That the Volvo XC40 Recharge made a lasting impression would be an understatement. When launched in 2022, it wasn’t just one of the very few luxury EVs to be present in the Indian market, it was also quite well-equipped —not just with features but power and range, too, enough to lure buyers to take electric propulsion seriously.

Now, to widen the premium compact crossover SUV’s appeal, Volvo has introduced a new version of the XC40 Recharge —suffixed ‘E60’ —with fewer features, less power, and as a result, a lower price tag.

So, what is new?

We take the latest from the Swedish carmaker to see if it still carries the same appeal as it did back whennew, despite losingthe aforementioned.

Well, to start with, the XC40 Recharge, in the E60 form, is rear-wheel drive only. The battery is smaller at 69 kWh andcomes witha claimed (WLTP) range of 475 km on a full charge. Unlike the fully loaded version of the XC40 Recharge — one suffixed ‘E80’ — the E60 loses out on not just the front motor but also the 13-speaker Harmon Kardon system, the 360-degree camera, fog lamps and even the Pixel LED headlights.What it retains isthe hugely likeable shape and interior, adding to the fact thatit’s madeby a carmaker known for safety and innovation. We can confirm that it drives as beautifully as it did before; more on that below.

With the front electric motor gone and thus with reduced components, the XC40 Recharge E60 is nowlighter,but still weighs under 2 tonnes. The all-electric setup makes 238 bhp and 42.8 kg-m, enabling the car to hit 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. Far from the quickest, but that’s not bad, either.It doesn’t exhibit sudden bursts of power but instead delivers all of its electric impetusin a smooth, linear manner.

Volvo has also ensured that the omission of the front motor (and effective loss of AWD) doesn’t make the XC40 Recharge E60 tricky to drive. The onboard electronics keep things tidy and while not encouraging hooliganism, the mechanical updates add more character to the way it drives.

The ride and handling balance is pretty much on-point — such that you’ll be able to enjoy driving thecarwithout the passengersbeing thrown arounddue to the lack of suppleness from the suspension.

One can alsochoose tomake the steering a touch firmer, offering an added level of driver interaction.

And when it runs out of charge, the E60 can still be comfortably fast charged from 10 to 80 per cent in just about 34minutes,on a 150 kW DC charger. On the other hand, for those who’drathercharge it at home, the included 11 kW wall box will get the E60’s SoC to 100 per cent in about 8 hours. Not bad!

Signature layout: The Volvo XC40 Recharge E60’s cabin looks the same as before, although some features are missing 

Signature layout: The Volvo XC40 Recharge E60’s cabin looks the same as before, although some features are missing  | Photo Credit: Shubham Khade

Carried over aesthetics

Refreshed not too long ago, the XC40 is a good-looking machine and the same is true for the Recharge.There’s nothing radical happening as far as the design goes, but there’s nothing wrong with that.Bar the absence of a grille at the front and the inclusion of ‘Recharge’ badges, the XC40 Recharge isn’t too different from the conventionally powered sibling.

Similarly, there’s not a whole lot that’s changedon theinside. The loss of features aside, the E60 is nearly identical to the E80. Volvo was one of the earliest adopters of the vertical screen layoutandwhile it might take time to get used to, it neatly brings together access to all of the infotainment features. The Google-based system makes integration with Google appspretty seamless, while Apple customers won’t feel left out, thanks to the presence of the CarPlay connectivity suite. Unfortunately, the latter is wired only, which sounds like amajordowner, considering even entry-level carsare equippedwith the wireless version these days.

That minor inconvenience aside, we’re happy to report that the front seats are well-cushioned and offer good support.The rear seats,on the other hand, might seem a bit too upright, but there’sfairlydecent space at the back, although taller passengers might find the roof lowandthe middle-seat occupant won’t be too happy with the intrusive transmission tunnel.

Toround it up, the Volvo XC40 Recharge E60 doesn’t feel like awholelot different from its better-equipped sibling.It is confident on themoveand in the absence of excess weight,it provesto be nimbler, too.

Its ride quality improves as speeds increase, whereas it’s powerful enough for everyday motoring. There are other neat toucheslikehowinthe automatic regeneration mode, using ADAS sensors, the level of brake energy regeneration is varied, hence making one-pedal driving even more feasible. You press the accelerator when you want to build some speed and you let go of it, as you want the car to slow down; all this without touching the brake pedal.

Sleek exterior

Sleek exterior

Value proposition

What’s a tiny bit disappointing is that the whole exercise of getting rid of features in the E60 hasn’t yielded huge savings.

Okay, inisolationnearly ₹3 lakh doesn’t sound like a small amount, but when you’re already spending well over ₹50 lakh to buy a car (or ₹54.95 lakh, ex-showroom, to be precise), losing out on crucial features and performance doesn’t sound as tempting.

As a packagethough, the XC40 Recharge E60 doesn’t disappoint. It might be more expensive than its rivalslikethe Hyundai IONIQ 5 and BYD Seal, but it has a fair bit going in its favour.

© Motoring World