Volvo XC40 Recharge or BMW i4: Which luxury EV to buy for daily usage?

The electric car will be part of our garage, which already has the C200, X1, Discovery Sport and a Seltos.

BHPian redeff recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello folks! Didn’t think I’d be putting up a What Car post here, but I think that this is one question that needs to be asked.

Last year, out of abundant caution, we booked both the XC40. 400 BHP EV sounded too good to be true. Also, the Volvos can be pretty classy! The car retails for around 60L OTR and I was quite convinced that this is the pick of the lot.

Until I sat in the MG ZS EV. The look and the interiors of the ZS just blew me away! Suddenly, paying double for the same body style and perhaps similar levels of space didn’t seem to make that much sense. But, the Volvo interiors are quite premium and the promise of having 400 BHP on the tap means that it was not quite out of the running just yet. What did hurt it though, was the long waiting and lack of any information or follow-up.

So I did what any rational BHPian would. I also booked the i4.

The i4 has a few advantages over the XC40, mainly that it is a sedan, one segment above, has more contemporary interiors and has more space in the back. On the other hand, If I just cared about space, I’d get the 3 series limo. (Wish that came in an EV avatar!)

The kicker though is the price. The only allocation I can get is the i4 with the aerodynamic kit. This pushes the price up to above 80 big ones on the road. That is 33.33% more than the XC40 recharge. It has lesser power but more range.

The only reason to consider the BMW is that the men in the family (including me, my father my brother) love sedans. However, the only sedan we have currently is our C200 – 2017. The others are all crossovers and SUVs – an old BMW X1 (which may be on the way out in a few years), a Land Rover Disco Sport and a Kia Seltos. We keep our luxury cars for a good 10 years minimum (the X1 is already 11) and we have been lucky to not have much trouble with them. We do not expect that to change anytime soon.

So? What do we do? Listen to the head and go for the XC40? or the heart and go for the i4? Let the hunger games begin!!

Update: Well, the KIA is out simply because we purchased a KIA last year (yes, I know Seltos is a different segment altogether, but still). I reckon this car will be primarily used every day from Santacruz to Fort (South Mumbai) and some local visits over the weekend to say Bandra or Andheri. For out-of-town travel, I expect the Land Rover to do the primary duty with the Benz being the backup.

Not going for any ICE car this time around.

My only reservation with the XC40 is the fact that the backseat is said to be quite tiny and uncomfortable. It may not be used regularly, but after spending 60 lakhs on a car, you’d at least expect enough recline and leg space. I know the i4 has a sloping roof, but we are all short, so that should not be much of an issue.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Both are great EVs, but would you be open to looking past the luxury brands? If yes, I would recommend the Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ioniq 5 to you. These EVs are built on dedicated EV platforms (XC40 & i4 are based on ICE cars and have compromises), and offer the very latest EV tech and a better electric driving experience. I would pick the Ioniq 5 because of its CKD pricing, although the EV6’s styling is very, very alluring.

If it has to be between the XC40 & I4, I’d go with the XC40 because of the price and crossover benefits. Instead of the I4, I would frankly buy a same-price 5-Series which is superior in so many ways (including quality).

Sit in the Superb or Camry and you’ll wonder why the 3-Series or I4 at double the price.

Here’s what BHPian Akshay1234 had to say on the matter:

The i4 may not be the most practical for Mumbai with our beautiful roads. I know at least 2 people who have sold off the car quickly after getting it because it used to scrape pretty much everywhere.

Here’s what BHPian iliketurtles had to say on the matter:

If I were you, I would not pick the i4 as Akshay correctly pointed out its abysmal ground clearance. I too have heard similar tales of BMW bottoming out.

You seem to enjoy having a little more than a modicum of power at your disposal. For that reason alone, I would recommend you look at the Kia EV6. Don’t gauge it by horsepower numbers; it is quicker than the BMW (significantly), and only a few tenths slower than the Volvo. But what you stand to gain is so much more; a genuinely fun-to-drive chassis that goads you to drive fast, excellent range, acres of space, and the fastest charging architecture of all the cars mentioned here. The Kia’s only true negatives are its pricing and the badge. Look beyond that, and it’s a winner. Take a test drive of it at the very least, you’d be surprised by it.

The Ioniq 5 is excellent too but is significantly down on power (just some 220-ish BHP), and easy to recommend if you look past that one major fly in the ointment.

If the choice is between the two contenders you mentioned, I would pick the XC40. But there are rumblings of a facelift or whatever Volvo calls it happening, so be on the lookout for news of that. You don’t want a car that’s missing key features just a few weeks/months before it gets added.

Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

I’m with GTO on this. I would say go with either the Ioniq or the EV6.

  • You already have a couple of luxury brands in your garage so there isn’t a per se pull to own a luxury brand with this one.
  • i4 is definitely avoidable for the reason Akshay mentioned – the ground clearance will be really poor, plus for that price, there are too many better ways to spend your money – a 5 series, an M340i and what have you.
  • It’s rare to say this but either the Ioniq or the EV6 will be leaps and bounds ahead in their road presence, compared to and despite the luxury badge on the XC40. It will probably provide a more special ownership experience than even owning the Volvo. The only consideration is whether you consciously want the size and footprint of the XC 40 instead of the much larger Koreans, in which case you could also consider the Byd Atto 3 or go back to the MG ZS EV option.
  • If you’re comfortable with Kia or Hyundai as a brand, I don’t think owning the Seltos should be a reason to avoid either of these. They sport a completely different look from any of the conventional ICE vehicles from their respective stables so unless your brand experience has been poor I’d say these are definitely worth considering.

Here’s what BHPian androdev had to say on the matter:

XC40, while classy, feels underwhelming compared to the i4 and the XC40 design has been around for a long time. Both are good choices but I feel it’s the Volvo that’s a bit overpriced.

Ioniq and EV6 are not cheap either. Ignoring the badge factor, I am not able to put these cars in the same category as XC40/i4. I don’t like the looks of EV6 – it looks weird in person (DRLs are dated, and rear quarter design is not my thing). Pictures are flattering. Ioniq is great looking (a rare feat from Hyundai) but the interiors look concept-car-like: novel but lack a luxury feel and not likely to wear out well.

Maybe you should wait for some time till the luxury brands offer more EV options and buy MG ZS EV as a stopgap solution.

Here’s what BHPian shyampsunder had to say on the matter:

I test-drove the XC40 recharge and it simply blew my mind. It was a supercar-like performance at a pretty decent price. If I had the budget, I would’ve been very tempted to go for it but the decision was made simpler due to the budget and I went with the ZS EV.

One thing that is very important in the Indian context is efficiency. While the XC40’s battery is more than 50% bigger than the ZS EV the official range of the XC40’s is roughly 30 KMs is lower. This can come to bite you during long drives. While the ZS EV or the Ioniq 5 can add around 120 KMs on a quick 30 min charge on a 50 KW charger, the Volvo may add only 60 KMs forcing you to spend double the time. On a 25 KW charger, matters will be even worse. With the massive number of Nexons and Tiagos getting sold, CPOs will focus majorly on 25 KW with some 50 KW charger deployment.

Infrastructure is rapidly improving with chargers going live every week but it’s important to consider how efficiency will play out with your travel plans. I have heard of XC40’s spending up to 2 hours on DC chargers primarily due to the low efficiency. I expect the XC40’s real-world efficiency with some spirited driving to be around 200-220 km based on my experience with the ZS EV.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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