The Volvo EX40 is cheaper, but more bare-bones than its predecessor – Back to Basics

Drive further with less luxury

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Volvo EX40 Back to Basics

The car that we previously knew as the electric XC40 is now known as the Volvo EX40. This includes new prices, including a new entry-level version that lives up to the name ‘Essential’ more than before.

Volvo EX40 Single Motor Essential – €45,995

The Volvo XC40 still exists, but is no longer electric. After all, variants without a combustion engine are now known as the Volvo EX40, marking yet another name change for this model. EX40 fits better with EX30 and EX90, Volvo’s new electric models. It doesn’t stop with a new nameplate, because there are also some changes underneath the skin with these Volvo EVs. For example, the battery capacity of the simplest Single Motor version goes from 69 to 70 kWh and the peak at the fast charger is now 180 instead of 135 kW. The range also increases slightly, and is now stated to be 479 instead of 467 kilometers. There is also an Extended Range that can last 575 kilometers on paper, but that is not really necessary for most Dutch people. Choosing the basic version saves a lot of money. The regular Single Motor is the only version that is available as Essential, so for an Extended Range you pay at least €6,000 extra. The gap is even greater for private buyers, because only the Single Motor Essential is eligible for SEPP subsidy. Even choosing options is hardly possible, because with a tax value of €44,830, the 45k limit for that subsidy is dangerously close. Even choosing a different color will ruin the SEPP party, but with a choice of white, black and silver gray, the loss is not too great. As standard, Volvo sprays the EX40 in ‘Vapour Grey’, a primer-like gray with – yes – a metallic effect.

Volvo EX40 Back to Basics

Lots of matte black in the basic EX40.

Clear cutting

In March 2023, an electric XC40 shone in this section. It was considerably more expensive than the simplest EX40, but it was a Core and not an Essential. The Essential version later returned to the XC40, and also cost €45,995 there. However, if we compare the price list of the latest electric XC40 with that of the EX40, it is noticeable that the new Essential is a lot more ‘Essential’ than the old one. That already starts on the outside, because the 19-inch standard wheels look a bit simpler than the old ones. These are still available for an extra €120, so that is still possible within the SEPP limit. Open a door and you will immediately see that a small demolition has taken place here. The screen now has matte plastic instead of high-gloss black, the steering wheel is missing a silver-colored element, the ‘lever’ is no longer covered with artificial leather and the seat upholstery is and looks a lot simpler than before.

This also applies to the seats themselves, which Volvo has stripped of their electrically adjustable lumbar support and manually adjustable seat extender. Seat heating is also not available, but that was also the case before. The headliner is no longer in black, but in light ‘blonde’. As far as we are concerned, this is more a matter of taste than a disadvantage, although it must be said that more expensive versions do have a black headliner as standard. Less noticeable, but still worth mentioning, is that the automatically dimming interior mirror has disappeared. Rear passengers also have to make concessions, because the previously standard armrest with ski hatch is now conspicuous by its absence in the EX40 Essential.

What you do get for just under 46 grand is a new SUV that really provides the basics with standard Google Maps navigation, 2-zone climate control, (non-adaptive) cruise control, LED headlights, a very nice audio system and electrically folding and heated exterior mirrors. of what we can call ‘luxury’. The EX40 Essential is clearly less attractive than before and so despite the unchanged price, you do pay for the updated drivetrain. And that new type plate of course.

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