While it doesn't feel quite as smooth as the EC40’s stablemate, the EX40, for an EV, it’s not too firm and deals with any unwanted undulations really well.

Another thing that is town driving-friendly is the steering, which is light, but has enough feel and accuracy when cornering, moving between lanes or swinging around a roundabout.

Front visibility is also another plus point in the EC40. Sitting high up, you get a good view of the road ahead and also out of the sides of the car. The front pillars are fairly large, but that is offset by fairly large door mirrors.

It’s not so good out the back, though. The aforementioned sloping roofline means the glass panel housed within the boot is a bit like a large letterbox. There’s not much to be seen out of there, hence why the door mirrors are so important to at least get an idea of what’s going on behind you.

Turning circles are a big selling point for cars that are designed to spend a lot of time in towns. Therefore the EC40’s 11.4m turning circle is good.

On the motorway

With plenty of power in either model of the EC40, there’s a lot to like when heading onto the motorway. It is very quiet while on the move, the only real noise interference being a bit of wind buffeting around the wing mirrors.

The four-wheel-drive model, with its extra power, would be the pick if you’re spending a lot of time on motorways or A-roads, because the extra grunt from the battery will make overtaking much easier and also adds an extra element of fun to proceedings.

But, in reality, either model would be a good choice and would enable plenty of miles to be covered in comfort and with relative ease. Just bear in mind that higher speeds will impact on the theoretical driving range, so the claimed 342 miles could drop below 300 and you’ll be starting to think about finding a charger sooner rather than later.

On a twisty road

Those customers looking for a Sport mode in the EC40 will be disappointed – because there isn't one. Instead, look in the settings menu within the car’s infotainment system and within the ‘driving’ section and there is simply an option to add weight to the steering.

Although the standard steering is fairly light, adding weight only mimics sportiness and isn't particularly successful. We preferred to stick to the standard settings, which has enough resistance to be fun when you need it to.

The car is steady enough through corners, even if there is a bit of movement, side-to-side. But it does tip the scales at more than two tonnes, so it’s unsurprising that the mass will force the car to move around more than some other lighter options.

It’s not really sporty – or as sharp as a Tesla Model Y, but still competent enough and, in our opinion, much better-looking.

Space and practicality

The EC40 makes good use of the space available with clever storage solutions, but isn’t the biggest on the inside

It’s not the biggest cabin, but there are plenty of places to stow essential items. The door bins are easily wide enough for bottles of different sizes.

There are two more cupholders in the centre of the car and behind them sits a large storage area that is neatly hidden away by the front armrest in the EC40. Within that space there is a standalone rubbish bin that can be easily removed and emptied.

Closer to the dashboard, there’s another space, a 12V charger and a space for wireless smartphone charging. There are also two USB chargers in this area, as well as a plinth that allows you to stand your phone up, if you need to follow it for navigational purposes (without touching it, of course) while on the move.

There is a bit of a disappointment when it comes to the glovebox, which doesn't offer much space at all for…anything. By the time the car’s manual is in place, there isn’t any more useable space, which means that you have to rely on other areas, or just travel light.

The seating position for the driver is good, with plenty of head and leg room. Seats can be easily adjusted, as can the steering wheel – both in all directions. The former is done electrically, while the latter relies on a pull-down handle to release the wheel from its fixed position.

Space in the back seats

As in the front of the EC40, there is plenty of room for the lower half of your body. Passenger legroom can be maximised and you can stretch out if the front driver or passenger seat is slightly raised.

Where things aren’t so good is when it comes to headroom. The sloping boot line of the EC40 kicks in above rear passengers, so that anyone over 6ft might struggle to avoid the roof with their head. Narrow rear windows don't really help the situation, especially with the popular black interior trim, which makes everything seem a bit dark and enclosed. There is a panoramic glass roof, which helps.

The EC40 is based on the petrol-powered XC40, which means there is a transmission tunnel running down the middle of the car. However, being an EV, this space is not required engineering-wise, and seems like a missed opportunity to maximise rear space and make carrying three rear passengers that bit easier. It’s a bit tight and, in reality, almost too tight for three people to sit comfortably back there.

Talking of the middle rear seat, pull down the seat back and you’ll be presented with an armrest, although the cupholders aren’t covered. Moving the armrest down also reveals a path into the boot, although it's fairly narrow, so the number of items that can be moved is limited.

The EC40 does boast easily accessible ISOFIX car seat anchor points with handy flip-up covers, while there are more practicality wins in the shape of nets on the seat backs and more large and lined door bins.

More USB ports can be found and another 12V charger here, while rear heated seats are an option in some grades of the car.

Boot space

Outside the car, pop the bonnet and you’ll find a frunk in place of the internal combustion engine. It’s useable, but – at 31 litres – not the largest and certainly not as vast as the 113 litres available in the Tesla Model Y. However, it’s better than certain members of the Volkswagen group – such as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq, which offer nothing at all! It’s enough to tuck the charging cable away at least.

At the rear, there’s 413 litres of space, which is a bit less than the EX40's 419 litres. But it’s a decent enough size and is easy to access with a flat floor. Lift up the false floor and you’ll find a load more storage – a good option for securing precious items that can be kept out of sight.

It might be a usable space, but there's no getting away from the fact that the EC40's boot is the smallest among its alternatives. The Audi Q4 e-tron has 535 litres to work with, while the Skoda Enyaq Coupe has 570 litres on offer. The Tesla Model Y's massive boot has a total of 971 litres, though, so should be top of your shortlist if boot space is key.

The rear seats can be pushed flat easily and the headrests automatically collapse to save space and ensure the whole rear area is maximised. This is important because the space is reduced due to that sloping roofline. Overall space with the rear seats down is 1,205 litres, which is, again, quite a bit less than the others listed here.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The inside of the EC40 is a great place to be and the infotainment system is nicely presented, although the buttons are a bit fiddly

At first glance, the EC40 is very similar to the EX40, even down to the carpeted door inserts and panelling. There is vegan leather as standard on all models, while the dash boasts some neat/quirky designs, whichever way you look at it.

It is all good quality and feels very well put together. Volvo has worked hard at making its interiors as memorable as its safety record and the EC40 is the latest example of how the manufacturer has made it work.

The infotainment system is relatively easy to use, all run from a portrait screen that looks a bit like a tablet – the electronic one, as opposed to the medicinal one. The majority of the car’s functions are run through the screen, including the climate control, which proves a bit fiddly and would probably benefit from having physical buttons below the screen to improve the user experience.

The driver’s display is large, detailed and clear. There’s the option to view the map across the whole screen, doing away with the traditional dials in the process. This is especially helpful when navigating unfamiliar territory or trying to pinpoint precise locations. Having the map there instead of on the central screen means drivers don’t have to take their eyes off the road for as long.

Having said that, there’s more customisation to be had in the Audi Q4 e-tron, which allows you to choose more from the different screen options.

Electric range, charging and tax

There are two versions of the EC40 – a rear-wheel drive option with a single motor at the rear of the car and a four-wheel-drive model with two motors, one at each end.

A 2023 update saw the motors and batteries tweaked with the result being more range. The single-motor version has a 70kWh battery pack with a range of up to 297 miles according to Volvo. Meanwhile, the dual-motor setup’s 78kWh battery pack results in a beefier range of up to 342 miles.

It's not just capacity that helps the bigger range. Volvo says both models are more efficient than before, now promising up to 3.7mi/kWh for the single-motor model and 3.5mi/kWh for the dual-motor, which is about average for this type of car.

Both models can be charged using a DC charger at up to 150kW, which means the EC40 can be charged to 80% in about 30 minutes. When charging at home using a 7kW unit, allow about 12 hour when replenishing the battery from empty.

Before the 2023 update, the EC40 had a range of 272 miles in the single-motor model and 278 miles in the twin-motor set-up. The big jump in the more powerful model is mainly because the battery capacity was also increased.

Safety and security

The Volvo EC40 was given a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP when tested in 2022. The swooping SUV scored particularly highly in adult occupant protection (92%) and child occupant safety (89%). The same figure was achieved for safety assist, while protection against vulnerable road users was figured at 70%.

Apart from passenger knee airbags (driver only) there’s a full complement of frontal crash protection systems in the Volvo for front passengers. For lateral crash protection there is side head airbag protection all round, while front passengers also get chest and pelvis protection.

While there isn’t an active bonnet, there is autonomous emergency braking that identifies vulnerable road users and car-to-car potential impacts, as well as speed and lane assist technology.

Reliability and problems

Unlike the XC40, which has been the subject of a few recalls in different markets, nothing has come up for the EC40, although it’s a relatively new product, so time will tell if things will remain that way.

Volvos are covered by the typical industry standard three-year/unlimited mileage warranty. In addition, the batteries in the EC40 are protected for eight years/100,000 miles. Any issues here and they will be rectified by a dealer free of charge.

Buy or lease the Volvo EC40 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £52,555 - £63,105 Avg. Carwow saving £2,489 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£51,004
Monthly
£598*
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers
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