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Test drive: Volvo XC60 Recharge, the plug-in hybrid model of Volvo’s mid-range luxury SUV

LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews the Volvo XC60 Recharge, the plug-in hybrid model of Volvo’s mid-range luxury SUV.

By Lisa Curtiss  |  April 3, 2022
Volvo XC60 Recharge

Over the last few years no premium car manufacturer has made such a positive impact in terms of launching models with the highly coveted combination of elegance, versatility, quality, safety and eco-forward credentials than Volvo.

The uber-cool Scandi minimalist aesthetic of the brand’s DNA has birthed cars such as the V90 which are a design-snob’s absolute delight. Our most recent model on test, the XC60 Recharge is no exception and is as desirable as SUVs can get.

Nature-inspired design

Volvo XC60 Recharge side view

More compact than its also excellent XC90 sibling, the XC60 Recharge is a beautifully crafted midsize hybrid SUV perfect for family life. Bold sweeping lines give the SUV a coupe-esq feel. Viewed from any angle it’s undoubtedly an elegant, aerodynamic and perfectly proportioned car. From the sculpted side lines which run across the doors, to the stylish yet fuss-free lights and iconic Volvo front grille it’s hard to pick fault.

Slip inside the cabin and the aesthetic appeal continues. As Volvo says on its website, ‘details matter’, and that, for all its models, means tasteful, thoughtful, necessary and refreshingly frill-free. The cabins of the XC60 Recharge, same as the stunning V90 and XC90 reviewed are a masterclass in how to create a calm ambiance, be practical, use environmentally conscious materials and delight the eye.

Pale neutral tones from nature and minimal artfully placed chrome details are used, complementing soft yet strong leather-free tailored wool blend upholstery and a driftwood inlay with a pattern inspired by the elemental forces of water, wind and waves. Even the hand-crafted gear shift is of genuine Swedish crystal, made exclusively for Volvo by Orrefors. A panoramic roof which allows the light to flood in illuminates these lovely touches.

Comfort is foremost too and the cabins are spacious front and rear, light and airy. Thoughtful features include an advanced air purifier in the air quality system which prevents up to 95 per cent of hazardous PM 2.5 particles entering the cabin. This helps all occupants enjoy better and healthier air quality, regardless of the conditions outside. You can even monitor particle and pollen levels outside the car too.

Volvo interiors are the best you can experience, even compared against other brand models several times the price.

Technology rich

Volvo XC60 Recharge interiors

The XC60 recharge literally has Google built in to provide best-in-class navigation and entertainment access. With Google Maps seamlessly integrated in the XC60 Recharge, real-time traffic information and automatic rerouting helps you reach your destination with less hassle.

Google Assistant – you can talk to Google in your XC60 Recharge for hands-free help. Easily get directions, enjoy entertainment and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues – just say ‘Hey Google’ to get started. Plus you can stay connected to your digital life as Google Play in your XC60 Recharge lets you enjoy the apps and services that can make every journey more entertaining and convenient.

Subscribe to the Digital Services Package and enjoy full access to all the remote services in the Volvo Cars app including locking and unlocking, cabin pre-cleaning and cabin heating or cooling. Our Inscription model on test featured the excellent Premium Sound by Harman Kardon with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound.

Safety first

Volvo XC60 Recharge on road from behind

Of course there’s a wealth of safety features too, including a Head-Up Display which allows you to watch your speed, follow turn-by-turn navigation, and more without losing focus on the road. The brightness of the head-up display adapts automatically to the light conditions, and you can set the system to suit your own personal preferences.

There’s also City Safety with Steering Support which includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking and steering assistance. Plus Oncoming Lane Mitigation which automatically provides steering assistance if you unwittingly drift out of your lane, guiding you back into your lane and out of the path of any oncoming vehicles.

Run-off Road Protection automatically tightens the front seatbelts should the car inadvertently leave the road, while front seat frames with a collapsible section reduce vertical forces to help prevent spinal injuries. And there are Automatic LED headlights with active high beam and a rear parking camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Out on the road

Volvo XC60 Recharge on road

Our XC60 Recharge T8 AWD Inscription Pro model on test was a delight to drive – smooth, supple, swift and engaging – more car-like than a good sized SUV. If you’ve been slightly nervous of going fully electric, this is an excellent model to reassure. It enables you to add electric power to your everyday drive and enjoy a plug-in hybrid that considers tomorrow without compromising today’s experience.

With one pedal drive and all-wheel drive, the XC60 Recharge performs with agility while delivering relaxed control and a smooth, powerful drive. The T8 engine delivers 303hp (petrol) and 87hp (electric) and gives a combined economy of 100.9-113mpg with just 56-64g/km CO2. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.5 seconds, and the electric range is 46 miles.

The XC60 Recharge is very probably the best mid-sized SUV around. Our model tested was £63,735 representing excellent value for this calibre of car. For more information, visit volvocars.com/uk/cars/xc60-hybrid/.