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Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Review

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD delivers up to 49 miles of electric range along with lots of performance and a very comfortable driving experience

  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Inscription
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  217.0-282.1 mpg
  • Electric range (WLTP):  Up to 49 miles

Summary

  • Up to 49 miles of electric range
  • 350hp = lots of performance
  • Comfortable ride
  • Drive mode controls hidden away

Background

Volvo has been rejuvenated over recent years, with new models that are well designed and good to drive. The company’s latest updates have included fitting its plug-in hybrid models with bigger batteries, so does the 49-mile electric range of the new XC60 Recharge make this PHEV an even more attractive proposition?

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWDVolvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD

Design & Engineering

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD has a 253hp 4-cylinder, 2-litre petrol engine with a supercharger and turbocharger that sends power to the front wheels, with a 145hp electric motor on the rear axle, resulting in a total power output of 350hp and all-wheel drive capability. This latest model has a larger battery which now has a capacity of 18.8kWh (14.9kWh usable).

The battery sits in the middle of the car which results in a transmission tunnel-like hump; this impacts on legroom for passengers in the centre rear seat. But other than that, the XC60 is a practical size, offering good amounts of space for occupants and luggage, with a 468-litre boot, or 1,395 litres with the rear seats folded.

The XC60 looks good on the outside, and inside, where the clean design includes a clutter-free dashboard.

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWDVolvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Driving Experience

The headline is that the Volvo XC60 Recharge is a very comfortable car to drive. Ride quality is excellent, and the whole car feels refined and well-engineered. It’s almost silent on electric power, but it’s also very quiet on its petrol engine at motorway speeds.

However, apart from comfort, there’s another aspect to the XC60 Recharge: performance. With a combined power output of 350hp and a 0-62 mph time of 5.7 seconds, if you need to accelerate past slow-moving vehicles, this can be done effortlessly. Unlike many PHEVs, the XC60 also has decent responses on electric power, thanks to the electric motor having an output of 145hp (and 309Nm of torque).

The XC60 even has more of an agile feeling on country roads than should be the case with a car weighing 2,086 kg. Grip is also good thanks to its all-wheel drive system.

The gear selector is marked with positions of R, N and D. With most new cars, you move the gear selector in one go between R and D, but if you do this with the XC60 you’ll end up in neutral. If you select D, and if you then pull the lever down again, you’ll get ‘B’, for increased brake regeneration – B is shown in the driver’s instrument display, but isn’t marked next to the gear selector. You can also move the selector sideways to change gear manually.

So far, so good. However there’s one crazy thing that Volvo has done: there’s no way to change the drive modes on the dashboard – this ability is completely hidden away. To access the drive modes you have to press a cog symbol at the bottom right-hand corner of the touchscreen. Once you’ve pressed the cog, you then press a button for Driving, and then select Drive Modes, giving you have a choice of Hybrid, Power, Pure, Off-Road or Constant AWD. Below these modes you have the option of Battery Usage: Auto Hold and Charge.

When you’re driving you often want to quickly change a drive mode with one press of a button; in the XC60 there’s no way to do that – a LOT of button-pressing is instead required to change a drive mode – which obviously takes your eye and concentration away from the road.

The good news is that once you’ve finally selected Pure (ie. Electric) drive mode, the XC60 seems to stay in electric mode, unlike a number of other PHEVs. If the XC60 is in Hybrid mode, it seems to prioritise electric power too much at motorway speeds (an example of why it should be possible to change drive modes easily).

The 9-inch central touchscreen has a home screen with boxes for navigation, media and phone, along with cabin temperature controls permanently on display at the bottom, and if you press the symbol with four boxes at the bottom left of the touchscreen you get access to a whole range of additional car controls.

A brilliant feature of the XC60 is that if you switch off the lane keeping aid it stays switched off next time you start the car.

One thing to watch out for is if you walk past the back of the car the tailgate can open by itself.

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWDVolvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Economy and Emissions

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD has an official WLTP electric range of up to 49 miles and WLTP combined fuel economy of 217.0-282.1 mpg. During a week on test the XC60 averaged 41 miles of electric range and real-world economy of 54.1mpg, which is respectable for a two-tonne SUV. The XC60 had a very useful projected range of 550 miles with a full petrol tank and full battery.

The XC60 Recharge has a maximum charging rate of 3.7kW, resulting in a 0-100% charge taking around five hours.

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWDVolvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD

Price and Model Range

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Inscription costs £56,950. Our test car had the options of Lounge pack (£2,550), Lighting pack (£825), Climate pack (includes heated outer rear seats, heated steering wheel and heated windscreen) (£550), 20-inch alloy wheels (£850) and metallic paint (£685), taking the total price of our test car to £62,410, meaning that this isn’t the most affordable of PHEV SUVs.

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid is available with two power outputs: the T6, as tested, with 350hp, and the T8, with 455hp.

XC60 trim levels have now changed. The previous XC60 trim levels were Momentum, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription Expression, Inscription and Inscription Pro. The new ‘streamlined’ trim levels are Core, Plus and Ultimate. Core is the closest to Momentum/Inscription Expression, Plus is the closest to R-Design/Inscription (as per our test car), and Ultimate is the closest to R-Design Pro/Inscription Pro.

There’s also a new Dark ‘theme’ which resembles an R-Design, with gloss black exterior trim, compared to the Bright theme which is similar to the Inscription, with chrome trim.

Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWDVolvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD

Conclusion

The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD is an excellent car overall. It has a well-designed exterior and interior, it’s a practical size, it’s comfortable and very refined to drive, it has lots of performance, along with all-wheel drive grip. Its 49-mile electric range has the potential to cover many people’s daily driving distances. So it’s a shame that one of the very few faults with the car is that Volvo has hidden away the drive modes, which has resulted in too much button-pressing to change drive modes, potentially meaning that drivers won’t be able to maximise the car’s efficiency. The Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 8/10.

Car facts and figures Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Review

  • Test economy: 54.1 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 23-30g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  £0 year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 8%
  • Price:  £56,950
  • Insurance group:  TBC
  • Power:  253 hp (Engine) 350 hp (Petrol & Electric)
  • Torque:  350 Nm (Engine)
  • Max speed:  112 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  5.7 seconds
  • Weight:  2,086 kg
  • Towing capacity: 2,250 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor