Coming from diesel cars, I was surprised at how fast the SUV goes; the moment you put your foot down it is ready to take off.
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First Drive Review
Had been planning to write this review on the very first day but got delayed as was trying to spend the maximum possible time with my Love (that’s what my wife now calls it) the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Will try to keep it as precise as possible as a detailed review will follow after spending some more time with it
As we all are aware the booking was done online on 27th July 2022 even before the opening of the official time of 11:00 am hence I was one of the first few customers to have got the delivery early.
Volvo has been pretty uncommunicative regarding the status updates as till the end of November there was practically no response in fact was told that the delivery won’t be happening even in Dec and might stretch to Feb citing some delay in the import of the cars, just one fine day got a call from Volvo Charger Installation Team regarding site survey, the installation team scheduled the appointment and communicated that they are installing chargers for all expecting the car within 15-20 days, I was surprised that neither Volvo nor the dealership had any info on the same upon completion of a survey sent the report to the dealership only post that got the confirmation that my car has been allocated subject to clearance of payment/finance. Within a week all formalities had been completed and the dealer communicated that the vehicle has been dispatched to the dealership.
The delivery was pretty smooth there was some Temp Regn done in Karnataka and the vehicle was sent to the local dealership I completed all RTO formalities which took about 7-8 days and finally got the vehicle on 18th December, the process was smooth with a warm welcome and the car wrapped in a cloth decorated with ribbons and balloons. Once the paperwork was completed we began the process of welcoming it into our lives. At the time of delivery, the battery was showing as 86%, the dealer advised to keep it between 20-90% for optimum performance and set the max charge at 90% which of course can be set as per personal preference and travel route.
Coming in from diesel cars it was a surprise how fast this goes, the moment you put your foot down it is ready to take off and accelerates within no time, at times had to actually be watchful of the speed limits. The car is super silent and since it doesn’t have any start/stop button you don’t even realize that it is ready to go the moment you on the seat shift to D mode and it takes off. The moment you sit in the driver’s seat the air conditioner starts at the previous setting even if the setting for the same is on the ICE. The one-pedal drive has a single mode of regeneration and the car comes to a standstill within a few meters as the braking system is quite powerful.
Although there is a lot more to explore the entire functionality is based on the centre screen with all options right from the back seat headrest down, one pedal driving, display settings, and light settings everything is in it like an android tablet, at times you have to actually struggle to find a setting since it is hidden in sub-menus. The driver information display behind the steering has limited options like maps, current speed, and battery %, if you further go on the steering controls you may find the trip details which are not shown by default.
The ICE is a touchscreen having all functionalities of an Android Tablet including the play store where you can download apps, connect your phone with Volvo ID and get all details on the phone right from the location the current status of the car and other details, I happened to download Spotify which works brilliantly but can’t store any data or songs, connectivity for Apple Car Play and Android Auto is seamless you have type C ports below the ICE for connectivity and charging along with a wireless charger.
I got the car at 86% battery with the reading of 21 Kms on the ODO although the initial days went in exploring the car features hence the battery range would be certainly lower after driving for 130 odd Kms the batter still showed 43% giving about 3 Kms for every percentage of charge. I certainly expect it to perform better under normal driving conditions since during this period it was more about exploring the ICE menu wherein the Air Conditioner and Music would be running. The charging takes about an hour to charge 17% on the 11KW charger so a 0-100 can be expected in around 6 hours haven’t tried charging with the portable charger yet.
The front-row seats are very comfortable with automated seat adjustments for drivers with memory options a centre armrest, a small dustbin and ample storage for day-to-day needs. The rear seats tend to have low space making it ideal for 4 passengers as the comfort has been compromised due to the battery pack, but for 4 passengers you get ample place and the ride was quite comfortable for the passengers as well, you have a panoramic sunroof which brightens the atmosphere at night especially and with the current cool weather it is pleasure to drive, the sunroof happens to let some light pass through during day time.
The vehicle wheels are of different sizes in front and back and the spare wheel eats into the boot space. Even basic controls are from the Centre Console like Air Conditioner adjustments, which are difficult to operate while driving. The moment you get off the driver’s seat all music systems, air conditioners and other accessories shut down with no option or setting in case you wish to leave the car with rear passengers seated.
Well, I am still exploring the car and would be back with a more detailed review once I spend some more time with it.
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