• Volvo’s first EV, and first CKD assembled EV in Malaysia
  • Stellar power, range and efficiency
  • Doesn’t drive as good as ‘ICE’ XC40

Bean counters, woke politicians and techno-soothsayers such as Elon Musk will all have you believe that your next car will be an EV.

But, in the interest of saving the planet and breathing clean air in car-less superblocks filled with utopian coffee houses – does anyone care if EVs even put a smile on our faces?


Is it even a criterion? Despite its imperfections, the XC40 Recharge P8 does manage to make you smile every once in a while, but does that warrant its price tag or are you better off with its close competitor, the Mercedes-Benz EQA?



The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 is locally-assembled (CKD) in the Shah Alam plant, making it the first CKD EV in Malaysia.

Overview: 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 EV
Price RM 262,460
Segment Compact executive
Powertrain Dual-motor AWD
Battery capacity 78.0 kWh
Power 408 PS
Torque 660 Nm
0-100 Km/h 4.8 seconds (as tested)
Origin CKD, Shah Alam

Propelled by two motors, one on each axle, the all-wheel drive XC40 P8 delivers an output of 408 PS and total torque of 660 Nm.

The 0-100 km/h sprint time is despatched in 4.9 seconds while top speed is capped at 180 km/h as with all new Volvos.


Powering the motors is a 78.0 kWh lithium-ion battery, providing a total claimed range of 418 km (WLTP cycle).

The XC40 via a CCS (Combine Charging System) Combo 2 connector. Charge times are as follows:

  • 11 kW AC charging: 0-100% in ~ 8 hours.
  • 150 kW DC fast charging: 0-80% in ~40 minutes.


As with all Volvo models offered in Malaysia, the Volvo XC40 P8 has the full IntelliSafe ADAS suite which features AEB, LKA, CTA, BLIS, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and Run-off Road Mitigation. There’s also Pilot Assist, a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving feature.


The XC40 Recharge P8 is offered with a 5-year free service and unlimited mileage warranty, as well as an 8-year battery warranty.

In terms of rivals, the closest competitors to the XC40 P8 are the CBU (RM 280k) and snazzy CBU (RM 200k – 260k)


The XC40 Recharge P8 is more or less visually identical to the XC40 internal combustion T5 and T5 PHEV models.


Unique to the XC40 P8 are the covered front grille and subtle emblem on the rear tailgate.

Along the flanks, the P8 features 19-inch dual-tone wheels wrapped in staggered tyre sizes, with 235/50 R19 rubbers at the front and 255/45 R19 at the rear.


The XC40 gets wider tyres at the rear for better traction as the rear motor does more of the work, most of the time.

Though visually familiar, the XC40's chiselled and elegant lines continue to look modern and stylish even after a few years.


Though it's a compact premium SUV in designation, its stature and width suggest it is a sizeably larger car than the GLA/EQA or .


Moving to the inside, one is treated to a pleasantly accommodating cabin space.


While it could use a peppering of colour to make things more interesting, overall space is great for 4 passengers and there's a general sense of airiness owing to a good view of the outside.

The seats themselves are supportive and cossetting making the XC40 a great place to be in even on longer drives.


The XC40 P8 crucially receives a new 9-inch Android Automotive OS infotainment (also found on the facelifted 2022 Volvo XC60), and a digital instrument cluster with revised graphics.


Whilst I appreciate the elegant instrument cluster, the Android OS is clunky, isn't as easy to use, and feels less premium compared to the preceding Sensus Connect system.


(Right) The Sensus Connect was more colourful, user-friendly and premium looking

The Sensus Connect grouped vehicle functions on 3 superbly designed pages which you swiped left or right to access. By comparison, the Android OS looks like an entry-level smartphone, with clumped-up apps and a rather dreary presentation.

Another niggling issue is the side view mirrors during reversing.


Once reverse is selected, both the side view mirrors pan downwards to the ground – of course, this feature is appreciated, but only if it's selectable or turns down on only one side by default.

After all, most often, all you want to see is directly behind you, which can prove frustrating after a while.

In terms of refinement, the XC40 P8 is quiet as expected from an EV.


The XC40 manages to average a few decibels lower than the EQA, but like the EQA, at higher speeds, tyre noise seems to be the only noise that permeates the cabin.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 – noise and refinement test
Mercedes-Benz EQA Volvo XC40 P8
60 km/h 58 dB 58 dB
90 km/h 63 dB 62 dB
110 km/h 68 dB 66 dB

Driving experience

Let's just put it this way, push down on the XC40's accelerator and it'll never fail to put a smile on your face. Nothing quite prepares you for the burst of power under your right foot.


Bottom 3 figures – the XC40 consistently bested its claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds.

No EV, or for that matter conventionally powered car at its price range, despatches the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 4.8 seconds (even faster in testing than claimed).

The XC40 P8 will out-accelerate a base model , whilst offering more driving range and powertrain efficiency than its immediate competitors – the EQA and Ioniq 5.

And for the most part, driving takes very little practice given the powertrain is superbly modulated when moving between power, recuperation, and coasting phases while on the road. Power delivery is stellar at virtually any speed too.


Additionally, it's superb on the brakes and stops with poise considering it weighs as much as a pickup truck.

With that said, it's not perfect. Where the XC40 falls short is handling, and this speaks to a larger drawback of the XC40 – that it feels a tad unfinished.


For perspective – the XC40 P8 weighs 275 kgs more than the T5 PHEV (1,875 kg) and nearly 446 kgs more than the T5 (1,704 kg).

Thus where the T5 is poised and agile, and the T5 PHEV, competent – the P8 feels clumsy and underdamped.


Despite the sublime assistance systems and traction, there's simply no hiding half a tonne of additional mass once you dive into a corner.

Now you might think, that all that weight is centred and very low so it should feel stable, right?


On the contrary, it's roly-poly, the upper body constantly reacts to the weight further down, such that the body's motions are never quite in sync with the underpinnings of the car.

Thus, it's fine when on straights but once on a twisty set of corners, the car's movement may feel nauseating for some.


Perhaps, we're being too harsh on the XC40 P8, but it does not feel as well-sorted behind the wheel, as the T5 and T5 PHEV, which is, unfortunately, the minimum benchmark.

The P8 should at least ride and steer on par, or better than its ICE siblings.

Charging and Efficiency


The Volvo XC40 P8 features a CCS Combo 2 charging port located on the rear quarter panel on the passenger side, the same as the fuel filler cap on an XC40 T5/T5 PHEV.

Most charging stations here are utilising CCS 2 as well, so there’s no need for additional adapters, although the test unit was also equipped with a 220W 3-pin charging cable.


Following an exacting 100 km journey with mixed driving conditions, the trip computer indicated an average of 22.7 kWh/100 km


However, a quick recharge revealed an actual efficiency of 25.0 kWh/100 km, conducted in the same manner as our fuel tests.

For comparison, the Mercedes-Benz EQA returned a real-world efficiency of 22.2 kWh/100 km. This further underlines the efficiency of the XC40's EV powertrain, which offers more than double the power of the EQA.


If we were to calculate the real-world range based on the test, the XC40 have a real-world range of approximately 310 km on a full charge from its 78.0-kWh of usable battery capacity.


The best compliment we can give the XC40 P8 is it allows for very easy migration from a conventionally powered car to an EV, especially for a first-time EV owner.


Add to that, owners will be doing this within the environment of a well-designed and practical SUV.

However, the overall ride quality is much better on the T5 and T5 PHEV variants.

Additionally, if you read our review on the EQA, we surmised that whilst it is less powerful, it comes together as a cohesive package, that makes it very likeable.

Malaysia to get the new Volvo XC40 facelift in 2023; Differences vs 2022 model here


But for what it lacks in cohesiveness, it makes up with a brutally fast and efficient powertrain which never fails to put a smile on your face.

And EVs don't do that very often, which does count for something as well.


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