Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid interior & comfort
The XC60 Recharge is one of Volvo's latest generation of vehicles, and as a result uses the brand’s smart new design language inside. Volvos of old were practical, but their interior layout and technology always felt a little confused. Not here, however: the cabin is spacious, high-quality and boasts lots of the latest technology.
Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid dashboard
All XC60s get a nine-inch portrait-orientated tablet touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard. It’s flanked by a pair of nice metal air vents, while the plastics and leather that line the rest of the interior mean that, when you factor in the hybrid technology as well, the car's price tag starts to make sense.
That display is joined by a 12.3-inch digital dial panel, which continues the hi-tech theme. It’s not as configurable as some rival systems, but there’s enough functionality on offer here that you certainly won’t feel short-changed.
One drawback of the system is that the climate controls are integrated into the touchscreen. It’s a small point, and while it means the dashboard is free of buttons and therefore clutter, you have to use the screen to adjust the temperature and fan speed. At least there are shortcuts for these points, so it’s not as bad as some systems that work in this way.
You also get steering-wheel controls that you can use to manipulate the digital dashboard, but they also control radio presets and volume, as well as the adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving systems where fitted.
Equipment, options and accessories
Standard equipment on the XC60, regardless of which trim level you go for, includes a leather steering wheel, cruise control, hill-start assistance, keyless start, LED headlights, powered and heated door mirrors, a powered tailgate, automatic wipers, a rear-view camera, parking assistance, alloy wheels, two-zone climate control, heated front seats, a 60:40 split-folding rear seat, digital radio, Bluetooth and sat nav.
A wide swathe of safety equipment is also standard across the range, in keeping with Volvo's longstanding focus on this area. Included is a 'city safety' automatic braking system with pedestrian, cyclist and large-animal detection, oncoming traffic and off-road impact mitigation systems, road-sign recognition and a full complement of airbags.
The XC60 Recharge line-up kicks off with the T6-engined Inscription Expression, which is something of a 'company-car special', with lots of kit thrown in for a relatively low P11D value. On top of the standard features mentioned above, it gets gloss-black and chrome exterior trim and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Next up is the R-Design, which is also only available with the T6 powertrain. It's a sportier take on the XC60, with contoured sports seats, front foglights, 19-inch alloy wheels, dark-tinted windows, a sporty bodykit and lowered suspension all thrown in.
The R-Design Pro gets the more powerful T8 engine, along with 'bending' headlights to see better around corners, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, 21-inch alloys, headlight washers, a head-up display, puddle lights and adaptive suspension.
Topping out the range is the most powerful XC60 Recharge of the lot, the Polestar Engineered, with a tuned version of the T8 engine making over 400bhp. A premium sound system, upgraded brakes, a special design of 21-inch alloy, gearshift paddles and a Polestar-optimised gearbox also feature.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Along with sat nav, Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system comes loaded with apps. Spotify is included, along with internet radio functionality for example, but if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity you’ll need to pay £300 for Volvo’s Smartphone Integration pack.
This seems a little steep given how much the car costs and the level of technology that’s otherwise included. It’s also worth pointing out that you’ll need an internet connection or to use your phone's data to use apps such as Spotify. Otherwise, the infotainment system is one of the best on the market.
There are pros and cons to the touchscreen setup in that it’s a little more difficult to use on the move, but it’s also quicker to navigate. Only occasionally does the screen lag behind your inputs. The sat-nav map’s graphics could be a little sharper, but having directions displayed on the digital panel right in front of you is a nice touch.