Video interview: Philippe chose a Volvo C40 as his first electric car

Video interview: Philippe chose a Volvo C40 as his first electric car

Before becoming an electromobilista, Philippe drove an Audi A4 van. The summer holidays of 2022 were an opportunity for him to try long highway trips in an electric car. This test allowed him to form an opinion on the Volvo C40 in a finish that makes him eligible for the maximum bonus.

Volvo C40 in Start finish

The C40 is the coupé version of the Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV. The machine is available in 3 Start, Plus and Ultimate trim levels starting respectively in October 2022 on the manufacturer’s site at 44,950, 50,850 and 55,400 euros, not including bonuses.

Philippe, whom Maxime Fontanier met through a user testimonial, chose the entry level which he already finds well equipped with the fixed panoramic roof that his daughter likes, as well as the reversing camera that is a must for him.

Wanting a more compact model than his previous getaway, our questioner tested 4 cars before settling on the C40 which has a footprint of 4.44 x 1.87m, by 1.59m tall. Ordered in March 2022 for delivery scheduled for the following August, his SUV was delivered to him in advance, on July 11 precisely. This time change allowed him to go on vacation with his new car.

Powertrain

With the Start trim, the Volvo C40 is powered at the front wheels by a permanent magnet synchronous motor that develops a maximum power of 170 kW (231 hp) for a torque of 330 Nm and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. .4 seconds. . For comparison, the all-wheel drive versions draw 300 kW (408 hp) from their 2 motors.

According to the manufacturer, the lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 69 kWh translates on paper into a WLTP combined cycle consumption of 18.1 kWh/100 km for a range of 437 km. In urban areas, the theoretical autonomy increases to 610 km and consumption drops to 13 kWh/100 km.

For charging at home or at public AC outlets, the SUV coupé features an 11 kW charger. In the ultra-fast stations, the power can reach a maximum of 150 kW thanks to the Combo CCS connector located under the hatch located at the rear left of the vehicle. The Volvo C40 is approved to tow a trailer of up to 1,500 kg. Its empty weight is 2,045 kg.

The heat pump as a bonus

If Philippe chose the C40 version instead of the more common XC40, it is because he ” find her much prettier “. But also because it does not exist with a gasoline or diesel engine, the coupé allows it ” display in electric car “. He further finds better » the design of the stern.

As we can see in the video, our reader has kept the black color assigned as standard as well as the 19-inch alloy wheels and 5 double spokes in black/diamond, mounted in 235/50 at the front and 255/45 at the front. ‘back.

While the ceiling for claiming the €6,000 bonus was still €45,000, with the C40 in Start finishing at around €46,800 (excluding the specific 4% discount for France to maintain eligibility for maximum aid), our interlocutor fiercely negotiated in the concession.

And this, in order to obtain a price below the threshold between the 2 bonus sections, while benefiting from the winter pack of 1,000 euros that includes essential equipment in their eyes: the heat pump. The option also brings heated steering wheel and seats up front.

A sufficient trunk

Just 6 liters less compared to the XC40, the Volvo C40 offers a volume of 413 liters (or 489 liters including double bottom cellar) behind the manually opened tailgate in Start trim. By folding down the 2-part bench seat with ski hatch, space increases to 1,205 liters (compared to 1,295 liters on the XC40). Not counting the coward under the front cover, to store a large travel bag or charging cables.

Is that enough for Philippe? Yes, according to his explanations: It was a good surprise. I had bought bars at the same time as the C40 for my roof box. But in the end everything got into the car So, without an unsightly appendage, Philippe’s electric coupe SUV swallowed its first long drive, leaving the Paris region for the outskirts of Montauban, in the Tarn-et-Garonne.

The only anomaly encountered by our reader since his purchase of the Volvo C40: a loss of connection found twice, preventing the use of the radio, the Spotify application, etc., without losing the GPS or the Google assistant. ” It was enough to stop the car, restart it and it came back. This is a relatively minor bug “, reassures.

Three times cheaper than thermal

I did about 2,200 kilometers there and back and 3 weeks there. I was a bit scared when I left in August about having to queue at roadside stations. In general it went well. I had to wait a bit a couple of times, but never more than 10-15 minutes. », Philippe still rejoices in retrospect about recharging his Volvo C40.

This episode allowed him to estimate that his new car ” it is very nice to drive to make long trips. But also discovering that charging prices are higher when using DC chargers in service areas instead of terminals installed in towns or cities.

However, he was able to see a big reduction in his energy budget: “ The one-way Chaville-Montauban cost me 38.32 euros by motorway. The 3 weeks there, I paid 18.90 euros. And I bought it on the way back for 49.79 euros, due to a terminal in which the price was especially high. They are 107 euros in total “.

To compare with a thermal car, it reduced the cost per 100 kilometers: “ 4.25 euros for electric, compared to 12-14 euros for thermal depending on the model “.

Some appreciations

During his demo tour with Maxime Fontanier as a passenger, our reader highlighted the importance of having the reversing camera from the entry-level trim: “ It is relatively necessary, because rear visibility is very, very low. “.

On the other hand, the turning radius (11.4 m between sidewalks and 11.8 m between walls) was not a particular problem for him. It is relatively similar to the one in your old Audi A4. On the other hand, in relation to the latter, he judges ” firmer ” suspension : ” But that’s okay. Because my children who were a little sensitive on board the van did not experience nausea during the entire vacation with the Volvo C40 “.

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He also valued the soundproofing of his new car: ” We can put the radio less loud, suddenly or speak less loudly. it’s much better “.

Instead of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Philippe ended up preferring the Google Assistant built into the vehicle: “ It’s much better, because when we choose a destination, it tells us the distance, the level of energy left in the battery on arrival, offering charging stations that we are free to choose if necessary. This planner is effective “.

Autonomy

The figures obtained by the interlocutor of Maxime Fontanier in terms of autonomy are different from those communicated by the manufacturer according to the calculations made for the WLTP cycles: 17-18 kWh/100 km in the city, and 21-22 kWh/100 km touring. on the highway at about 120 km/h. Or between 380 and 400 km flirting with a breakdown in urban areas, and 310-330 km on highways. ” For the use I have of this car, it suits me very well. Philippe believes.

It is also content with the fabric upholstery of the basic finish. Already because I had no leather interior in the Audi. But also because the high summer temperatures allowed him to check that this coating does not get too hot in these conditions. The steering wheel, however, is made of synthetic leather.

Having tested a version with the stronger power of 300 kW, however, he prefers the 170 kW of his C40: “ The 4.7 seconds to 100 km/h is good for fun. Actually, we don’t need these performances. To overtake or interfere with a line, the 170 kW is perfect! “.

The entire Automobile Propre team would like to thank Philippe for his testimony and the time he dedicated to the shoot.

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