Volvo EX40 Review & Prices

The Volvo EX40 is an all-electric version of the popular Swedish SUV, promising up to 334 miles of range, but it's not the most exciting car to drive

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RRP £45,955 - £61,855 Avg. Carwow saving £2,166 off RRP
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£44,602
Monthly
£547*
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wowscore
8/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Much faster than you'd expect
  • Decent battery range
  • Roomy and comfortable

What's not so good

  • Touchscreen could be easier to use
  • Not cheap to buy
  • Doesn't handle as well as it goes

Find out more about the Volvo EX40

Is the Volvo EX40 a good car?

The Volvo EX40 is a fully electric SUV that's a stylish alternative to the likes of the Tesla Model YAudi Q4 e-tron and Mercedes EQA.

It's actually the same car as the old Volvo XC40 Recharge, but it's been renamed for 2024 to bring it more in line with Volvo's newer EVs.

While most of its competitors are separate models in their own right, the EX40 is like a high-tech barn conversion: externally it’s the same XC40 that’s been around for a few years with petrol engines, but it’s been gutted under the skin and fitted with all sorts of electric wizardry.

Visually, then, this isn’t an EV that shouts about its battery power, and it looks very similar to the petrol and diesel XC40. Its front grille is closed off with some body-coloured plastic and there’s a little less chrome, but that’s about as much as you’ll spot if you had them side-by-side.

It’s a similar story inside the electric Volvo EX40, but changes are a little more drastic than they first appear. The overall posh, typically Swedish minimalist approach is here but the door linings and carpets are made 97% from recycled plastic bottles to add to the EX40's green credentials. It looks fine, but the simple design is starting to feel dated.

The infotainment system is Android-based, and has Google Assistant and Maps features built-in. It also supports Apple CarPlay and all trims now come standard with wireless phone charging too. It responds well to inputs, but some menus are still a little fiddly to use on the move.

The Volvo EX40 is smooth and relaxing to drive, but the interior is starting to show its age now

Generally speaking, the battery-powered Volvo EX40 is just as good at lugging your family around as the version that's powered by flammable liquid. Boot space does take a tiny bit of a hit due to the placing of the batteries, but in terms of passenger space it’s no less roomy.

Speaking of the battery, you get a 69kWh unit if you opt for the single electric motor version, or an 82kWh one if you go for the top dual-motor Recharge Twin. This model has the same setup as you would find in the Volvo spin-off Polestar 2, and with a total output of 408hp, it’s easily the fastest EX40 on sale.

Both versions are certainly rapid – the Recharge Twin has the same 0-62mph time as a Volkswagen Golf R. However, this is no sports car – the handling is tidy enough, and there’s decent grip, but it’s not the sort of car in which you’ll be seeking out twisting back roads.

If that doesn't put you off owning one, then you can check out our Volvo EX40 deals page to find out how much you could save when buying through Carwow, and you can also get deals on used XC40 Recharge models. Don't forget to have a look at our used Volvo cars page, while you can sell your car through Carwow to get you the best price with the help of our trusted dealers.

How much is the Volvo EX40?

The Volvo EX40 has a RRP range of £45,955 to £61,855. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,166. Prices start at £44,602 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £547.

Our most popular versions of the Volvo EX40 are:

Model version Carwow price from
175kW Single Motor Core 69kWh 5dr Auto £44,602 Compare offers

The Volvo EX40 comes in well below the BMW iX3 and Jaguar I-Pace in base trim, although it is a slightly smaller car. When equipped with a single electric motor and smaller 69kWh battery it’s a closer match to the Audi Q4 e-tron, costing slightly more, but offering quicker acceleration and a greater range in base trim.

The Mercedes EQA also can’t match the entry-level EX40 in the performance stakes, but it does offer a slightly longer range, albeit at a higher starting price. That all makes a standard EX40 in Core trim relatively good value. Step up to the potent EX40 Twin and you get a lot more performance, but the pricing gets uncomfortably close to larger electric SUVs with similar capabilities.

Performance and drive comfort

The Volvo EX40 is smooth and relaxing to drive, but it wobbles about a lot over bumps

In town

A relatively compact SUV with electric power is always a good recipe for the demands of town driving. The high seating position aids visibility, and the instant-on nature of the electric motor lets you zip in and out of gaps without a fuss, though single-motor models in particular feel a bit lethargic unless you really put your foot down, which can catch you out if you're used to zippier EVs.

Broken road surfaces that wouldn’t faze a Jaguar I-Pace can make the EX40 jiggle about, made slightly more pronounced by the larger 20-inch wheels fitted to the top two trims. You get plenty of driver aids to help you navigate the urban jungle, with emergency brake assist, rear park assist and road sign information data all fitted as standard.

On the motorway

The EX40 is at its best when cruising along on the motorway. Its hushed cabin allows the bare minimum of road and wind noise in, and the torquey electric motor makes short work of overtaking manoeuvres. Although like all EVs, long stints at motorway speeds will drain the battery more quickly than stop-start driving at town speeds.

Above 40mph, driver alert control with lane keeping mitigation will alert you if you inadvertently wander out of your lane. Oncoming lane mitigation (active between 37 and 87mph) adds to this feature by actively steering you back into your lane if it detects that a collision with oncoming vehicles is imminent.

On a twisty road

The EX40’s heavy battery pack counts against it down a twisty country lane. Even though the majority of that weight is below the floorboards, this is not a vehicle that enjoys being hurried around corners. And if you find yourself on a country road with lots of bumps and undulations, the EX40 will wobble about a lot – on particularly bad stretches your head will be tossed to-and-fro like you're on a ship in a storm.

Even though grip levels are good, there is a fair amount of body lean. A BMW iX3 or Jaguar I-Pace both offer a sportier driving experience if that’s what you’re after.

Space and practicality

The EX40 will happily take four tall adults and there’s plenty of storage space for their effects. The boot is smaller than in most alternatives, though

The EX40 has a tall roofline which gives it a feeling of spaciousness. It also doesn’t compromise on interior room compared to its petrol-powered siblings. Both front seats offer four-way lumbar support, manual cushion extensions and height adjustability. Finding a comfortable seating position shouldn’t be a problem here, and Volvo has ensured that there’s plenty of storage solutions for your odds and ends, too.

The centre console offers two cupholders and a useful shelf below the audio controls for your phone. Wireless charging comes standard on all trims.

The front door pockets are deep enough to take a large handbag and a big water bottle at the same time. The front centre armrest opens up to reveal another usefully sized storage area, while the glovebox is a great place to hide smaller items out of sight.

Space in the back seats

The rear is suitably spacious, with the two outermost seats offering plenty of leg and headroom for just about any size or shape. The centre seat is also more accommodating than in some alternatives, although there is still a hump in the floor that impinges on the legroom.

You can fit three adults abreast as the EX40 is quite wide. When only travelling with two rear passengers, the centre seat backrest can be lowered to reveal a pair of cupholders.

There are two easily locatable ISOFIX mounting points and storage space is taken care of by a pair of large door bins and front seatback pockets.

Boot space

With 461 litres of boot space, the Volvo EX40 has just about enough space for a family of four’s luggage needs. It’s easy to load thanks to a wide and square layout, and there’s no load lip to worry about. The charging cables won’t get in the way either, as there’s a 31-litre storage space under the bonnet where you can store them. A ski-hatch allows you to transport long items without having to lower the rear seats.

Some electric SUV alternatives are even more spacious, though, with the Audi Q4 e-tron offering 520 litres of boot space, and the BMW iX3 managing 510 litres. The Mercedes EQA, however, has just 340 litres.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The EX40 has the same stylish, minimalist interior as other XC40 models, but the design is showing its age and alternatives have even slicker infotainment setups 

The Volvo EX40 is very well-equipped, even from the basic Core trim, with comfortable textile-covered seats and the same 9.0-inch infotainment unit and 12.0-inch driver display you get in higher trims. Build quality is superb, with plenty of plush looking and feeling materials used throughout the cabin.

The standard charcoal-coloured trim inserts and headlining combine with the dark fabric of the seats to create a rather sombre interior atmosphere. The optional lighter wool blend seat trim makes a big difference, as does the panoramic sunroof fitted as standard to the Ultimate trim.

Even so, the interior design is starting to look a bit dated compared with flashier alternatives. However, a cool illuminated strip of trim across the doors and dashboards adds some welcome character at night.

The 9.0-inch infotainment screen comes standard with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. The system responds quickly, but it can be difficult to operate on the move – something you’ll be doing often as just about every major and minor function is controlled through the infotainment screen. The system in a Mercedes EQA in particular is slicker and more intuitive to use.

There is standard wireless charging across the range, with USB ports offered front and rear to charge additional electronic devices. Google Maps and Volvo Car Apps are both included with every new Volvo EX40 for four years. The standard eight-speaker audio system sounds great and can be controlled via steering wheel satellite controls as well as the touchscreen. Music fans may also want to experience the Harman Kardon sound system available on the Ultimate trim.

Electric range, charging and tax

The Volvo EX40 is available either with a 238hp single-motor or a 408hp twin-motor powertrain.

The 238hp version is rear-wheel drive and has a 69kWh battery pack that promises up to 295 miles between charges. It feels very responsive and its 7.3-second 0-62mph time is quicker than both the lower spec Audi Q4 e-tron offerings, and the Mercedes EQA.

The 408hp EX40 has an electric motor at each axle meaning it’s four-wheel-drive, and its extra power allows it to launch to 62mph in a very rapid 4.8 seconds. Only the pricier Tesla Model Y and Jaguar I-Pace can match or beat that figure. The battery in this model is also a larger 82kWh unit, giving it up to 332 miles of range. You won’t want for more power, although alternatives like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y both have a 350-mile-plus range capability.

Charging using a 150kW fast charger can have you from 10-80% in 30 minutes. A more likely scenario will be where you use a 7kW home wallbox, this will get you from completely empty to 100% in 11 hours.  As it is an EV, you will not have to pay road tax or congestion zone charges. The company car Benefit In Kind (BIK) rate is also a very low 2%.

Safety and security

Volvo is known for building some of the safest vehicles on the road, the EX40 reinforces this with its full five-star Euro NCAP rating. The 97% adult occupant rating is exceptional, and it scored an above average 87% for child occupant safety as well.

Aside from the impressive crash protection, there are plenty of standard active and passive safety systems. All trims come with a full complement of airbags including driver knee and side inflatable curtains.

Automatic emergency braking, cruise control, driver alert with lane keeping aid, oncoming lane mitigation and rear park assist are also standard. The top Ultimate trim also gets Pilot Assist which incorporates adaptive cruise control with distance alert and queue assist – taking the stress out of motorway driving.

Reliability and problems

The petrol and diesel-powered XC40 models have scored very well in reliability surveys. The electric EX40 should at very least be similarly reliable thanks to a less complex drivetrain and proven underpinnings.

The EX40 has a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, extendable by up to a year and an additional 20,000-miles. There has been one recall so far for the EX40 back when it was named the XC40 Recharge, it was for potentially damaged connections on the accelerator pedal.

Buy or lease the Volvo EX40 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 £45,955 - £61,855 Avg. Carwow saving £2,166 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£44,602
Monthly
£547*
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers
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