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2024 Volvo C40, XC40 Recharge get a range boost, RWD variant [First Drive]

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Hopping into the driver’s seat of the 2024 Volvo C40 Recharge, I had to do a bit of a double take when looking at the range because it was nearing 300 miles at 100% of a charge. Was this the same vehicle that had just 220 miles of range the last time I drove it? Yes, and no.

For 2024, both the C40 and XC40 Recharge get a range boost and a rear-wheel drive variant with an all-new Volvo-engineered rear motor. The end result: range relief.

If you aren’t familiar with Volvo, the Recharge badging is applied to the automaker’s electrified vehicles. Therefore, the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge are all-electric vehicles. While the XC40 also has a gasoline option, the C40 is electric only. Previously both the C40 and XC40 were all-wheel-drive, dual motor only vehicles. So, the single motor with rear-wheel drive may provide less power, but the expanded range is well worth it.

2024 Volvo C40

2024 Volvo C40 interior. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

The 2024 Volvo C40 Recharge

The first vehicle I drove during a preview in Gothenburg, Sweden, was the RWD C40, and even though it had 154 horsepower less than the dual-motor, all-wheel drive model, it still felt pretty damn peppy. Some of that is probably due to 200 pounds of less weight, but a lot of that is due to the sporty nature of a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

Traditionally, Volvos in the U.S. have been either AWD or front-wheel-drive, and this marks the first time in 25 years that Volvo is offering a RWD product.

While someone from the Midwest or snowy climes might turn their noses up at a RWD product, according to Volvo, the new RWD 2024 C40 and XC40 single-motor models are more stable and grippy than the FWD models because the weight of the battery and motor is more evenly distributed throughout the vehicle.

Though we didn’t have any snow, sleet or slippery surfaces in Sweden to test, I will say the 2024 Volvo C40 single-motor, extended-range model felt surprisingly light on its feet. I liked the 2023 C40 with its 402 horsepower, but somehow, this model with just 248 horsepower feels just as nice. It was planted on curvy roads and stable on fast straights. Plus, it had all the power I wanted with 310 pound-feet of instantaneous torque.

Volvo XC40

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge with the all-wheel-drive, dual-motor setup. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

The 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge

The 2024 XC40 also gets a RWD option, but during our preview, we swapped into the updated all-wheel drive model. While this doesn’t get any power increase, it gets a major range increase – as does the AWD C40. You’re looking at a 21-mile and 31-mile range increase, respectively, from the XC40 and C40, which puts both vehicles solidly in the 250-mile arena.

While it’s hard to compare the 2023 and 2024 models without driving them back-to-back, I will say the AWD XC40 felt heftier than the RWD C40. But that’s where the extra horsepower swoops in to save the day.

What’s new for 2024

As we’ve alluded to above, the biggest change in the 2024 Volvo C40 and XC40 is going to be the rear-wheel variant – but along with that comes an in-house Volvo-developed rear motor. This specifically is what accounts for the range gains in the RWD and AWD models.

Other than the powertrain changes, not much else is new for 2024.

The interior, right down to the topographical map on the dash, is remarkably similar to the current model. The one big change to the exterior: two new colors. We were able to see the Vapour Grey Metallic in real life, but we’ll have to wait until later to see the new Cloud Blue.

The specs

Since the 2024 Volvo C40 and XC40 get a range boost, we figured it might be worthwhile to show all the key specs for this model year:

2024 C40 RWD 2024 C40 AWD2024 XC40 RWD2024 XC40 AWD
Total Horsepower 248402248402
Torque (lb-ft)310494310494
Battery82 kWh78 kWh82 kWh75 kWh
Range297 miles257 miles293 miles254 miles
DC Charge Rate200 kW150 kW200 kW150 kW
DC Charge Time28 min34 min28 min34 min
0-60 MPH6.9 sec4.5 sec6.9 sec4.6 sec


Though no pricing has been announced, Volvo execs did confirm, as you would expect, the RWD models will cost less than the AWD models. For reference, the current C40 starts at $56,395 and the XC40 starts at $54,645.

2024 Volvo C40

2024 Volvo C40 Recharge with the single-motor, rear-wheel drive setup. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

The bottom line

Though my time with the 2024 Volvo C40 and XC40 was brief, it was long enough to learn that Volvo solved one of the biggest problems with these all electric vehicles: Range. The ride and handling is competing, quiet and comfortable – just as it was before. But now, I’d feel confident taking this on a road trip to my parents’ house 200 miles away without worrying that’ I’d brick the vehicle somewhere alongside a cornfield.

Can’t wait to see these vehicles stateside for a longer (literally) test.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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