Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Which One Wins?

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Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Which One Wins?

Tesla Model 3 sales are still on the rise since it’s the most affordable and versatile electric vehicle offered by Tesla, the most popular EV company. On the other hand, we have a Volvo C40 Recharge which started manufacturing in 2021 and is a good competitor to the Model 3 today. So even though it’s an unusual comparison, here it is, Model 3 vs. Volvo C40.

Both the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40 are very similar, yet they have many differences in style, type of vehicle, motor, range, and many other features. After all, Tesla is a manufacturer of one of the safest electric vehicles on the road while Volvo is known for producing one of the safest motorized vehicles. Thus, it’s also interesting to see the safety comparison between these two electric cars.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Side-By-Side Comparison

FeatureTesla Model 3Volvo C40
Release dateJuly 2017Late 2020
Range272 miles297 miles
Horsepower252 HP402 HP
Cargo space19.8 cubic feet57.5 cubic feet
Number of seats5 seats5 seats
Base Price$40,240$55,300
white Tesla Model 3 parked under a bridge
The Tesla Model 3 incorporates a safety-first design as it’s built from super strong steel and has a low center of gravity.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Key Differences

It doesn’t take long to notice the differences between the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40 since they’re two electric but still very different types of cars. Here are the two key differences you should pay attention to.

Type and Capacity

The fundamental difference between the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40 is their vehicle type and size. Tesla’s Model 3 is considered a compact sedan due to its dimensions, while Volvo’s C40 is a full-sized SUV. Not only can you easily spot this significant difference, but it’s also very noticeable in the cargo capacity. Tesla’s Model 3 has 22.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity, while the Volvo C40 has 57.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is over double the space. Now, that is definitely a tremendous difference to consider.


Another key difference is the horsepower. Volvo C40 provides an amazing 402 horsepower. Further, they provide this horsepower in any trim for the C40 EV. On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 provides 252 horsepower for the base model trim. However, if you decide to go for the Model 3 Performance trim, you will have 480 horsepower, which is slightly more than what the Volvo C40 provides. Therefore, if you’re really interested in the horsepower an electric vehicle can provide, you will need to consider these differences since they’re huge and can be easily noticeable when driving.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: What Are the Similarities?

Tesla made things very interesting by providing a semi-autonomous driving capability that’s compatible with the Tesla Model 3. However, when it comes down to autopilot, both Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40 are similar. While Tesla provides its well-known Autopilot feature, Volvo provides a Pilot Assist feature, which does as well as Tesla’s Autopilot. Another similarity is safety, since both cars have achieved the following safety rating: IIHS Top Safety Pick+.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Must-Know Facts

  • The price for Model 3 and C40 is very similar and there’s almost no difference.
  • The Tesla Model 3 base trim achieves about 272 miles while the Volvo C40 achieves 297 miles in any trim, so an upgrade to the Model 3 Long Range is needed if you’d like to cover more miles as the Model 3 Long Range can cover about 358 miles on a single charge.
  • Volvo’s C40 doubles the space efficiency compared to Tesla’s Model 3, but the Model 3 is a lot more practical due to its overall size.
  • Both the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40 have advanced semi-autonomous features (Autopilot and Pilot Assist).
  • The Volvo C40 provides more horsepower in all trims, while the Tesla Model 3 only comes with more horsepower in its Performance trim.
Volvo C40 ev
Volvo’s C40 EV accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds.

The History of the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40

Tesla Model 3 production started in 2017 with a base trim, Performance trim, and Long Range trim, and it was only available in the United States. It took until 2019 for deliveries to start arriving in Europe. While most of the Tesla Model 3 remained the same throughout the years up to now, the biggest changes happened to the Autopilot system upgrades, superchargers, Sentry mode introduction, Smart Summon mode, and a couple of other feature-related things. In 2020 Tesla started making more serious improvements to the Model 3 such as improving the heat pump, range improvement, increasing performance in cold weather, interior tweaks and changes, and occasional battery changes and improvements in the newer versions (2021+).

On the other hand, Volvo’s C40 electric vehicle was introduced in 2021 with production in late 2021. Therefore, it’s a fairly new electric vehicle with not much history. However, it’s worth noting that the XC40 is the vehicle Volvo used as a concept for their C40 Recharge electric vehicle.

The Success of the Tesla Model 3 and Volvo C40

Tesla’s Model 3 achieved tremendous success by becoming the 16th best-selling car in the world, and of course, being the best seller in the EV category. It’s also the first car to pass one million sales (globally). Tesla started early and achieved a significant advantage, which is now slowly being caught up to by other manufacturers. However, Tesla still continues to upgrade its Model 3, and it’s striving to keep it as the best-selling EV in the world.

On the other hand, Volvo’s C40 is a fairly new electric vehicle, so we can’t say much about it without any history. However, considering the price and build level, and quality, it’s very similarly priced to the Model 3, and yet it has equally outstanding features and even a couple of advantages. Since the C40 Recharge is made according to the XC40, it shows that Volvo is definitely serious about making it into the electric vehicles industry. Certainly, the C40 is a great first step, which will be followed by even more success.

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Pros and Cons

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Autopilot is integrated into the Tesla Model 3 and it is set to achieve full self-driving capability when the update rolls outThe Model 3 has a much smaller cargo space capacity compared to the Volvo C40 which is an SUV-type EV
The Model 3 got its price lowered recently, making it more affordable than beforeHas less horsepower in the base model than the C40 and it requires an upgrade to Performance trim for better horsepower
Charging Tesla’s Model 3 at Tesla Superchargers is super quickCompetition is slowly closing in on the Model 3
Gets regular updates via the internetDoesn’t come with a spare tire

Volvo C40

Integrates Pilot Assist, which equates to Tesla’s AutopilotDecent amount of cabin noise that could be worked on
C40 achieved a high Safety Pick+ rating for being one of the safest electric vehicles on the roadLowered roofline can cause visibility issues
Much bigger cargo space than the Model 3Charging time isn’t the fastest
Comes with great horsepower by defaultThe range could be a bit improved considering it’s an SUV-type EV

Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo C40: Which One Wins?

Considering all the details and specifications, it’s still hard to consider a winner between the Model 3 and Volvo C40. Tesla’s Model 3 has a monumental history, and it’s achieved a lot. However, the Volvo C40 typically offers equally outstanding features, and it even has a couple of advantages over the Tesla Model 3. With both electric vehicles being very similarly priced, it’ll most likely come down to the driver’s preference.

Do you prefer a compact sedan or are you a fan of SUVs? Do you prefer spacious cargo space or easier mobility and maneuverability? We are sticking with the Tesla Model 3 as the winner of this review, and it’s only by an inch. It’s all thanks to its history and everything the Tesla company did for the Model 3, among other EV models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which car is cheaper?

The Model 3 is slightly cheaper than the Volvo C40.

Is the Model 3 base trim as good as the Volvo C40's base trim?

Yes, the Model 3 base trim is as good as C40’s base trim. The only shortfall is horsepower which is improved only with the Tesla’s Performance trim.

Is Tesla's Model 3 the best selling electric vehicle in the United States?

No, Tesla’s Model 3 is the second best-selling electric vehicle, according to the 2022 numbers. The best-selling EV is also a Tesla, but the Model Y.

Is Volvo's C40 as safe as other Volvo vehicles?

Yes, Volvo put a lot of effort into making their electric vehicle keep up the safety standard their other vehicles are known for.

Which car is quicker?

Tesla’s Model 3 Performance can reach 0-60 in only 3.1 seconds. The C40’s best trim can achieve 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. Therefore, Tesla’s Model 3 is quicker.

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