In-depth reviews

Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid review

Late 2021 updates to the XC60's infotainment, interior, fuel economy and electric range have seen it pull ahead in the premium plug-in hybrid SUV class

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£56,150 - £56,150
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Google-based infotainment
  • Affordable running costs
  • Brilliant performance

Cons

  • Pricey to buy
  • Poor economy if not charged
  • 3.7kW maximum charging speed
ModelElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
T648 miles283mpg23g/km
T847 miles257mpg25g/km
Polestar Engineered T845 miles235mpg26g/km

The Volvo XC60 Recharge is an excellent plug-in hybrid SUV, capable of competing with the plug-in versions of the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5. Late 2021 brought a series of updates inside and out for the Swedish contender, making it an even sterner rival for those models than before. 

The same powertrain options as before remain: both the T6 and T8 use a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine combined with an electric motor. There’s an impressive 345bhp on offer from the T6, and 448bhp from the T8 powertrain, which was also used in the top-of-the-range Polestar Engineered version.

Thanks to the electric motor, the XC60 delivers its power in a smooth, electrically assisted surge, so there’s always plenty of performance for making effortless progress. Entry-level T6 cars are capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, while the higher-spec T8 model can do 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.

Of course, a plug-in hybrid has to be efficient, too. According to Volvo, the updated XC60 Recharge can deliver up to 283mpg, while CO2 emissions are 26g/km at most. Those low emissions also mean the XC60 Recharge attracts a lower Benefit-in-Kind company-car tax rate than a similarly priced diesel-powered rival.

In electric mode, the XC60 is also incredibly quiet. There’s barely any noise from the motor and wind and tyre roar are well suppressed. However, this changes when the petrol engine kicks in, as it’s vocal when revved. Although, with electric driving range now up to 48 miles thanks to the 18.8kWh lithium-ion battery introduced in late 2021, it should be possible to complete most commutes without using the engine.

The XC60 Recharge is also comfortable, especially on air suspension. The ride is absorbent, and you feel the fluidity that the sophisticated setup gives. But even the entry-level trim rides on fairly big wheels, so cracked tarmac and violent bumps do upset the body, but most of the time the XC60 is serene.

Plug-in hybrid powertrains often have one drawback: reduced practically – and the XC60 is no exception to this rule. There's a little less space on offer than in the regular petrol or diesel-engined XC60s due to the presence of the battery and electric motor, but a 468-litre boot with the rear seats in place is still decent. Plus, Volvo has managed to keep interior space for passengers identical to the regular XC60.

Plus, Volvo has fully embraced the Android Automotive operating system, with the updated XC60 featuring a new Google-powered infotainment suite. Volvo’s in-house infotainment system was already one of better systems on the market, but now routine functions like the heated seats, navigation and radio controls can now be programmed using “Hey Google” voice commands. The brand's old navigation has also been replaced directly with Google Maps, and the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display benefits from improved graphics.

The XC60 Recharge also now comes as standard with a seven-metre Type 2 charging cable, which will allow you to top up the battery from a home wallbox or most public charging points. But the on-board charger still limits its maximum charging speed to 3.7kW, so the best time you'll see to fully recharge the battery is around five hours, regardless of what you're plugged into.

The updates Volvo has made to the XC60 Recharge, from the revised styling and bigger battery to the new Google-powered infotainment setup have made an already excellent car better: it's one of the best plug-in hybrids SUVs out there. For a more detailed look at the Volvo XC60 Recharge, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…

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