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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2023 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Electric
 overall score
Category Ranking: 2

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $53,990
Price as Tested: $59,630

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity
120V Charge Time: 3.4 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 26 miles per hour
DC Fast Charger: 0% to 80% in 40 minutes
EPA City MPGe85
EPA Highway MPGe72
EPA Combined MPGe79
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 208

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The XC40 Recharge, Volvo’s first EV, is an electrified version of the small XC40 luxury crossover, which debuted in 2019. It’s a good-looking vehicle, unmistakably a Volvo but not at all stodgy. It’s available in just one trim level but with several option packages. The Recharge’s powertrain consists of 2 electric motors (402 hp total, 486 lb-ft of torque), a single-speed transmission, and a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery, good for an EPA-estimated range of 208 miles - not bad, but less than some of its competitors. Adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, all-wheel drive, and 1-pedal driving (via regenerative braking) are standard. For a small SUV, there’s plenty of storage space and decent cargo capacity. The XC40 Recharge is fun to drive. It accelerates quickly and smoothly - Volvo claims a 0-to-60 time under 5 seconds—with plenty of power, decent handling, and a good overall ride quality. But its minimalist interior isn’t to everyone’s taste, and some materials feel less than premium. Recharging rates are on the slow side, and the wide rear pillar creates a blind spot.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Smooth, quickacceleration
  • Good-looking exteriorstyling
  • Excellent storage spaceand cargo capacity

Weak Points

  • Slow charging rates
  • Sparse, minimalistinterior with some cheaplookingmaterials
  • Large rear support postcreates a blind spot

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4820.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 174.2 / 73.7 / 65.0
Wheelbase (in): 106.4
Number of air bags: 8
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli Scorpion
Front and rear tire size: 235/45 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 2000
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 1-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: Dual perm-magnet synchronic
Electric motor horsepower: 402

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 6.93
Quality and Drivability: