Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The 2023 Volvo XC60 PHEV premium SUV is a rare sight on the road, which is a shame as this Swedish built, premium compact Crossover is particularly good. The 2023 XC60 slots above the smaller XC40 and below the flagship XC90 SUV Volvo lineup. First up is the attractive styling – influenced by the larger XC90 and its wonderful interior design. The XC60 with the T8 plug in hybrid powertrain is now called “Recharge,” in line with all Volvo’s electrified models. Minor changes for 2023 include a mild grille redesign and a boost in EV driving range as well as battery size. The XC60 Recharge trims models start at $64,950 for the entry Core version, the upscale Plus version starts at $75,400 and the fully loaded Ultimate trim line at $82,200.
The XC60 T8 Recharge Ultimate model as tested arrives equipped with the plug-in hybrid T8 powertrain. This includes a 2.0L direct turbo charged engine paired with an electric motor and 18.8 kWh Lithium-ion battery. Total output is an impressive 455 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Pure electric driving range in the plug in XC60 is quoted officially at – 58 kms, before the gasoline engine kicks in.
Charging this PHEV using a Level 1 charger is slow. A better option is to use a Level 2 charger if you have one at home for a quicker five- hour or overnight full charge. Aside from the 58 km of pure EV driving, the XC60s fuel consumption in L/100 km is around 8.5L combined.
The XC60s cabin is uniquely Swedish: clean, modern with a neat orderly look. There are super comfortable seats, and plenty of leg and head room. The minimalist dash, sparse switch gear, knobs and controls are all ergonomically perfect. Equipment on our Ultimate trim tester included: 2-Zone Climate Control, Panoramic Sunroof, BLIS – Blind Spot Information System with Cross traffic alert, Keyless Entry with Handsfree Tailgate Opening, 12.3-inch Driver Display. Head up display and much more. Of note is the fully tailored instrument panel and the cool-looking crystal gear knob. The huge panoramic roof means the cabin feels light and airy. Roomy and comfortable heated back seats arrive with Volvo’s unique integrated booster seats.
The XC60’s cargo area has a pass-through for longer objects. Behind the seats there is 598 litres of cargo space and a foot sweep function to open or close the rear tailgate. Additional stand-alone options on our tester included: front seat massaging feature, Premium Bowers, and Wilkinson sound system, four corner air suspension with four-C Active chassis and 22-inch Matt Black Diamond cut Alloy wheels. The closing price with options came to a heady $91,075 plus accessories. Freight and PDI is an extra $2,315
Safety is also high with LED Headlights with Active Bending Lights, Lane Keeping Aid, Park Assist Camera, Collision mitigation Support, Pilot Assist semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control with steering assistance, customizable driver aids and other numerous features.
On the road ,the XC60 is supremely comfortable thanks to its excellent seats and supple suspension. The strong powertrain offers excellent performance in terms of EV acceleration and sustained high speed cruising with the gasoline engine. There are five drive modes available: Hybrid, Power, Pure, Off-Road and Constant All-Wheel Drive for driver preference and terrain. Meanwhile the hybrid powertrain offers three drive option modes, Auto which the XC60 determines, Driver selected Hold and Charge which maximises the amount of regeneration.
The XC60 proved to be a competent, composed driver on the highway and has a tight turning radius for easy steering in urban areas. The driving experience is enhanced by the optional air suspension that simply glides over road imperfections without losing composure. A smooth shifting 8- speed transmission transfers from pure electric drive to gasoline undetectably. The active cruise control is a stand-out with its adjustable distance control.
To sum up, not a lot to complain about. The XC60 look smart and elegant, has a cool, comfortable interior with distinct Swedish design elements. It could do with more cabin storage and a less driver distracting info system. Plus, it is a bit expensive for the Ultimate version, but you do gain premium interiors, vault -like build quality and amazing technology. Safety as usual is extremely high with a plethora of driver aids and technology. Highly recommended if you want Swedish premium exclusivity and that cool Scandi Wow factor!
2023 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Ultimate- MRSP $82,200. Price as evaluated with options $91,075 plus accessories. Freight and PDI is an extra $2,315.
More info at www.volvo.ca