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Swedish Tanning Secret: The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate front 3/4 view

There are an average of 165 sunny days per year in Sweden. In the U.S., it's 205, and here in Sacramento, it's 269.

So, I get why sunshine is important to Swedes. After all, you can only make so many Bergman movies.

In the 1970s, a suntan lotion called "Swedish Tanning Secret" hit the market here in the U.S. It's gone now, as is (for folks who've ever had a conversation with a dermatologist) suntanning.

2023 Volvo C40 rear 3/4 view

What this has to do with the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate is that this car has a fixed glass roof. Lots of cars do.

2023 Volvo C40 fixed glass roof

What this car does not have is any type of screen for that fixed glass roof. Here's what Volvo says about that:

The standard fixed panoramic roof has laminated, tinted glass that provides effective protection from glare and UV radiation.

Guess who woke up with a mild sunburn the day after driving it?

Now, admittedly, I am VERY fair-skinned. My SPF is the same as my ZIP Code (did I mention I live in California, which means it's five digits starting with a "9"?). Still, guys. Sunburn and skin cancer are real things (I speak as a person who's had melanoma). Maybe boost that UV protection. And...

It also helps to create an airy, more natural environment in the cabin, maintain a comfortable temperature and contribute to a silent ride.

Two of the days in the week that I had the C40 had temperatures of 100 and 103. Parked in an uncovered parking lot at work for eight hours, I can promise you, the fixed glass roof did not help. On to the rest of the car.

2023 Volvo C40 hood up

2023 Volvo C40 front storage compartment

2023 Volvo C40 front storage area-open

You may remember our last time in a Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate---a little over a year ago. The fundamentals are the same---two electric motors, one front, one rear, with 402 horsepower and 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. Range per charge is up from 223 miles to 226, it is DC fast charging capable at speeds up to 150kw and buyers get a 250kw worth of free charging, good for up to three years, at Electrify America stations nationwide.

2023 Volvo C40 rear liftgate open

2023 Volvo C40 rear seat

2023 Volvo C40 interior

2023 Volvo C40 front seat detail

2023 Volvo C40 instrument panel

The only real change this year is that the interior is now completely leather-free and can be had with partially recycled upholsteries and carpeting. Also news---no price increase from 2022. The base price, with destination, is $61,195. That brings a 12.3-inch digital driver display, nine-inch center touchscreen, a high-performance audio system, LED headlights, fog lights and taillights, a comprehensive suite of active safety features, keyless entry and start, power front seats with driver seat memory, inductive smartphone charging, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heat pump, 20-inch wheels and a Harman Kardon premium sound system.

2023 Volvo C40 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Volvo center stack

Our previous criticism of Volvo burying too many functions in the touchscreen stands. The owner's manual is in there, for crying out loud.

Our test vehicle had only two extra-cost options, the metallic Fjord Blue paint ($695) and pixel LED headlights ($350), so the bottom line on the window sticker reads $62,240.

2023 Volvo C40 front view

2023 Volvo C40 side view

2023 Volvo C40 rear view

As I've said before about the C40 Recharge Twin Ultimate---the price tag is big, but so's the performance---literally muscle car territory. And who expects to get blown away at a stoplight by a small electric Volvo?


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