With more manufacturers moving to battery power – Volvo included – only a handful of plug-in-hybrid crossovers still occupy the mid-size space. The XC60 Recharge is one of the few, and more than any of the limited alternatives out there, Volvo does hybrid luxury exceptionally well.
The Volvo XC60 Recharge is stylish, upscale, and nice to drive. It also has up to 35 miles of battery-only driving on a full charge as part of its 2022 update, which is better than the plug-in hybrid Q5 from Audi, and offers the latest Google in-car technology at no extra cost. It ticks all the right boxes, but those boxes can get pricey.
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|2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge Ultimate
|Turbocharged 2.0L I4 Hybrid
|455 Horsepower / 523 Pound-Feet
|25 MPG Combined / 57 MPGe
Gallery: 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge Review
The Volvo XC60 maintains its clean and elegant look with a simple grille design, Thor's Hammer headlights, and vertical taillights on the rear. The no-cost Dark theme swaps chrome trim for black accents and adds 20-inch wheels with black inserts. There are no visual differences between the gas and plug-in models, though, other than the charging port on the front fender.
The XC60's interior goes for the same upscale yet subtle aesthetic with a combo of black Nappa leather and light wood inserts surrounded by faux chrome. There's too much piano black plastic around the touchscreen and shifter, which leads to fingerprints. But the Orrefors-sourced crystal gear lever is a beautiful touch.
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The Volvo XC60 Recharge finds a happy medium between overly cushy and too stiff, which makes it comfortable in most situations. The Nappa leather seats are contoured well and offer excellent adjustability for both driver and passenger, as well as heating and ventilation on the Ultimate model. A touch of extra cushioning wouldn't hurt, but that's a small complaint.
In EV mode, the XC60 cruises with a tomb-like silence, and the sound deadening does an excellent job of keeping wind, tire, and highway noise out of the cabin. Even when the gas engine kicks on, the sound is never particularly intrusive or obvious. There's plenty of passenger room, too, in the front and second row, with above-average cargo space either with the back seat up or folded.
|Volvo XC60 Recharge
|40.8 / 39.7 Inches
|41.5 / 38.0 Inches
|25.8 / 63.3 Cubic Feet
|Audi Q5 PHEV
|38.1 / 37.7 Inches
|40.9 / 38.0 Inches
|25.1 / 53.1 Cubic Feet
- Center Display: 9.0-Inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 12.0 Inches
- Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto: No/No
Every XC60 has the same vertically oriented 9.0-inch touchscreen with an Android infotainment interface. That includes things like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play store, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But you do still have to plug in for either of those.
The touch response is quick and the home screen is neatly arranged, but certain features require digging deeper into the screen. Adjusting the fan speed and cabin temperature requires two touches at the base of the screen, for example.
The Ultimate trim adds a lovely, customizable 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display for basic features. This trim also includes a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system that projects crystal-clear sound.
- Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-Liter I4 Hybrid
- Output: 455 Horsepower / 523 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Eight-Speed Automatic
The XC60 doesn’t move the needle when it comes to performance. The suspension is firm but mostly unremarkable in the corners and the steering is very light and numb. That said, the XC60’s plug-in-hybrid powertrain does help it accelerate with authority. The extra torque from the battery pack hurries it to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds, which is pretty sprightly for a non-performance SUV – it's even faster than the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick Plus
Volvo’s advanced Pilot Assist safety suite comes standard on every trim outside of the base Core model. Pilot Assist comes with stop-and-go traffic assist technology, lane-keep and lane centering, and adaptive cruise control. It works well enough on the highway but still feels a step behind some of the more modern systems; there was some ping-ponging in the lane and aggressive braking.
Although it is far more fuel efficient than any other non-hybrid crossover in the class, the XC60 Recharge’s 25 mpg combined and 57 MPGe make it just okay against other plug-ins. Plus, Volvo recommends premium fuel only for this powertrain (though that's also true of its key rival from Audi).
|Combined MPG / MPGe
|Volvo XC60 Recharge
|25 MPG / 57 MPGe
|Audi Q5 PHEV
|26 MPG / 61 MPGe
The Ultimate trim is the fanciest XC60 Recharge (not counting the performance-oriented Polestar Engineered), and as the name suggests, you ultimately will have to pay for that upscale treatment. The Ultimate costs $68,245 with destination included, which is nearly $10,000 more than a base Recharge. And loaded to the brim, this tester costs $74,690.
Unless you really, truly need a premium audio system and a head-up display, save yourself the $5,500 and go for the mid-range Plus trim. That version of the XC60 Recharge still has Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise control, and most of the features you’ll want and need.
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