The 2022 C40 Recharge Hall is an all-electric, all-or-nothing from the delightfully stylish Swedes at Volvo, whose designers put their usual minimalistic spin on this crossover-coupe EV. Although Zac liked our tester’s all-blue interior a little more than I did (you can get it in black too), I was at least equally impressed by its new technology suite. The “American-Market C40” is the latest version of Google’s Android Automotive OS infotainment system (like other Volvos).
In 2022 I still see what could be Silicon Valley Chicanari’s most stereotypical display, this new infotainment system doesn’t support Apple CarPlay at launch, so the video above was almost poetic when I used to shoot the iPhone when I shared it via Google Drive. I tried then my teeth-nails. Relax, iPhoneers. Volvo says an OTA update with CarPlay support is coming. But let’s face it, when it comes to maps, Google is Google, and since you got it locally here, it works exactly the way you expect it to. Google Assistant to manage your voice commands. There is plenty of room behind for future Google bathroom attendants, if you think you are not getting enough Google in your diet.
If you’ve been running a recent Volvo, the infotainment system is probably familiar to you. Despite the architectural overhaul and the obvious Google Ecosystem UI component, it still feels like a Volvo system. Depending on how you feel about the Volvo user experience I think it can be good or bad, which avoids menu-diving in order to keep every possible feature on the screen at the right time. This may sound irresistible, but there is an organizational mechanism for this pixelated insanity.
When your home screen (yes, like a smartphone) is exhausted, Google’s method uses a simple scroll and break-down drop-downs in the app menu for sections with more icons than fit in the allotted span. For apps, settings and other such menus, it works a treat. Obviously, you don’t want to scroll through things like cabin temperature or fan speed, so you’ll find more commonly sorted menus for better or worse. If you ask me, the heating / cooling controls are a little more cumbersome than necessary; I found the same to be true in our long-term S60 with the last-gen Volvo system.
Overall, the interior of the C40 seems to be perfect for a Volvo electric car. Personally, I would appreciate something that seemed a bit more substantial – even a little too much – to compensate for the inherently more-peaceful cabin of an all-electric model. Unfortunately, until the battery packs shrink and lose weight in the same way, I think we should expect a little less from the EV.