Tesla Model Y vs Volvo XC40 Recharge

I’m an electric vehicle enthusiast. Today some website advertised Volvo all-electric vehicles, and I thought I would compare their XC40 Recharge offering with a Tesla Model Y. Both are hatchbacks. I want to see how they stack up.

Tesla no longer offers a single-motor Model Y and Volvo’s single-motor version of the XC40 Recharge starts with the 2024 model year. So we’re comparing dual motor versions for both.

Tesla Model Y – Photo from Tesla
Volvo XC40 Recharge – Photo from Volvo

The Bottom Line

When one thinks of an electric vehicle, the two things that seem to come up first are price and range. According to this Volvo company page, the XC40 Recharge has a starting MSRP of $53,550 (in another place it’s $54,645) and an EPA range of 223 miles. Just for fun, I clicked on their inventory link and found that the nearest Volvo dealer didn’t have any in stock, but one in Midlothian, Virginia, did (and that’s fairly close to where my nearest Tesla store is) and they had the Core model for $56,440. The Volvo comes in 3 trim levels: Core ($54,645), Plus ($57,345) and Ultimate ($60,595). The upper trim levels offer various features like a moon roof, 360° camera, adaptive cruise control and a premium audio system.

A Tesla Model Y starts at $47,740. I don’t use the term MSRP because Teslas don’t have suggested prices; they have prices. You order the car online and that’s what it costs. One can sometimes get a little off on what Tesla calls an “inventory car,” but there are not many of those; most Teslas are shipped directly to the customer delivery point from the factory. Teslas have an added advantage this year because they qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Volvo cars don’t because they are foreign made, so the Tesla this year in the USA is considerably less expensive. EPA range for the Model Y is 279 miles. (There is a Long Range variant of the Model Y with 330 miles of range for $2750 more.)


Performance? Volvo gives the 0-60 time of a brisk 4.7 seconds. Tesla is a little slower at 5.0 (the Long Range variant is 4.8). Volvo doesn’t give a top speed on its Learn More page; the Tesla’s is 135 mph. I have read that Volo in general limits all its cars to a top speed of 112 mph because of safety concerns.

Both cars have a central touch screen for controls. Here are photos:

Volvo XC-40 controls
Tesla Model Y Controls

I suppose one notices immediately that the Tesla screen is bigger (15″) and the overall layout of the controls much simpler. Which one prefers is a matter of taste.


Now for the tedious part, the specifications in tabular form

Volvo XC-40Tesla Model Y
Range223 miles279 miles
Width excluding
Seating55 (optional 7)
Space behind rear
16 cu. ft.30.2 cu. ft.
Space behind rear front
seats, rear seats folded
57.5 cu. ft.72.1 cu. ft.
Front TrunkUnspecified4.1 cu. ft.
Headroom front37.6″41″
Headroom rear38.3″39.4″
AppVolvo CarsTesla
LED matrix headlightsYesYes
Adaptive Cruise ControlNot in base modelYes
360° parking viewNot in base modelPartial
Power lift gateYesYes
Fog lightsNot in base modelYes
AlarmYesYes + video
HomeLinkNot in base model$350
Tire repair kitYes$70
Home charging cableYes$230
Apple Car PlayYesFunctions built in
Google Play Store appsYesFunctions built in
AutosteerNo (warning only)Yes


Volvo XC40: Meh.

Tesla Model Y: Bought the Long Range one.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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2 Responses to Tesla Model Y vs Volvo XC40 Recharge

  1. Kevin says:

    RC, I ran across this TEDx (x indicates it’s a regional talk) from San Antonio, Texas, over a year ago. Regional talks are loosely governed, as I found out years ago when I got some promotional material for a TED event that was going to be in Greenville, SC.

    The data that the presenter gave wasn’t valid three years ago. What he did was to make a simplistic case for the EV and then critique it by expanding the domain of what energy is included in the footprint of an electric vehicle, but the slight of hand was that he didn’t expand the domain for a fossil fueled vehicle by adding significant petroleum refining and transportation costs.

    The other misrepresentation is his graphs projecting into the future, making the false assumption that there will be no change in the amount of renewable energy powering the electric grid — when in fact that number has been increasing year over year for a long time and there’s every reason to assume it will continue.

    I left this comment on that video a year ago:

    The logic is fine, but the numbers are simply wrong. The Union of Concerned Scientists did an an exhaustive analysis of the life cycle emissions of EVs and came with much smaller numbers. Also the percentage of electricity generated by fossil fuels is decreasing year over year, so during that 180,000 miles in the chart, the carbon emissions from the electricity used to power it will have decreased; this is a fallacy in the video. They should be factoring in 2024 numbers and not 2019 numbers. Coal is sharply decreasing as a fuel and carbon emissions from its replacement, and emissions from its replacement, natural gas, are much smaller. In 2021 coal was just 22% of power generation in the US. China is building nuclear plants like crazy. And finally, putting the life of an EV at 180,000 miles seems extremely short when, for example, the most popular EVs, the Tesla Model 3 & Y are talking about a 450,000 mile battery.

    I don’t want to play the conspiracy theorist without a solid case, but the guy obviously put a finger on the scale, and the video came from a major petroleum producing state. And I would just wonder why the US Government is subsidizing EVs if hybrids were actually better. I think hybrids are great and they do reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but not as much as a totally electric vehicle.

    The Union of Concerned Scientists did a far more through study, and a follow up study. It says the EV is better.


  2. I enjoyed the review. Have you seen this Ted Talk on EV’s? He thinks hybrids have a lower life cycle carbon footprint than EV’s.

    This video is 3 years old so I do not know if his data is still valid.

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