As a premium SUV, Volvo has produced petrol and diesel only versions of the XC60 for well over a decade. It is hardly surprising that Volvo wanted to give buyers the option of a hybrid engine, too, given that this has been their top-selling model for years. In 2017, the Swedish manufacturer introduced two T8 all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of the car with an electrically powered motor. One could produce 314 hp and the other just two hp more, so there is very little to pick between them.
This is even more so when you also consider that the Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid had the same electric motor. In 2018, a so-called T8 eAWD version was also offered. Again, this car had the same electric motor with very little to set it apart from the earlier versions. Global sales of the Volvo XC60 rose in 2017, 2018 and 2019, so what are buyers finding in this hybrid SUV compared to, say, the Audi Q5? It's all in the detail, so let's dig a little deeper into the twin-engine versions of these models.
Range, Charging, & Emissions
Range: The hybrid XC60 Volvo has produced will run for an average of 32 miles on its electric engine before it runs out of power. Of course, you also get a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine so you are able to continue your journey if you exceed this range. That said, around 30 miles is what you'd expect of the car's main BMW and Audi rivals so the Volvo XC60 is in good company for SUVs of its class.
Battery size: All of the twin-engine variants of the Volvo XC60 carry the same battery. This is 11.6 kWh in size, of which about 10.4 kWhs is usable for driving with. The battery produces 86 hp of power when used for driving. Although the 2.0-litre engine provides all-wheel power, the electric engine is for road use only since it will only drive the rear wheels.
Charging time: The Volvo XC60 SUV will charge in five hours from a standard home power outlet. That's great for commuters who want to top up overnight or from the office during the working day. If you invest in a 3.6 kW outlet, then expect this time to drop to just three hours. A charge at a 50 kW public charging point will be much faster.
Full charge cost: The average cost of charging a Volvo XC60 SUV from empty to full would be around £1.80 depending on your tariff. This equates to about 6.4 pence per mile before the petrol motor kicks in.
Insurance group: Depending on the trim level of the plug-in hybrid Volvo XC60 you choose, the insurance group the car is in could be as high as 43. The 2-litre T6 Recharge PHEV R Design 5-door AWD Auto variant of the car is in group 40. That's about right for SUVs of this size. Bear in mind, however, that some non-hybrid models of the Volvo XC60 are in groups as low as 31.
Warranty: Like other Volvos, the XC60 comes with a three-year warranty that lasts up to 60,000 miles – whichever comes sooner. The Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid also has a battery warranty that is good for 100,000 miles or eight years, whichever threshold is past the soonest.
Service intervals: Volvo recommends that the hybrid SUV is inspected by a qualified technician every 5,000 operating hours. Other than that, an annual service is to be expected on all Volvo XC60 variants.
Road tax: The Volvo XC60 SUV is only eligible for £15 road tax in its first year on the road. After that, owners of any Volvo XC60 will have to fork out £480 for years two to five. Trips into the London Congestion zone are not charged for with the Recharge XC60, however. There is also a benefit in kind rate for company car owners of 16 per cent in 2022-23, not bad for an all-wheel drive family SUV.
0-62mph: Volvo's range of plug-in and mild hybrid XC60s offers differing performance. A 94bhp B4 diesel variant of the mild-hybrid technology that blends electric power with fossil fuel will get from stationary to 62 mph in 8.3 seconds. That's not fast by the standards of most SUVs today but Volvo has never had a reputation for producing fast cars. However, the Polestar Engineered T8 variant of the Volvo XC60 SUV four-cylinder, eight-speed automatic hybrid will get to 62 mph from a standing start in 5.2 seconds.
Comparisons and alternatives: The Audi Q5 e-tron takes 5.7 seconds to get to 62 mph. In fact, the Audi Q5 has a top speed of 124 mph while the Volvo XC60 SUV will only get to 112 mph. Other than the Audi Q5, one of the main rivals for the Volvo XC60, the BMW X3 xDrive30i all-wheel SUV gets to 62 mph in 6.3 seconds while affording owners a top speed of 149 mph.
Driving modes: You get an all-wheel driving mode with the Volvo plug-in hybrid T8 which is good if you live in the countryside. Other than that, the front-wheel-drive mode is sufficient for nearly all situations on the road. Whether you use the front-wheel-drive mode or the rear wheel electrically powered motor, the road noise can be quite high. Certainly, the Audi Q5 is quieter and often comfier. The plug-in hybrid Volvo XC60 starts in electric power mode and will switch to petrol or diesel when needed. The mild hybrids will begin in a fusion mode however which is constantly adapted for the greatest fuel economy possible.
Economical features: The Volvo XC60 SUV has a regenerative braking system. If you put the car into B mode, then the amount of energy recaptured by the Volvo will be maximised.
How it performs in different environments: The Volvo XC60 is an SUV that you can genuinely off-road with. However, you'll want to use its fossil fuel engine for that. The car is best cruising on the open road and never feels underpowered when its batteries are in use. However, it is in the start-stop traffic of the city that the Volvo XC60 provides most benefit with zero emissions and very efficient mileage even among its entry-level models.
The appearance: The Volvo XC60 is a stylish car. Most reviews agree that the looks of the model, as well as the XC90, are what makes it compete so well with BMW, Mercedes and other rivals. The XC60 R Design is among the most stylish of all Volvos. It has a glossy black exterior and a sports suspension that looks very cool.
Features: An entry-level XC60 trim will offer automatic LED headlights, adaptive brake lights, a roof spoiler, a rear wiper, a roof antenna and stylish, coordinating wing mirrors.
Variants available: As well as the entry-level car, there is the next step up, R Design, which is best distinguished by the front aluminium tread plates and black door mirrors. Inscription is the top of the range trim. Both R Design and Inscription come in so-called Pro versions, too. Chrome roof rails are one of the external signs of the Inscription trim level.
Dashboard: Any review of the XC60 Recharge hybrid should mention just how clearly laid out the dashboard is. Reviews of all the XC60 models praise its fit and finish with everything you need where you expect it to be.
Infotainment: The infotainment system in the XC60 is the same as the XC90. Arranged in portrait mode, it is not everyone's idea of how a modern infotainment system should be laid out. That said, it looks neat in the car's central console. Google is pre-installed which is handy but overall the system's user interface is a little too in-depth with menu after menu to work through. This is only likely to appeal to people who like high tech cars with lots of gadgets.
Equipment: The centre console in the XC60 has cupholders. You get floor mats and a load protection net with all model variants. You also get a good height and reach adjustable steering column with every XC60 model. Volvo's attention to detail also means there is step illumination when getting in and out.
Storage space: The XC60 comes with an illuminated glovebox. There's also concealed storage in the rear seats. What's more, you will find a very handy underfloor stowage compartment with all models.
Boot: Volvo's VX60 Recharge variants offer just a little less boot space than the non-plug-in versions. However, there is still 505 litres to play with. Fold the rear seats down and this will increase the interior storage space to 610 litres.
NCAP: The 2017 car was tested by NCAP and awarded five stars. The five-door models were found to be best of adult occupancy safety, scoring an impressive 98 per cent.
Cars safety features: Automatic emergency braking comes with all models of the car with AEB pedestrian, city and interurban fitted as standard. A WHIPS whiplash protection system features as does crash protection from the side. A handy slippery road hazard light alert is also a good safety feature.
The XC60 T6 Recharge the cheapest of three electrified variants of the car. This one will set you back just a little under £52,000. That's around £8,000 more than you would pay for the equivalent non-hybrid variant of the car. The price of an R Design T6 comes in at £53,490, by way of comparison. The on the road price you can expect to pay for an Inscription Pro Recharge T8 has a price of £60,115. A T8 that has been Polestar engineered will set you back a whopping £64,930, however.