Volvo XC60 2.0 T6 Recharge PHEV R DESIGN 5dr AWD Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid
  • 5 door estate

Ten Second Review

The top Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid version of Volvo's XC60 mid-sized premium SUV combines turbocharging, supercharging and electrification for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this Swedish crossover's huge power output. There's a significant price to pay for this technology and you'll need to tailor your motoring life to suit what this car can offer but if you can deal with these caveats, then this is a potentially very likeable package, especially in this improved form.

Background

Quite a few brands have only recently jumped aboard the plug-in hybrid bandwagon but Volvo has long planned for it. The company's current petrol and diesel cars are all based around a single 2.0-litre four cylinder engine block unveiled by Volvo's then R&D Chief Peter Mertens way back in 2011. It was a configuration fundamentally designed around the requirements for plug-in tech and as a result, Volvo was quickly able to launch plug-in electrified versions of all its larger models, including the XC60 mid-sized SUV we feature here. Since then, plug-in variants of rival Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC rival SUVs have also hit the market. Can this XC60 Recharge Plug-in hybrid still appeal in that company? Let's find out, now that this car's been embellished with extra media and safety technology.

Driving Experience

Under the bonnet of the Recharge Plug-in hybrid AWD XC60 models, you'll find a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine which is mated to an 87hp electric motor sited on the back axle. The main powerplant comes in three levels of output: 253hp for the base Recharge T6, 303hp for the Recharge T8 and 318hp for the top Recharge T8 'Polestar Engineered' version. In each case, the set-up is aided by a 25bhp starter motor/generator that pitches in from time to time to smooth any gaps in torque delivery between the two main power sources. It's all enough to deliver a set of stats that it's rather hard to get your head around. In the case of the standard T8 variant that most XC60 Plug-in hybrid customers choose, an enormous 407bhp combined power output offsets the extra weight of all these mechanicals, so 62mph from rest can still be dispatched in just 5.3 on the way to 140mph. Yet there's also the potential for the kind of fuel and CO2 readings that theoretically could equal those of a frugal supermini. Which of those two extremes you reach in an XC60 T8 will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all XC60 Plug-in hybrid models are offered. Ultimate speed is delivered by a 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power and can take you up to 28 miles (more than most people's daily commuting distance) on a single charge. There's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey.

Design and Build

The revised version of this PHEV Volvo hasn't visually changed much. The Swedish brand has slightly tweaked the styling of the front grille and the front bumpers and added fresh exterior colour and wheel options that's about it. This Recharge Plug-in hybrid model looks pretty much identical to the more conventional petrol and diesel variants lower down the range. The eagle-eyed will spot special badging and an extra charging flap but that's about it. At first glance with this second generation XC60, much seems similar to its larger XC90 showroom stablemate. Move to the side though, and the differences between the two SUVs become more obvious. Though this car is only 9mm narrower than its bigger stablemate, dimensions that see it 261mm shorter and 118mm lower make it clearly a more compact and sportier proposition. At the wheel, you sit lower than you would in an XC90 and the muscular-looking door creases, extended 'Thor's Hammer' headlights and revised grille give this model a sportier look. There's a longer bonnet than a rival Audi Q5 - and a longer roofline too. As you'd expect, there are plenty of cabin resemblances to the XC90, especially when it comes to the dashboard, seats and upholstery, plus the same 9.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial displays feature. Key to the changes made with this revised model is the introduction of Volvo's latest Android-powered infotainment system with Google apps and services built in. This intuitive, next-generation infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation and unparalleled connectivity. This is further enhanced through the introduction of a brand-new Digital Services package, the centrepiece of which is access to Google apps and services, which offer hands-free help with Google Assistant, best-in-class navigation through Google Maps and a broad offer of native in-car apps via Google Play. In the back, two adults should be very comfortable and there's also a really unique touch - concealed storage compartments under the rear seat bases which are just the right size to store electronic devices, like a tablet, out of sight. Out back, there's a 468-litre boot (down from 483 in the conventional model), extendable to 1,395-litres once you fold the rear bench (down from 1,410-litres).

Market and Model

You'll have expected there to be a price to pay to add in sophisticated plug-in tech to the XC60, but you might not have expected it to take the price of this Volvo right up into the £59,000-£65,000 bracket. But that's the reality here. For the T8 version of this Recharge model, there are 'R-Design Pro' and 'Inscription Pro' trim levels, plus there's a unique 'Polestar Engineered' version of the T8 Plug-in hybrid. If you need to pay a little less, the slightly lesser-powered Recharge T6 plug-in hybrid version of this model is priced from around £52,000. Every version of the XC60 is very well equipped. As standard, even entry-level variants come with leather-faced upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control with a 'CleanZone' air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and alloy wheels of at least 18-inches in size. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is also standard. This brings a 9" portrait-style touch screen, satellite navigation and an intuitive voice-activation system. It also provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps such as Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp. Volvo's City Safety system is fitted to every XC60. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and the world-first application of Steer Assist. This feature helps to avoid or limit the severity of collisions at low speeds by assisting with the steering in an emergency, such as when swerving to miss an obstacle. There's also Pilot Assist, Volvo's innovative semi-autonomous drive feature. This assists with the steering (up to 80mph) and takes care of the acceleration and braking required to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired cruising speed or distance from any vehicle in front.

Cost of Ownership

The Recharge plug-in XC60 variants achieve an all-electric driving range of around 35 miles, assuming you limit yourself to the car's 'Pure' all-EV mode. As for the WLTP fuel and CO2 stats, well the standard Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 55g/km. And the standard Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 56g/km. For the T8 Polestar Engineered variant, the figures are up to 85.6mpg and 73g/km. As with any plug-in hybrid, there's little point in purchase unless you establish a regular recharging regime for the battery pack, which in this case is 11.6kWh in size. Customers will be able to buy a wallbox from Volvo that will charge their cars on 16-amp power in about two and a half hours. If you're out and about and find a 10-amp pubic charging point, the charging time will be slightly longer - three and a half hours - while connecting up to a normal domestic three-pin 6-amp supply will take six hours. The important thing of course, is that the government believes the fantasy-land CO2 stats, so business users will be able to write down as much as 100% of the cost of a XC60 T8 against their tax liability. And a 40% tax payer could be driving this variant while incurring a BIK tax bill of no more than around £100 a month. If you're a business buyer browsing in this segment, these are figures that'll reward a bit of thought if you're just about to blindly sign on the dotted line for a conventional six cylinder diesel model from a rival brand.

Summary

The sort of sensible buyer likely to be considering an XC60 is, we think, likely to be sorely tempted by this Plug-in hybrid version. The combination of low taxation and the potential for virtually fuel-free commuting mileage is, as with any model of this type, a tempting one. And when you match it to this car's class-leading safety standards and cool, Scandinavian vibe, the resulting package offers a refreshing alternative to rival German-branded SUVs. But the asking figures are substantial and in an era where government assistance is absent, you'd have to be very sold on the plug-in remit here to opt for this Recharge model. After all, if you merely want your premium luxury mid-sized SUV to be in some way electrified, Volvo offers very acceptable mild hybrid petrol and diesel versions of this car lower down the range. We think those B5 variants might be a better pick for most customers. But if you have to have technology superiority in your XC60, only the Recharge variants offer it.

  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Care key with user defined top speed
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows
  • Keyless Drive (includes Keyless Entry and Keyless Start) with Handsfree Tailgate Opening/Closing
  • Private locking for tailgate
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Run off Road Protection
  • SIPS airbags
  • Warning triangle
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners
  • First aid kit
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • Mechanical child locks on rear doors
  • Road sign information display
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 5 three point seatbelts
  • City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + large animal detection + front collision warning with full auto brake
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Underfloor stowage compartment
  • Illuminated glovebox
  • Contour sports seats with nappa leather/textile upholstery
  • 12V socket in front tunnel console and cargo compartment
  • High gloss black steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • Front and rear door pocket and front cupholder illumination
  • Recharge aluminium tread plates
  • Bright metal luggage threshold
  • Centre console cupholders and storage
  • Rear seat concealed storage
  • 3 spoke tailored sports steering wheel
  • Sport pedals
  • Charcoal headlining
  • Load protection net
  • A-pillar parking ticket holder
  • Sport leather gear knob
  • Load cover
  • High gloss black rear bumper deco
  • Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain
  • Roof spoiler
  • Recharging port located in nearside front wing
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Roof antenna
  • High gloss black window frame surround
  • Integrated roof rails in high gloss black
  • High gloss black mesh front grille with high gloss black surround
  • Fresh air subwoofer
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Max. Loading Weight: 561
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 70
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2099
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 598
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2660
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1395
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2100
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • Special Order: False
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: T6 Recharge PHEV
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Coin Series: R DESIGN
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • Badge Power: 340
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 41E
  • Special Edition: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • CC: 1969
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 52
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 46
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 11.6
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 32.3
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 28.6
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 33
  • Battery Leased: False
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 53
  • Wheel Style: 5 SPOKE
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Alloys: True
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/55 R19
  • Particles: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 113
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 2.5
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 2.8
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 100.9
  • Height: 1658
  • Wheelbase: 2865
  • Width (including mirrors): 2117
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Width: 1999
  • Length: 4688
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 35.7
  • Engine Power - KW: 250
  • Engine Power - BHP: 340
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1700
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 350
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 258
  • Top Speed: 112
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 64
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 55
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 55