Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid


Inevitably, it’ll go down in history as one of those days when you remember exactly where you were. Some were working; nurses, airport staff, the emergency services, motorway service station personnel, no doubt many more. It was a bank holiday, so thousands probably chose to watch the television. Others chose to travel.

    Me? On the day of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, I was on my way back from the 2022 Goodwood Revival. Should anyone care to ask, I was driving a Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid; very nice it was too.

     The roads were empty, so the usual flotilla of elderly hatchbacks driven by elderly people whose soul intention seems to be imposing their own 38 mph speed limit on the A272 between Midhurst and Winchester were, thankfully, notable by their absence. Progress, thus, was significantly swifter. 6 music on the Bowers and Wilkins sound system, heated seats set to low – just to ease the morning chill you understand… A quick stop at Lanzante, in Petersfield, in order to admire not one, but two McLaren F1s in the showroom window - should such things be for sale (unlikely) they’re worth in excess of £16Million, each - the only reason for any delay.

      Covering big miles with ease on days when you’re feeling a little jaded, is perhaps the Volvo XC60’s forte. And especially so one might think after having glanced at the PHEV’s promised combined mpg figure of somewhere between 217.0 and 282.1.    

    Hmm… Where do they dream this stuff up? With the 18.8kWh battery fully charged, you might, just might, be able to travel 40 miles or so on electrons alone. Nevertheless, no matter how soft the souls of your driving shoes, or however much you utilise the excellent regenerative braking function – you can practically drive using just the accelerator alone; lift off and it’s as if you’re using the brakes - your chances of making it back from Sussex to Shropshire on a single gallon of unleaded, Super or otherwise, are a pipedream.

     The reality is this is a two-tonne SUV, one with both an engine, and a motor and its accompanying battery in tow. Regardless of which of the XC60’s driving modes you choose, expect low 40s mpg, on a good run, at best.

   That’s not say that the XC60 feels in any way lethargic, or that it lacks agility. Volvo have always put comfort first, so the XC60 does roll a little in corners and feels a little softer than, say, a similar-sized BMW. The steering doesn’t offer as much sense of connection as many a so–called sports SUV either. That said, one could argue the XC60 isn’t trying to be sports SUV. However, the XC60 PHEV that brought us back from Sussex, should you require such things, can crack the 0-62mph benchmark in under 6 seconds. Quick enough, surely, in anyone’s book, especially in what is essentially a five-seat family car?

       A minor niggle: On British B-road pockmarked tarmac, the combination of large alloy wheel rims and low-profile tyres endowed “our” XC60 with a very un-Volvo-like firmness, fortunately smoother motorway surfaces eased such things. Presumably, Swedish B-roads are smoother than ours.

       Another niggle, or at least, a question: Will anyone ever actually plug this plug-in hybrid in? 

     With its tank brimmed the XC60 has a range of over 400 miles. Unless you need to cross city or ULEZ zone, do you actually need those extra electric-only miles – except of course to help reduce BIK payments and road tax charges?

    Cynical maybe, but in a week of the XC60’s company I never once troubled a charging point – the truth is I struggled to find one, in more than a few places.

    The day after returning home I reluctantly handed the XC60 over to the driver who came to collect it, with approximately a third of tank of petrol still in it. I suspect he probably didn’t to stop to charge it on his way home either.




Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Inscription


Engine: 1,969cc 4Cyl 16V turbocharged, petrol

Transmission: 8-speed Auto, Four wheel drive.

Power:  253 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 258 lbft @ 2,500 – 5,000 rpm

0-62 MPH: 5.7 Sec

Max Speed: 112 mph

Weight: 2086 kg

WLTP electric range: Up to 49 miles

Battery Capacity: 18.8kWh

Max charging rate: 3.7kW

0-100% 3.7kW charging time: From five hours

CO2: 23-30 g/km (WLTP min – max)

mpg: 217.0 – 282.1 (WLTP min – max)

Price: from £56,950 (as tested £62,410).


Many thanks to Tom at Volvo’s UK press office for the loan of the XC60




Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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