Should I buy a 2023 Tesla Model Y or a Volvo C40?

Both the Tesla Model Y and Volvo C40 are unique and attractive offerings in the growing electric vehicle pool. But, which one has the extra edge?

Both of these electric vehicles are unique in their own ways. The long-awaited Tesla Model Y has lived up to its hype, boasting strong sales results since its arrival in Australia last year.

The Volvo C40 hasn’t flown off the showroom floors at the same rapid pace, but it is still a solid offering in the growing EV pool.

Both vehicles look striking, offer an abundance of features, are similarly priced (for the base models), and have sufficient driving ranges.

Two established brands, two fierce contenders, but which one should you choose at a time when electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular?

How much does the Tesla Model Y cost in Australia?

The 2022 Tesla Model Y is one of the most hotly anticipated electric cars in Australia.

It’s the first electric medium SUV from the US-based brand, and is similar to its Tesla Model 3 sedan. In fact, the front half of the car is so similar it is easy to mistake the two, with mainly the roof line, tens of millimetres across its key dimensions, and elements of the interior that actually differ.

Although it sounds like marketing fluff, what’s evident is the brand’s packaging improvements with the Model Y, and that it looks to solve some of the woes found with the Model 3.

For the record, Tesla’s sedan is an absolutely fantastic thing, and was a bargain back when the previous government subsidised them for private buyers for less than $60,000 drive-away about 12 months ago, or in July 2021.

For the launch of the 2022 Tesla Model Y, the brand provided us with a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive example to sample – the cheapest of two Model Y variants currently offered in Australia.

The Model Y is priced from $68,900 before on-road costs – with our car’s Deep Blue Metallic paintwork adding another $1500 to its basic list price. According to Tesla’s price configurator, the Model Y costs $71,801 drive-away in New South Wales.

A pearl white one costs less as it’s the only colour offered without an additional premium paint charge. The two other physical options available at this trim level are fancy 20-inch Induction alloy wheels for $2900 (19-inch wheels are standard), and a ‘black and white’ interior – that really means white faux-leather seats – for another $1500. Our press car has neither option.

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Although not ‘official’, the brand has submitted data to the Government stating the 2022 Tesla Model Y features 220kW of power. But what’s for sure is a 62.3kWh-sized battery pack with lithium-ion cells, a 0–100km/h time of 6.9 seconds, and a WLTP-certified driving range of 455km.

The only other model in the range is the 2022 Tesla Model Y Performance, which is a dual-motor and all-wheel-drive powerhouse. It costs around $109,000 drive-away and offers a greater driving range of 514km, 393kW, and a feisty 0–100km/h time of 3.7 seconds.

It also costs almost double, so both versions of Tesla Model Y are unlikely to squabble with each other. In reality, who will squabble is us – the punters – who are actively between it, a cheaper 2022 Tesla Model 3, or something else entirely perhaps.

Let’s see if the entry-level 2022 Tesla Model Y cuts the mustard.

How much does the Volvo C40 cost in Australia?

Volvo’s success in our local market of late is something for the brand to rejoice in. Strong sales figures, orders that have slightly outpaced supply, but crucially reliable supply and satisfaction of orders, have meant the Swedish brand has kicked some tangible goals in the Australian market despite the challenges during and post the pandemic. 

Volvo’s first step into the future takes the shape of the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge. Now, it has to be said, that currently all new Volvos on sale in Australia feature some form of electrification, so it might be a stretch to call the C40 Recharge the ‘first’ step into the future. Still, it is Volvo’s first release of an all-new, dedicated electric vehicle model. It’s also the first Volvo to be completely leather-free. And, we expect demand to be strong. 

The styling is attractive – think a coupe take on the already stylish XC40 – in the flesh. The C40 cuts a fine figure whether it’s parked up or out in traffic. As we’ve seen with Volvo in the past, the brand has opted not to shout from the rooftops that the C40 features electric technology beneath the skin. Rather, the C40 looks like a stylish Volvo from any angle.

Volvo will go head-to-head with its own stablemate Polestar with the new C40, not to mention the likes of Tesla and any number of newcomers. One thing we do know about electric vehicles is that new models and new manufacturers are coming to the party all the time. There’s little doubt also that the interest in electric vehicles is growing with pace in this country, and a quality offering from a renowned brand like Volvo will be positioned to succeed.

Two models are available, with the entry-grade C40 featuring a single electric motor and front-wheel drive, while the top of the range gets dual electric motors and all-wheel drive. Pricing starts from $75,990 before on-road costs for the single motor, and $83,490 before on-road costs for the dual motor. Drive-away pricing is listed in the table below and is indicative for Sydney. Interestingly, Volvo tells us that initial interest is slanting toward 90 per cent for the dual motor and 10 per cent for the single motor. 

The standard equipment list is long – including safety – with LED head- and tail-lights and a panoramic glass roof standard for both C40s. Step up to the dual-motor model and you get special 20-inch wheels (19s are standard for the single motor), a premium Harman Kardon audio system, textile and microtech interior trim, and a 360-degree camera. 

Key details 2023 Tesla Model Y 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Single Motor
Price (MSRP) $68,900 before on-road costs $75,990 before on-road costs
Colour of test car Deep Blue Metallic Fjord Blue Metallic
Options Metallic paint – $1500 None
Price as tested $70,400 before on-road costs $75,990 before on-road costs
Drive-away price $71,801 (NSW) $83,084 (NSW)

How much space does the Tesla Model Y have inside?

It’s true everything is different with a Tesla, as opening one involves the act simply known as ‘pay-passing’.

That’s waving a credit card over something plastic until it beeps. It’s literally what you do to open a 2022 Tesla Model Y, as you wave its cool credit-card-looking car key over the B-pillar in between its side windows.

Of course, the card is really more of a back-up. Owners can set up their compatible phone to function as the vehicle’s key, with no need to remove it from your pocket or bag on approach.

It continues to work well in a wallet jammed full of NFC-laden bank cards, so neither interference from those nor a thick barrier of Australia’s finest kangaroo leather gets in the way of how it functions. Excellent.

While you’re there, you’ll also notice the clever placement of a camera in the same plastic trim, unlike any other car brand currently on sale. It’s a smart place to put a camera, but also sets the high-tech scene for the interior that’s to come inside.

Which is artful, minimal, and quite beautiful. Other than some ergonomic faux-pas, like a lack of traditional speedo or instrument cluster, it’s pretty special for the money.

There’s a smart upward-facing wireless charging station for two phones that works first time, every time (like a Model 3), a large central storage area with two USB ports, and beautiful timber cladding to its dashboard.

If it looks similar to your friend’s 2022 Tesla Model 3, that’s because it is. From this vantage point, there’s no real difference between the pair, other than a wider array of speakers, which only the keenest trainspotter will notice.

The standard-fit premium audio system – with 13 speakers, one subwoofer, and two amplifiers – is a nice get over the standard system found in the cheaper entry-level 2022 Tesla Model 3, but we’ll talk about its sound system later in the infotainment section.

The only other thing you may notice is that you sit slightly higher. Aside from the seat bases being mounted higher, the roof has been lifted, too, which means headroom with the epic and standard-fit panoramic glass roof is improved over the Model 3.

My biggest and most genuine gripe with the interior are those flatter-than-usual A-pillars that can make visibility trivial at certain intersections. I’m sure you’ll learn to drive around it in time, but there’s no denying other similar-sized vehicles have better visibility.

It’s honestly clutching at straws, though. The simple touch-to-open interior door action, singular air vent on the dash that both looks invisible and flows decently, and overall quality of its build, are top-shelf for the money.

Before we get to the back row, it’s worth noting that all 2022 Tesla Model Ys feature a HEPA air filter, or as the brand likes to attempt to market, “Bioweapon Defense Mode”.

I guess that means my old, now nearly 20-year-old 2004 Nissan Cube with HEPA filter and air ioniser would’ve done the same thing.

In the second row, space is decent for the type of vehicle. I’m 183cm tall and with a rather lanky frame – meaning I sit quite far back in the driver’s seat – found that sitting behind my own seating position in the back yielded good results.

My knees were 3–4cm from the seat backs, feet able to kick out a little in front, shoulders well supported by the upper section of the seat base, and felt genuinely comfortable in the back.

The smart design of the front centre console means the middle passenger not only has a flat floor to indulge in, but can almost stretch their legs out further than the two people in the outbound seats.

Speaking of which, they’re decently bolstered and supportive under your thighs, and the higher hip point will suit those with frail joints, or those who simply prefer better ergonomics. I also fitted a Britax Graphene convertible child seat, and found it easy to load children into given the height of the seat base.

The space offered by the Model Y’s cabin is also good for kids in both forward-facing and rearward-facing child support seats. In either position, both front occupants need not worry about adjusting their seat to allow room for bub’s seat – given there’s now an abundance of space in the back.

I also fitted an Infasecure Rally 2 booster seat – one that has caught out other SUVs with its taller-than-average headrest – finding it fit with ease, meaning slightly older kids are equally well catered for in the back of a 2022 Tesla Model Y.

Three adults can fit across the back seat, but it’ll be a bit squashy if they’re average-sized. Other niceties in the back include rear air vents, two more USB-C ports, large flocked bottle holders in the doors, a fold-down armrest with two cupholders, and that massive glass roof to gaze out of.

Officially, and measuring the whole space including the underfloor storage, the 2022 Tesla Model Y’s boot space is a claimed 854L. Although far greater than other brands on paper, those other brands only measure to the parcel shelf and with proper foam blocks (VDA), so factor that into your comparison.

Either way, it’s large and wide, with a precisely one-metre-wide load aperture enabling an easy fitment of a mid-sized Redsbaby stroller alongside groceries and a handbag. Alternatively, you could easily leave a compact stroller inside the boot permanently, as you’ll never fill the thing alongside it on the day-to-day.

Or you can put it in the underfloor storage, as the most foldable of foldable strollers would fit down there I reckon. If I were to take a guess, I’d say there’s about 550L of storage above the boot floor, and around 300L in the storage tubs underneath the boot floor.

It does make the space feel genuinely massive, and the boot floor partition is a handy thing to have. Another improvement versus older Tesla vehicles is how the seats now fold completely flat, making it handy for moving bulky objects.

Tesla claims 2158L in total with the second-row folded, which is plenty of space for whatever flat-pack thingo you want from the furniture store famous for its meatballs.

A final note is that you can fold the seats remotely from the boot, and there’s sadly no spare wheel under the boot floor.

How much space does the Volvo C40 have inside?

The cabin is very much as you’d expect from Volvo. That is, premium, insulated, well executed and cleverly designed. Volvo’s seats – regardless of model – are some of the best in the business, and the C40 is another one to add to that list. Regardless of height, the front two seats are comfortable, with excellent visibility from both. There’s a calm, insulated feel to the cabin, even on coarse-chip surfaces at 100km/h. 

Storage up front is handy with decent door pockets, bottle holders in the doors, cupholders in the centre console, and a safe storage bin for smartphones, which also houses the wireless charging pad. Two USB-C connections and a 12-volt lighter-style socket take care of power delivery up front. There’s also a large enough centre console bin that doubles as the armrest when the lid is down. 

In the second row, there’s space for adults, but if you’ve got really tall occupants up front, that space will be a little on the tight side. However, the second-row seat itself is sculpted neatly and broad enough for three kids or two adults. You get two USB-C chargers in the second row and controls for the heated outboard seats as well. 

The luggage space has a useful flat floor, with storage space underneath for charging cables or smaller items, but there’s no spare tyre of any kind, so keep that in mind if you head too far off the beaten path. That space goes from 489L out to 1205L with the second row folded flat, and remains the same for both single- and twin-motor variants.

2023 Tesla Model Y 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Single Motor
Seats Five Five
Boot volume 117L under bonnet
854L seats up
2158L seats folded
489L seats up
1205L seats folded
Length 4751mm 4440mm
Width 2129mm 1910mm
Height 1624mm 1596mm
Wheelbase 2890mm 2702mm

Does the Tesla Model Y have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Like others in its range, the 2022 Tesla Model Y has one single 15.0-inch display in the centre of the car.

No gauge cluster, no head-up display, nothing, this screen does everything from making the blinkers play farting noises to telling you how fast you’re going, and even where you are going.

It’s powered by solid hardware, and the touchscreen ‘swipe-y’ tactility and general user-friendliness are up there with the likes of Apple. I love the simple things, like touching the blinker arrow when it’s on to reveal vision of where you’re going.

There are no prompts to do such a thing, but you feel compelled, or at least I did, to tap the blinking icon and see. Another is a simple tap of the battery percentage to turn it into range instead.

That same trick works when you’re buried anywhere in the submenu, too, meaning if you have the range or consumption chart open, the data in there will also adjust as you flick from battery percentage to range remaining.

It’s properly intuitive and clearly had hours of scrutiny to get to this point. Although overwhelming at the start, you learn the simple commands and tricks to make navigation easy enough.

Another reason to opt for the 2022 Tesla Model Y could be its sound system, as it receives the 14-speaker, single subwoofer and dual-amplifier premium system that’s unavailable in the entry-level Model 3.

It’s pretty fantastic, with a soundbar-style array of speakers across its dash providing a big and bright soundstage. Classics like Faith No More’s Album Of The Year sounded huge, with The Last Cup Of Sorrow being intense, bright, and all-in-your-face like it should be.

Canadian Jazz act BadBadNotGood’s album III came across twinkly, ambient, and with clear space between each of the three members in the band. The drum licks are pretty sensational, and are characterised fully and accurately through the cabin as they roll along the dash with clarity and verve.

It has a pretty good EQ to play with natively, too, in the Spotify app, so bonus points there. Speaking of which, there’s no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but everything you want on your phone works natively here, so there’s genuinely no need for it.

Does the Volvo C40 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

The C40’s infotainment system is typical of Volvo. That is, minimalist and effective. There’s an inherent simplicity to the system, which is operated via a 9.0-inch touchscreen. It features Google services, including mapping, and you get the aforementioned wireless phone charging. At launch, we tested the included Google mapping app, and Apple CarPlay worked faultlessly for us as well. 

The screen is clear and easy to read, and it’s positioned neatly into the dash so it doesn’t feel like it’s too small. There are bigger screen on the market, but the C40’s is a good one. A 12.0-inch digital instrument display provides crucial driving and vehicle info as well.

When we spend more time with the C40 post launch, we’ll delve into the operating system a little deeper and test out the premium audio system in the dual-motor model.

Is the Tesla Model Y a safe car?

The Tesla Model Y scored five stars under ANCAP’s 2022 testing regime.

It ranked highly for adult occupant protection (97 per cent), scored highly for child occupant protection (89 per cent), and was awarded a high score yet again for safety assist (98).

Is the Volvo C40 a safe car?

The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge has been awarded a maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP in testing, having been tested recently and that rating applies to both models. 

Strong scores included 92 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 70 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 91 per cent for safety assist systems.

It’s fair to say that Volvo has hung its hat on safety for decades now, and as such, we expect each new Volvo to be a safe vehicle. With a five-star safety rating, Volvo has once again nailed that brief.

At a glance 2023 Tesla Model Y 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Single Motor
ANCAP rating & year tested Five stars (tested 2022) Five stars (tested 2022)
Safety report ANCAP report ANCAP report

What safety technology does the Tesla Model Y have?

Standard safety systems include blind-spot warning, automatic braking, semi-autonomous lane-keeping assist (it is semi-autonomous), adaptive cruise, and speed sign recognition as just the beginning.

The Model Y misses out on rear-cross traffic alert.

Enhanced Autopilot is available as a $5100 option, adding automatic lane changes on freeways, hands-free automatic parking, the Summon feature (which lets the car manoeuvre itself around car parks in certain scenarios), and Navigate on Autopilot, billed as “automatic driving from highway on-ramp to off-ramp”.

Tesla’s Full Self Driving can also be added ($10,100), which brings the function of Enhanced Autopilot along with the traffic signal control and the promise of autosteer on city streets coming in a future update.

What safety technology does the Volvo C40 have?

Across both models, the C40 Recharge comes standard with power-folding, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parking, and hill descent control.

A 360-degree-view camera system is reserved for the C40 Twin Motor model, but is the only safety tech difference between the two variants.

How much does the Tesla Model Y cost to run?

Teslas are covered by a four-year/80,000km warranty (vehicle), while the battery and unit are supported by an eight-year/160,000km warranty.

Tesla doesn’t offer a service schedule, but it does recommend 12-month tyre rotation, plus a brake fluid and cabin filter change every two years.

A year of comprehensive insurance coverage will cost approximately $2000 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

How much does the Volvo C40 cost to run?

Volvo’s C40 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, and the first three years of servicing are included. The battery is covered under an eight-year/160,000km warranty.

That covers buyers up to as much as 100,000km. You can then opt to buy a $1000 service package to cover the C40 for the next two years, meaning the outlay is $1000 across the first five years.

A year of comprehensive insurance coverage will cost about $2200 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2023 Tesla Model Y 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Single Motor
Warranty Four years/80,000km (vehicle)
Eight years/160,000km (battery and drive unit)
Five years/unlimited km
Eight years/160,000km
Service intervals Condition based (up to two years) 24 months/30,000km
Servicing costs Not provided Complimentary (3 years)
$1000 (5 years)
Energy cons. (claimed) 13.7kWh/100km 16.8kWh/100km
Energy cons. (on test) 14.2kWh/100km 21.4kWh/100km
Battery size 62.3kWh 69kWh

Is the Tesla Model Y energy-efficient?

In terms of efficiency, the car hovered around 20.0kWh/100km during performance testing, later coming down to 14kWh/100km in traffic, then finally culminating at 14.2kWh/100km after some more recuperation and inner-city driving.

You couldn’t write this if you tried, but if we work out 14.2kWh(usage per 100km)/62.3kWh(battery size)*100( for total mileage), you’ll find the number to be 438.7km, give or take 11.3km off the official claim.

Is the Volvo C40 energy-efficient?

Measuring the efficiency of any vehicle on a tightly controlled launch drive is always difficult. The dual-motor variant we tested showed an average of 21.4kWh/100km over more than 1800km of driving, while the single motor showed an average of 23.5kWh over a similar distance. We’d actually expect those figures to be lower when you’re running around town specifically, so we’ll test them more closely when we get the C40 into the Drive garage. 

The single motor uses a 69kWh battery, while the dual motor steps up to a 78kWh battery pack. Claimed ranges are 434km and 420km respectively. DC fast charging is available up to 150kW, meaning you can theoretically boost the single-motor variant from 10–80 per cent in as little as 32 minutes. The dual motor takes around 40 minutes for the same charge.

What is the Tesla Model Y like to drive?

Like the pay-pass methodology to open the 2022 Tesla Model Y, it’s the same way to start one.

Wave your wallet – equipped with a Tesla credit card key – in front of the armrest, wait for the ‘bong’, then throw it in the centre console.

It’s a simple affair and one you get used to really quickly. A quick tap of the column-mounted ‘gearshifter’ is the last thing you do before setting off and quickly noticing that the one-pedal drive system is actually rather intuitive.

That’s an accelerator pedal that brakes the car and captures energy when you lift off, meaning you can effectively drive the car without using the brake pedal next to it.

Every other electric car has this form of energy recovery, with most able to change the amount of braking effort applied as you lift. However, Tesla’s e-pedal is easily the most intuitive I’ve experienced so far, and its single and only setting gets it spot on.

After all, Tesla’s had the time now to get it right. You wouldn’t want to drive it any other way after a few minutes behind the wheel, especially as it harvests energy pretty well too.

The performance from the 220kW single rear electric motor is gutsy, too, with throttle stomps met with strong pulls of acceleration. However, it’s the sustainment of the performance that gives it the edge over its competitors.

Other EVs – like the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 – do not deliver their power in the same way. They first appear quick, with the performance fizzling as the car’s speed increases.

It’s that sustainment behind the 2022 Tesla Model Y that makes it feel far pokier than the figures suggest, as even the entry-level can accelerate in a relentless fashion and spook your passenger.

Not that it matters, but it hopefully gives you an idea of its performance. Ride and handling are great, too, like the Model 3, which is simple and honest.

It’ll tuck into corners nicely, never really feel ‘rear-driven’ or as if it’s going to spit you into the weeds, and the sheer silence of it all means you can focus on how much (or little) work the tyres are doing.

Over a quick jaunt up and down my favourite roads it felt great, if not a little top heavy at times. Around town it’s pleasant, too, but the weight of the thing does mean it needs some firmness to remain controlled.

Over rippled sections of road it’ll get a little busy and bumpy inside, but that’s genuinely as bad as it gets. Another colleague of mine commented on how they liked this “controlled” feeling and didn’t find its stiffness as much of an issue as I did.

We both agreed that taking the 20-inch wheel option would probably push it over the edge for both of us; however, we’ll conduct testing in due time to see whether that’s legitimate or not.

Aside from some firmness over road joins and the odd imperfection, the cabin is a really nice place to soak up miles in. The cabin is well insulated, the funky map display does a good job of keeping you aware of your surroundings, and the steering okay to use.

If anything, the steering is slightly too hyperactive, and is very short lock-to-lock. Coupled with its turning circle of 12.1m, it means tight carparks require some adjustment, but you’ll overcome this in due time.

For the money it’s hard to fault, but the lack of a speedo in the driver’s line of sight (even a head-up one!) is baffling, as they nailed everything else.

What is the Volvo C40 like to drive?

We’ve come to expect electric vehicles to feel their heft and be firm on the road, especially on choppy surfaces. Straight up, this is where the C40 Recharge was most impressive on rural South Australian roads.

Firstly, it didn’t feel as heavy – either behind the wheel or as a passenger – as its kerb weight would indicate. Secondly, the ride compliance in both models was excellent even on harsh surfaces.

Our regional network around the country is pretty poor, and it’s not always the most flattering way to showcase a new electric vehicle, but the C40 was right at home. 

Now, despite the undoubted ability of the dual-motor variant, you certainly don’t feel like you can’t get cranking in the single motor. 170kW and 330Nm with a 0–100km/h run of 7.4 seconds is more than enough for the average punter running round town day-to-day.

I reckon we often make too much of the speed of an electric vehicle, and certainly now when we test them with the mainstream daily driver in mind. As such, the single motor is more than enough vehicle for just about every occasion. 

And yet, the dual-motor C40 is something of a weapon. Power steps up to 300kW, torque jumps to 660Nm, and the 0–100km/h takes just 4.7 seconds. That’s seriously quick for what is a practical family SUV. It feels fast, too, when you nail the throttle onto a freeway on ramp, or to get off the line speedily.

The seat-of-the-pants response is that it feels even faster than the 4.7-second claim. That said, the single-motor variant certainly doesn’t feel slow. 

Beyond the ride, which remains impressive on any surface in both variants, the cabin is quiet and relaxed, the steering direct at any speed, and the brakes excellent no matter how many times you ask them to work hard.

The C40 is a nicely sorted package, and solid evidence that a dedicated electric vehicle platform is advantageous to the end buyer.

The dual-motor version runs a constant 50/50 split, and there’s no complexity in terms of drive modes or switchable options. Just get in and drive however you feel comfortable.

On that note, simplicity is something Volvo is talking about repeatedly in our dealings with the manufacturer. Not just as a brand in regard to its vision for the future, but also within model ranges, where specifications and options have been focused in to make the buying and ownership prospective as easy as possible.

Sick of buttons? There isn’t even a start button. Just get in and sit down, and the C40 is ready to go. 

If there’s more specific detail you’d like to explore, let us know in the comments section below, but we’ll focus in on power consumption and range when we get a more tailored, longer test drive under our belt.

Key details 2023 Tesla Model Y 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Single Motor
Motor Single electric motor Single electric motor
Power 220kW 170kW
Torque 430Nm (estimated) 330Nm
Drive type Rear-wheel drive Front-wheel drive
Transmission Single-speed automatic Single-speed automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 115kW/t 85kW/t
Weight (tare) 1909kg 2001kg
Spare tyre type None None

Should I buy a Tesla Model Y or a Volvo C40?

Let’s be real – with the average private Australian car price just above $50,000, neither of these options is a bargain to the average Australian buyer. Both have exorbitant insurance quotes too, with the Tesla only slightly cheaper than the Volvo.

However, if you are shopping down this aisle, then these are two exceptional and premium options worth exploring.

The Volvo C40 is a stylish and feature-packed proposition. With technology, safety and sustainability on the brand’s forefront, there aren’t many elements that can be brought into contention.

The C40 is spacious for a small SUV, possesses ample driving range, is a comfortable everyday tourer, and has plenty of bells and whistles that you’d expect from a base model in its price range. It also scores points for its incredibly reasonable servicing costs, while the running costs of the Model Y are yet to be determined.

However, no matter how appealing a proposition the C40 is, put it up against a more than compelling offering like the Model Y and it loses a few battles.

For starters, you can get into a Model Y for cheaper. While both offer state-of-the-art technology, the Tesla has a slight edge over the Volvo. The Tesla also wins the battle of efficiency, not venturing far from its claimed consumption figure.

Space is also a large contributor. While the Volvo is a roomy vehicle, the Tesla presents an incredibly spacious and practical proposition.

Both are premium concepts, with loads of kit to boot, but this particular battle is won by the swanky Tesla – a top-notch offering with an impressive package.

Overall Ratings

Drive’s Pick

2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon

8.0/ 10

8.0/ 10

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon

7.9/ 10

7.9/ 10

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Ride Quality
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Handling & Dynamics
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Driver Technology
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Interior Comfort & Packaging
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Safety Technology
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Infotainment & Connectivity
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Energy Efficiency
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Value for Money
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon
Fit for Purpose
2023 Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive Wagon
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Wagon

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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