Fleet World Fleet: Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine R-Design Pro
Martyn Collins puts the XC40 PHEV through day-to-day family life.
P11d (BiK): £42,230 (12%) MPG/CO2 (WLTP): 128.4mpg/49g/km Test MPG: 37mpg
For me, this XC40 marks my first experience of living with a plug-in hybrid car long-term and although I don’t currently have a proper home charging point, the XC40 has proved easy to charge, via the three-pin plug in my garage.
I’m roughly getting 20 miles electric range to each charge (not bad compared to the official 24), which is proving useful during the car’s mostly urban workout. The biggest downside is it takes up to six hours for a full charge; fast-charging cuts this to 2.5 hours.
Charging aside, the XC40 still looks like a conventional Volvo but perhaps more youthful and striking – especially in the optional (£850) Bursting Blue Metallic paint I chose.
Inside, the XC40 doesn’t feel much smaller than the XC60. In fact, rear legroom and headroom is excellent. The battery is stored under the floor of the cabin, ensuring the 452-litre boot on conventional models is retained. I love the premium feel, although the quality isn’t as good as I expected.
On the road, my ‘new normal’ certainly drives differently. Starting in electric, the 258hp T5 is refined, although doesn’t feel that quick. There are three modes, but I’ve spent most off my time in ‘Hybrid’, which means mostly electric power, either until it runs out or you’re at motorway speeds, when the 180hp, three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo engine almost seamlessly cuts in. It is not all good news though, as in drive mode, I find the brakes snatchy and hard to modulate. In fact, I prefer the brake feel in regenerative ‘B’ mode, although the amount of regen can’t be adjusted, which is a shame.
Brake issues aside, I’m really enjoying living with this XC40; I’m certainly looking forward to learning more about how to get the best out of its PHEV drivetrain.