The Volvo XC40 can be summed up in nine letters – luxurious

On Monday, McGinley Motors kindly allowed me to take the stunning Volvo XC40 for a test drive around Letterkenny and it’s fair to say this stylish jeep is now on my wishlist.

The jeep hardly makes a sound, feels smooth even while driving on pothole filled roads and is very comfortable to drive.

So comfortable in fact, it made leaving the car back to the office very difficult.


On top of looking stylish, the car is kitted out with all the newest features including 360 cameras, Google assistant and a heated steering wheel which would have been a delight during that recent cold snap.

The 360 camera was my favourite thing about the car. It was a completely new feature to me and it made driving in traffic easy while it was also very helpful when parking and reversing in tight spots.

Having always been a diesel driver, I had many questions about the logistics of driving an electric car and thankfully Pa McGinley was on-hand to answer them.

McGinley Motors Letterkenny is the main Volvo dealer in the northwest and Pa told me that Volvo electric cars have been selling well this year with many customers opting to change from the traditional fuels.

“Customers seem to be ready to switch to electric and hybrid cars and it is going well.

“Volvo has been a leader in the transition to electric cars and they are continuously working to improve their vehicles.

“Over the past number of years, we have been training up our technician and salesmen, so they were ready for the changeover; this means we are in a good position to cater for the public demand now,” said Pa.


McGinley Motors Sales Executive Ciaran McHugh showing off the fully electric Volvo XC40 Ultimate model.

It was my first time driving an electric car so I was a bit curious about charging the car and how easy it would be to access a charging point.

However, I found a handy electric charging point behind An Grianan Theatre while there is another in the Justice Walsh Car Park.

The car was fully charged when I got it and it only dropped by around 3 per cent as I drove around the town for about half an hour so I am guessing that’s pretty good!

Access to charging points is one of the biggest concerns for people making the swap and the increase in popularity of electric and hybrid cars, has sparked the call for more charging points throughout the county.

Volvo has also been working to combat this with longer ranges and recent improvements to their vehicles make the fully electric models even more attractive than they already were.

Pa also pointed out that home chargers can easily eliminate any concerns people might have.

“Most people who buy an electric or a plug-in hybrid tend to put a home charger in and then they can charge the car at home overnight and do most of their driving during the day.

“If they are going further afield like Dublin or Belfast, they can then use the public charging stations along the way.

“There seems to be enough charging points along the way.

A fully electric car has a long range before it needs to be charged but it can also be charged much quicker maybe within half an hour or so, so people seem to manage it well.’’

“A lot of the charging stations have been upgraded over the past 18 months and they don’t seem to report many issues with charging the cars,” said Pa.

Not only does the XC40 look well, the automatic transmission means the car is a dream to drive while the height and tough exterior made me feel safe and secure. That’s why it came as no surprise to me to learn that across the range, Volvo has put safety at the centre of everything it does as part of Volvo Cars’ vision that no one should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car.

In fact, the Volvo XC90 and XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid were recently named 2023 IIHS TOP SAFTEY PICK+ Award Winners. This announcement came after the IIHS strengthened the requirements for its awards.

The new, tougher, criteria demands better side crash protection, improved pedestrian crash prevention systems, and the elimination of subpar headlights from the field of qualifying vehicles.

Donegal News journalist Emma Ryan ready to take the fully electric Volvo XC40 Ultimate Model out for a test drive.

The biggest change to the criteria comes with the replacement of the original IIHS side crash test.

The updated test involves 82 percent more energy and requires vehicles to earn an acceptable or good rating to qualify for TSP, while a good rating is required for the TSP+. Swapping over to an electric or hybrid vehicle is a big change to make, so if you purchase your car from McGinley’s, the garage offers aftercare and advice.

“It is a big change for people so we have a workshop here just beside our showroom and the lads are trained to work on electric cars in the safest way. We are also always available to give advice to anyone who needs more information about their electric car or the grants available to customers,” said Pa.

McGinley Motors has been in business for around 40 years and has been through many changes within the motoring industry, however the introduction of electric cars is without a doubt the biggest change.

“This is a big switch from traditional fuels, diesel and petrol.

“They are still selling but there is definitely a bigger percentage of people going for low emissions whether that be full blown electric or plug-in hybrid,” said Pa.

Volvo has also made sustainability as important as safety and has announced plans to sell only fully electric vehicles by 2030 and aims to become carbon neutral by 2040.

As part of a new package of product updates, Volvo has now improved both the range (WLTP) and charging for the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, increasing range by as much as 60 kilometres on some variants.

Furthermore, new powertrains are offered on the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge, including a rear-wheel-drive variant – the first time in 25 years that Volvo is offering a rear-wheel-drive product – as well as a revised all-wheel-drive performance model.

The all new fully electric Volvo XC40 Ultimate model from the rear.

Another first for Volvo is that the second-generation permanent magnet electric motor, driving the rear axles for the fully electric C40 and XC40 models has been developed in-house at Volvo Cars.

If you would like professional help to choose the best vehicle for your requirements, you can trust the expert sales team at McGinley Motors. They provide considered and impartial advice to all customers.

You can test drive your chosen model, putting it to the test and forging the all-important bond between driver and car.

To speak to one of the specialist sales advisers at McGinley Motors about finance, buying or selling a car, please complete the online enquiry form at or call on 074 9125666.

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