Volvo V60 Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid

Volvo's V60 mid-sized premium estate is at its most sophisticated in Recharge Plug-in hybrid form. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

In Recharge T6 plug-in hybrid form, Volvo's V60 mid-sized premium estate combines turbocharging, supercharging and electrification for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this ambitious Swedish model'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.


If you've resisted the allure of SUVs and you're determined to choose a mid-sized premium-badged estate car, you might expect a £45,000 budget to buy you something with a six cylinder petrol or diesel engine. Volvo's Recharge V60 plug-in hybrid models can't offer that, but they can deliver plenty else in compensation.

In return for the relatively high sticker figure, the usual PHEV virtues feature here in a car that has less direct competition than Volvo plug-in models in other market segments. As with the brand's other designs, its technology is based around the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine block that the company's been using for the last decade. Here though, you get it in the most sophisticated form the marque can offer.

Driving Experience

Under the bonnet of the Recharge Plug-in hybrid V60 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 two levels of output: 253hp for the base Recharge T6 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.

Which of those two extremes you reach in a Recharge V60 Plug-in model will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all Volvo 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 36.7 miles in the T6 Recharge model.

Design and Build

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. To look at, it's very much like the larger V90 estate model that shares its sophisticated 'SPA' architecture. There's some design inspiration from the XC60 mid-sized SUV in places too. The 'Thor's Hammer' LED headlights for example, though they're a bit more sculpted here, while the front apron is more aggressively styled in comparison to the smooth face of the V90.

Inside, there's much more borrowed from those V90 and XC60 models, the interior boasting Volvo's current pared-back interior design language with a 9.3-inch portrait orientated touchscreen infotainment system. Plus there's a digital instrument panel, with virtual dials separated by a customisable central space that can display a navigational map, trip computer info or your chosen phone or media settings. Out back, boot space isn't compromised by the plug-in system's battery in the way that it is with other rival PHEVs. Capacity comes in at 529-litres with the rear seats in place, The rear bench splits 40/20/40 and drops down flat to the floor to free up as much as 1,441-litres.

Market and Model

You'll have expected there to be a price to pay to add in sophisticated plug-in tech to the V60, but you might not have expected it to take the price of this Volvo right up into the £45,000 bracket. But that's the reality here. The 253hp T6 version of this Recharge model comes in 'R-Design' or top 'Inscription' trim and costs from around £45,000. There's also an uprated 'Polestar Engineered' 318hp T8 version of this V60 Recharge model, costing around £52,000. At least every version of this V60 PHEV is very well equipped. As standard, even the 'R-Design' variant comes 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 V60. 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.

Cost of Ownership

The Recharge T6 plug-in V60 variant achieves a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of 36.7 miles, a figure which assumes that the car is driven in its 'Pure' all-EV mode. As for the WLTP fuel and CO2 stats, well the Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 156.7mpg and up to 41g/km. And the Polestar Engineered Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 117.5mpg and up to 56g/km. 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 enjoy a BiK tax ration rating of 10% (it's 14% for the Polestar Engineered T8 version); to give you some perspective on that, a standard V60 D4 diesel auto has a BiK rating of 36%. 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.


The sort of buyer likely to be considering an upper-spec V60 diesel model is, we think, likely to be sorely tempted by this Plug-in hybrid version. After all, if you merely want your premium mid-sized Volvo estate to be in some way electrified, the brand now offers very acceptable mild hybrid petrol versions of this car lower down the range. We think those B3, B4, B5 and B6 variants might be a better pick for most customers. But if you have to have technology superiority in your V60, only the Recharge variants offer it.


CAR: Volvo V60 Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid

PRICES: £45,105-£51,420 – on the road



CO2 EMISSIONS: 41-55g/km

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 5.2s / Max Speed 112mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 156.7mpg [T6 Plug-in hybrid - WLTP]

BOOT CAPACITY: [litres] 529-1441


WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/width/height mm 4688/1902/1658 mm