Safe, comfortable, electric – well, electric at least part of the time. The first two, the Volvo XC60 Recharge, are always there.
While the popular mid-size SUV is available with traditional petrol engines, it is now also available as a Recharge model – which in the case of the XC60 is a traditional internal combustion engine married with a small battery that can be recharged by plugging it into a full electric car.
The standard price for the XC60 is $ 41,700 / £ 40,460 (about $ 53,000), but prices for the plug-in hybrid Volvo XC60 Recharge start at a higher $ 53,500 / £ 58,850 (about $ 68,000). The data we ran, including options, received a substantial $ 72,840 / £ 64,950 (approximately $ 92,000).
We got the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 behind the wheel of the AWD Inscription Pro – to give it its full name – to find out how it handles the hybrid lifestyle.
Volvo XC60 Recharge design
Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD
Engine: 4-cylinder hybrid
Power: 303 hp
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds
Top speed: 112 mph
EV range: up to 33 miles
Fuel efficiency: 100.9-113mpg
Price: £ 64950
In addition to the Recharge brand behind it, you don’t know about the XC60’s expansion features: it stays true to the design of other nicknames.
It features iconic Volvo design tips from a large grille and lightweight blocks to a familiar ceiling and position. The XC60 Recharge, which sits between Volvo’s XC40 and XC90 SUVs, offers an elevated position and plenty of space without exceeding its size.
Open the driver’s door to climb inside and you’ll find a spacious and comfortable cabin with plenty of head and leg space. The seats are comfortable, and at the XC60 Recharge we drove both heated and ventilated, making sure you’re at the perfect temperature no matter the weather. Oh, and also the steering wheel is heated.
You’ll find a pair of cup holders between the front seats, at the bottom of the cordless phone charger and a smaller covered compartment in the center console, which provides storage space for keys and coins, for example. There are also large door pockets, and more storage space at the front, under the center armrest.
Rear seat passengers are also considered well-groomed, with heated exterior seats, enough head and leg space for adults to sit comfortably for long distances, and an enjoyable view of the sky from the large sunroof.
The door pockets at the back of the car are smaller, but passengers have access to magazine pockets at the back of the front seats, as well as a small tray between the two front seats, perfect for keys or phones.
The good space story continues in the trunk, and the XC60 Recharge offers plenty of space for luggage and food.
The Volvo XC60 charges the drive, range and charge
The Volvo XC60 Recharge is an all-wheel drive (AWD) that provides power to all four wheels to improve traction – but for the most part it only uses two wheels to improve fuel efficiency. Under the hood sits a 4-cylinder petrol engine with a maximum output of 303 hp, but this is not the only power source inside the car.
Because the XC60 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid, you also get a battery that can run the engines, allowing you to move with it without an internal combustion engine at all in EV mode – or in parallel with it in hybrid mode.
In its sportiest mode – what Volvo calls ‘power’ – the XC60 Recharge can produce speeds of 0 to 62 mph in 5-6 seconds and reach a top speed of 112 mph.
It feels strong enough behind the wheel, and although we noticed a slight delay between lowering our feet and the engine reacting, we were able to achieve decent acceleration. The handle of the XC60 Recharge is good enough so you can move around the corners at a reasonable pace, while overall it offered us a relatively smooth, quiet ride.
A striking design feature is the glass drive selector, which allows for easy forward and reverse movement (as well as free and parked), and just below is a ignition switch – which in itself is an unusual touch if you’re unfamiliar with Volvo.
The XC60 Recharge offers a keyless ignition, but instead of the traditional start / stop, here you have to turn the switch 90 degrees to bring the car to life. In a few days you will learn how torque is needed to start the engine, but you will adjust soon enough.
Something else drivers also want to play is the drive wheel, which is located below the start / stop switch.
There are five modes to choose from, the default is ‘Hybrid’, allowing the XC60 Recharge to automatically switch between battery and petrol. For best performance from the XC60, then switch to Power mode, while Off-Road focuses on traction and suspension when driving on uneven roads.
If you want to force four-wheel drive (for example, if conditions are icy), you can choose the ” Constant AWD ” feature, while those who want to be a little friendlier to the planet can opt for the fully electric “ Pure ” mode. .
Volvo says the XC60 Recharge can offer up to 33 miles of fully electric range on a single battery charge, when in reality we got 20-23 miles of pure EV range.
The smaller battery in the XC60 Recharge means it takes an entire night to charge (unless you plug it directly into a traditional electrical outlet in your home). With a 22 kW charger for home use, we can fully charge the battery in about two hours.
Volvo XC60 Recharge specifications
The Volvo XC60 Recharge is equipped with technology. The mirrors feature automatic lights and wipers, air conditioning, blind spot indicators, and our vehicle also had a premium Bowers & Wilkins sound system that provides powerful bass and clarity to our tunes.
The XC60 Rechargo is surrounded by cameras that provide a 360-degree bird’s eye view when reversing and parking the vehicle, as well as parking sensors, making sure you don’t knock anywhere.
You also get Cruise Control and Lane Departure, two features that can work together in Pilot Assist, where the XC60 Recharge takes more control when driving on long roads.
Here, the car accelerates and decelerates automatically, keeping you in the lane and steering as the road bends. You have to keep your hand on the steering wheel and give some resistance so the vehicle knows you’re still paying attention. On long-distance sections of road that move quickly, the feature makes the experience less taxable.
Pilot Assist works reasonably well and maintains speed well, but we found that the XC60 Recharge wanted to hug the other side of the lane and not plant itself in the middle. This led to nervous moments if vehicles in other lanes also walked close to the markings.
The infotainment system is centered around a 9-inch touch screen, its vertical orientation giving it a smartphone-like appearance. It’s one of the more modest displays we’ve seen in new cars, and many manufacturers opt for larger displays, but some may find a smaller offer here more to their liking.
Built-in navigation is usable, but it’s not the best we’ve used: it struggled with entering a zip code. On the plus side, directions are displayed on a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument panel behind the wheel and also on a useful heads-up display (HUD) that transmits key information (including current speed, speed limit, cruise control and nav directions) to the edge of your windshield.
A quick word on the cluster screen. It’s bright and clear, but there’s little in the way of customization, which can frustrate those who want to control a little more of what’s shown here.
Bluetooth support allows you to connect your smartphone wirelessly to the system, which in turn allows you to make hands-free calls and stream audio from your phone via the XC60’s powerful Bowers & Wilkins speakers. The steering wheel has controls to adjust the volume, skip tracks and answer / end calls.
Deeper smartphone management is also available with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay when you connect your phone to one of the two USB-A ports hidden in the storage space under the center armrest.
We used Android Car with XC60. With Google Maps, navigation is approved, even if directions aren’t mirrored in a digital cluster or HUD, like the original navigation, so using the built-in option is still useful.
Also a little frustrating is that the smartphone system takes up less than half of the 9-inch screen, which means the text is on the small side. If the screen had been placed horizontally, it would have allowed Android Car to fill more of it and thus make it easier to read.
We can’t hold Volvo solely responsible here – Apple and Google can also work vertically on CarPlay and Auto systems, allowing for seamless integration into a wider range of vehicles.
And don’t be afraid, rear seat passengers aren’t completely forgotten; they have access to two USB-C ports (yes, USB-C and not the front USB-A ports – make sure everyone has the correct cables).
Volvo recently upgraded its new entertainment system in the XC60 series, but unfortunately this happened after our inspection, so we have not been able to test it. With Google Maps, Assistant, and Play Store apps now built into your car system, they should provide an enhanced experience.
The Volvo XC60 Recharge offers plenty of space and comfort for passengers, there is enough roar under the hood to move, and a range of technologies to keep you safe and easier to drive.
While there is a premium to pay, the plug-in hybrid allows you to drive in fully electric mode, which saves on gasoline use and significantly reduces XC60 Recharge emissions.
You’re not likely to hit Volvo’s offer for up to 33 miles of EV on a single charge, but you can comfortably expect more than 20 miles at a time, covering most trips in and around the city.
- John McCann gets behind the wheel to give you an alternative view of the world of fully electric and rechargeable hybrid electric cars available today – and the technology within them. From high-speed to technical-packed, he takes you through a variety of brands, models, power and price tags in standard TR Drives column.