Volvo V60 Recharge hybrid review

A luxurious interior, sharp looks and low running costs make the Volvo V60 Recharge hybrid estate a desirable package, particularly for company-car drivers

Volvo V60 Recharge
Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£51,270 - £51,270
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Powerful hybrid engine
  • Rock-bottom running costs
  • Stunning styling inside and out

Cons

  • Quite expensive to buy
  • Not as much fun as a BMW
  • R-Design fails to live up to sporty looks
ModelElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Recharge T631-54 miles141-353mpg18-46g/km

The Volvo V60 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of Volvo’s family estate car – itself the more practical version of the now-discontinued Volvo S60 saloon car. The V60 Recharge forms part of the Swedish brand’s extensive line-up of electrified models, sitting alongside the XC60 and XC90 PHEVs, as well as the fully electric XC40 and C40, to name but a few.

The plug-in hybrid V60 is a strong choice, even if many buyers prefer the raised driving position of Volvo’s SUVs. As a fairly large and relatively expensive plug-in hybrid, one of its key target markets is the company-car sector, where rivals like the Volkswagen Passat GTE, BMW 330e and Mercedes C-Class hybrid battle for customers.

Sporting the regular V60's sophisticated styling, the hybrid once offered the choice of T6 or T8 powertrains, but the estate is now T6-only. It pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine with a 143bhp electric motor for a total output of 345bhp. The petrol engine drives the front wheels while the electric motor works on the rears. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard.

The standard 385bhp T8 version was dropped in early 2020, followed by the V60 T8 'Polestar Engineered' with a total of 448bhp from the same combination of 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine and electric motor.

Battery capacity for every version is 18.8kWh, and the customary set of plug-in hybrid driving modes is offered, letting you choose between using battery power alone, conserving the battery and prioritising the engine, or combining the two in either the most efficient or most powerful way. The latter will see the Recharge T6 accelerate from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds, while more gentle driving could see you cover over 50 miles in zero-emissions, fully electric mode.

Making full use of the battery will get you close to the claimed fuel-economy figure of up to 352.6mpg, but the more you use the petrol engine, the faster it'll drop. However you drive the V60, though, its CO2 emissions of 18-46g/km (depending on the exact specification) keep company-car costs to a minimum.

From behind the wheel, the V60 isn't as engaging as a BMW 3 Series, feeling a bit out of sorts when driven aggressively. That said, most people will be perfectly happy with its safe and predictable handling – especially if you place particular value on comfort and refinement.

Volvo offers the V60 hybrid in just two trim levels: Plus and Ultimate, which replaced the previous R-Design and Inscription. The old top-spec Polestar Engineered version – which has a small power boost compared to the regular car, as well as some extra kit – is no longer available. Standard equipment for Plus cars includes a powered tailgate, heated leather seats, keyless entry and four-zone climate control. Ultimate adds a large sunroof, a 360-degree camera, a premium Harman Kardon stereo system and additional driver assistance features. Both can be ordered with Bright or Dark themes for the exterior trim.

Overall, the V60 is an impressive addition to Volvo's line-up of Recharge plug-in hybrid models. We can understand why Volvo has kept the T6 version, because the T8 Polestar Engineered wasn't really worth the extra cash, as this car isn't capable of BMW-like driving thrills despite the extra horsepower. And yet the hybrid V60 is likely to offer plenty of appeal nonetheless. For a more detailed look at the V60 Recharge, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…

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