Inside the Volvo Dipped in Blue Winter Test Drive with the C40 Recharge

Inside the Volvo Dipped in Blue Winter Test Drive with the C40 Recharge

Pure electric, pure fun


By Natalie Khoo

Images: Matt Robinson for Volvo, Volvo Car Malaysia & Writer's own | Video editor: Dennis Kho

The EV revolution has really started to pick up in Malaysia over the past year and Volvo stands among those at the forefront of this phenomenon. Having launched its first fully-electric model, the XC40 Recharge, in March 2022, the marque went on to unveil a second EV last December—the C40 Recharge. Not to mention, both models are locally assembled, which translates to greater value and more accessible pricing for customers. 

Earlier in January, I had the utmost pleasure of joining a group of media on a trip to Sweden to test drive these EVs (but particularly the C40) on their home ground. Watch the video below for my travel diary and read on for the full experience. 




We arrived in Gothenburg on an evening smack in the middle of winter. After a good night’s rest (it took 17 hours to get there from KL, after all), the first thing on the agenda was to pick up the C40 Recharge from Volvohallen, the company’s headquarters. Once we got our keys, it was time to embark on an electrified journey to the neighbouring suburb of Borås. 

As we were paired up in twos per car, I hopped into the powered front passenger seat for the first leg of the journey. This allowed me to take a closer look at the interior details of the car, which is notably constructed without any leather materials as part of Volvo’s commitment to responsible luxury. Other design highlights include the topography-inspired translucent back-lit decor; Fjord blue carpets made from partially recycled materials; and a laminated, tinted-glass panoramic roof that provides protection from glare and UV radiation while creating an airy, natural environment in the cabin. 

Aesthetics aside, the C40 Recharge offered comfort and practicality despite its compact size. There were sufficient storage spaces for us to stow away our cameras, phones—including a wireless charging plate in the tunnel console—and water bottles for the drive, without making the cabin feel too cramped. (Disclaimer: I’m speaking as a five-foot-two Asian woman.) Plus, the Harman Kardon Premium Sound System made the journey acoustically pleasing to the ears, whether it was Ed Sheeran or My Chemical Romance playing on our Spotify playlists. Another highlight is the infotainment system, which comes with built-in Google apps and services including Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store.

Along the way, we made a pit stop at Naas Fabriker for a taste of fika culture—a Swedish tradition where you take time out of your day to pause and socialise, often with a coffee and cinnamon bun. Sounds like the Swede version of Malaysia’s kopitiam scene where we have coffee and kaya toast, if you ask me. While here, the serene surroundings set the perfect backdrop to steal a closer look at the car’s exterior.



There’s much to love about Volvo’s C40 design language, especially if you’re a fan of slimmer crossover silhouettes. Like the bigger XC40 model, the C40 features a body-coloured grille that’s unique to the brand’s EV family, since they don’t require as much airflow as an ICE-powered car. The resulting monochromatic finish is objectively sleek and stylish in my books. 

Other key features include the signature LED headlights, 19-inch 5-double spoke black diamond cut wheels, and refreshed vertical LED tail lights that complement the sleek roof line. It comes in five contemporary colours, namely Fjord Blue, Black Stone, Silver Dawn, Crystal White and Sage Green (my personal favourite).

Coming back to the drive, our journey to Borås continued with me taking over the driver’s seat. Discounting getting used to right-hand traffic and the grippy feel of the winter tires, the C40 Recharge felt like an easygoing car to handle. I say this with the standard two-pedal drive mode on, as I find that one-pedal driving can be a challenge to get used to at junctions and bumps based on my experience with the XC40 Recharge. Regardless, with 408 horsepower at my disposal, the all-electric crossover felt quick, responsive and effortless on the roads—whether we were cruising along the scenic tree-lined countryside or navigating around Gothenburg city. 

Volvo claims it takes as little as 28 minutes of fast charging (depending on charging conditions) to get the 78kW battery from 10 to 80 per cent. While we didn’t get to put the charging time nor the 450km range (also depending on a variety of conditions) to the test, we made the round trip with roughly one-third of battery left from a full charge. It’s worth adding, in good conscience, that the car emitted zero carbon emissions throughout the journey. 



Of course, no Volvo test drive would be complete without zeroing in on the brand’s reputation for safety. So a few days, several group interviews, and a three-hour flight on a propeller plane later, we landed in Kiruna—the northernmost city of Sweden located in the Lapland province. After trading a car ride for a dog sled journey to Ice Hotel where we turned in for the night, we found ourselves slalom driving on an ice track. What better (read: more exhilarating) way to test out Volvo’s driver assistance systems than by drifting on a frozen river, right? 

Once again, we took turns with a partner to drive the XC40 and C40 Recharge through a zigzag course on ice. Before we got started, a quick brake test demonstrated how the car only comes to a full stop roughly 50 metres after the driver applied the brakes. With that in mind, we carefully manouevred our way around the traffic cones at speeds of 40-50 kmph. 

By this point, I had already tested out the Driver Alert Control, Lane Keeping Aid, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) features during the drive to Boras. They all functioned as one would expect, ensuring that the driver remains alert, in control, and well within safety boundaries. On the ice track, the seat belt tensioners kicked in—quite intensely, I might add—whenever the lateral forces send the car skidding, to restrain occupants and reduce the risk of striking the interior of the passenger compartment. Suffice to say, I was glued to my seat and completed the course in one piece—all smiles, no sweat.



Given the opportunity to really soak in the Nordic culture during this Winter Test Drive, it’s only apt for me to sum up this experience with the essence of what makes the C40 Recharge so appealing—what I’d call the Scandinavian effect. 

At the heart of it, Scandinavian philosophy is guided by simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. Volvo embodies this exceptionally well in the C40 Recharge. It’s a car that’s stunningly designed, effortless to drive, and built to last. In other words, the C40 Recharge Pure Electric is made for the customer who wants to enjoy the little things in life to the fullest, while leaving space for the next generation to do the same. 


The Volvo C40 Recharge is priced at RM288,888 (OTR without insurance), whilst the XC40 Recharge 2023 is priced at RM278,888 (OTR without insurance). For more information, visit the official website or contact your nearest Volvo car dealership. 

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