Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Volvo XC60 Recharge - all in for the plug-in?

“The Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid proves that efficient cars can also be sleek, desirable and fast – but they are rather expensive”

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Beautiful interior
  • Handsome
  • Fast

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Numb steering
  • Body lean when cornering

Verdict - Is the Volvo XC60 Recharge a good car?

The XC60 Recharge is a handsome car inside and out, with a relaxed nature that makes it ideal for drivers who favour comfort and refinement for long stints behind the wheel over sporty handling. Significant upgrades under the metal have made the Recharge noticeably more useful, thanks to a longer range and punchy acceleration provided in part by the electric motor. Its only problem is a high starting price, putting it up against models with more badge prestige like the Ranger Rover Velar P400e. Look past that, though, and the XC60 Recharge is the better car.

Volvo XC60 Recharge models, specs and alternatives

 

While many plug-in hybrid cars prioritise economy above all else, the Volvo XC60 Recharge hybrid (PHEV) was at least as much about speed as it was efficiency when the T8 launched. In 2020, the XC60 Recharge range was expanded to include a new T6 entry-level model, making it more affordable.

Advertisement - Article continues below

A 2021 facelift saw the XC60 Recharge given a subtle makeover, along with a new Android-based operating system inside that's one of the best in the class. An increase in electric range also made it less likely for the petrol engine to kick in during the daily commute.

Best plug-in hybrid carsTop 10 best plug-in hybrids 2024

If you’re after a fast SUV of a similar size and price, the Porsche Macan S and Jaguar F-Pace S offer comparable performance, while the Range Rover Velar P400e and Audi Q5 TFSI e plug-in are close rivals for Recharge models on paper. You could also consider a Volvo XC60 with a conventional engine, which won’t be as quick but could save you more than £10,000.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Price is where the XC60 Recharge falls down somewhat, as it’s expensive even in entry-level T6 form, costing over £60,000. This is due to the fact it comes with plenty of standard equipment and a sophisticated powertrain, which features across the Recharge range, albeit with different power outputs. The front wheels are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, while the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor and battery pack.

Such a complex configuration is expensive to build and buy, but it brings three key advantages, the first of which is incredible on-paper fuel economy of up to 282.1mpg (T8) or 313.4mpg (T6) and a pure-electric range of around 50 miles. These official figures will be hard to match unless you make the most of the XC60 Recharge’s battery range, but the second advantage – low company-car tax thanks to CO2 emissions ranging from 22g/km to 30g/km – will be more palpably felt.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Then there’s the speed; all versions of the XC60 Recharge are rapid. Even the base T6 model sprints from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, with the standard T8 completing the benchmark in 4.9 seconds. The driving experience itself is slightly at odds with this performance, though, as the steering is light and uncommunicative, while the suspension leans towards comfort and body lean rather than sharpness and level cornering. This isn’t a problem in lesser XC60s but the Recharge T8’s power doesn’t sit well with its cosseting nature if the car is driven hard.

Inside, every XC60 Recharge is a thing of beauty, with excellent built quality and premium materials. You can choose from three trim levels: Core, Plus and Ultimate, which replaced the Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trims in early 2022. Inside, the dashboard design is carried over from the larger XC90. That means a portrait touchscreen takes centre stage, while digital dashboard dials, leather seats and sat nav are all standard.

The rear doors’ aperture isn’t as wide as you might like, so loading child seats can be a bit fiddly, but head and legroom are generous. The boot, at 483 litres, is larger than the boot in the BMW X3 xDrive30e, and it’s also flat, unlike the BMW which suffers from having a step in the boot floor.

The XC60 last placed in 69th out of the top 75 models in our 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, while Volvo as a company came 13th out of 32 brands in 2023. Equally, it’s safe too, earning a full five-star rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2017.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Skoda Octavia review – the most practical family hatchback
Skoda Octavia
In-depth reviews
19 Apr 2024

Skoda Octavia review – the most practical family hatchback

Bentley Bentayga review – an opulent and comfortable SUV
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
In-depth reviews
17 Apr 2024

Bentley Bentayga review – an opulent and comfortable SUV

Mercedes A-Class – a comfort-focused premium hatchback
Mercedes A-Class
In-depth reviews
17 Apr 2024

Mercedes A-Class – a comfort-focused premium hatchback

Nissan Qashqai sharpened up for 2024, remains just as family-friendly
2024 Nissan Qashqai front quarter
News
17 Apr 2024

Nissan Qashqai sharpened up for 2024, remains just as family-friendly

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

More on XC60 hybrid

Top 3 low-emission SUVs for £500 a month
Tips and advice
1 Nov 2019

Top 3 low-emission SUVs for £500 a month

“Dear Carbuyer, I want a low-emission SUV that is family friendly and well-equipped. What does £500 a month buy me?”
Volvo launches Polestar Engineered S60, V60 and SC60
Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered - Front 3/4 view
News
21 Oct 2019

Volvo launches Polestar Engineered S60, V60 and SC60

Swedish car marker now offers a Polestar Engineered flagship trim level for its T8 specification S60 saloon, V60 estate and XC60 SUV

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024