There’s much to admire about the Volvo XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid, the latest addition to the Fleet News test fleet.
Its handsome exterior, quality interior, decent spec level and hugely-impressive safety kit make it a compelling choice for user-choosers.
We’re testing the T4 version, in R-Design trim, as it’s expected to be the most popular with business users. It combines a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor with a 10.6kWh battery (for a claimed range of 27 miles) and produces CO2 emissions from 47g/km.
Prices start at £39,130 but our model’s price-tag is just short of £44,500 due to a rather comprehensive optional extras list. It includes Driver Assist, with adaptive cruise control and steering assist (at £1,550), metallic paint, a striking fusion red, (£575), Park Assist, rear camera (£575), Climate, which heats the seats, steering wheel and windscreen (£775) and Versatilty, which gets driver side under seat storage, power folding rear seat headrests and handsfree opening and closing of the tailgate (£475).
The standard list of equipment is impressive too. How about a 12.3-inch active driver’s information display, nine-inch centre console touchscreen with voice-activated control, sat-nav, rear parking sensors, hill-start assist, automatic LED headlights for starters?
I’ll cover driveability and practicality in more detail in future test reports, but passenger and luggage space in the XC40 is generous (neither is affected by the inclusion of a battery, which is cleverly packaged into the car’s chassis) and ride quality is comfortable and refined.
PHEVS are a useful stepping-stone to going fully electric and although I don’t have suitable off-road parking for charging the car, there is a charging station close to home so I can enjoy some emission-free miles. Heading back into the office more regularly soon also means I can charge it there.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to spending the next few months in this classy car, getting to grips with the extensive options on offer.