Volvo have added a new Recharge model to their V60 range, which will appeal to both fleet & retail customers wanting to make the move into a plug-in hybrid. When we last drove the V60 in 2018, we really liked it & after spending time in the T6 Recharge model, nothing has really altered that feeling.
The V60 is up against some stiff competition, with the likes of the BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz C Class Estate & A4 Avant, al battling it out in a shrinking sector. To gain a bit of momentum, the introduction of a high performance plug-in V60 is just what the doctor ordered.
The V60 features the corporate Volvo front grille, Thor Hammer headlights, a deep front pyramid air intake & a slanting front windscreen. The rear end is flatter than the one fitted to the V90, although the rear boomerang light clusters are still in evidence.
The interior of the V60 mirrors those found in the current Volvo line-up, with the centre console dominated by the Volvo 9″ vertical touch screen. All V60 models feature the Volvo Sensus Connect set-up, which is slick & user friendly. The screen that’s on permanent display, offers the four main options of SatNav, Audio, Phone & Connectivity, with the car’s heating controls at the base. Scroll left to access the Car Function set up screen, where you can turn on or off functions such as lane departure warning or StopStart. Scroll right & you enter the Car Applications menu, with access to the radio, Bluetooth, sound experience & car Apps, such as Spotify. The system works seamlessly, but, & it is a big but, it’s starting to feel dated. Whilst this should not put you off the V60, it is worth noting that newer systems are in evidence, especially in the latest Mercedes range.
As far as space goes, front seat passengers have plenty of room & in the rear, two six-footers will sit comfortably behind similarly proportioned front seat occupants. Cabin storage is generous, with two drinks holders in the centre binnacle, medium sized glove box & decent door pockets. Lift up the tailgate & the V60 even with the battery, offers up 539 litres of space, which is more than the competition can muster. The rear seats fold down by pressing two buttons located on the boot side. They lie almost flat to increase the space to 1,441 litres.
Via the multi-function steering wheel, you can select cruise control with the buttons on the left, with the hands-free phone, audio & car data accessed with those on the right. In front of the driver, sits the 12.3″ active TFT drivers information display which contains the rev counter & speedometer & if selected the SatNav screen.
The quality inside the V60 is excellent & is right up there with the class leading German marques. It doesn’t matter which model in the range you choose, Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, or the Pro versions, all are beautifully built & very, very safe. Our test car was the Inscription, but all V60 models come with City Safety with Steering Support, Oncoming Lane Mitigation & Run-off Road Protection. All models also get LED headlights with active high beam, two zone climate control, a power operated tailgate, rear parking sensors, cruise control & Hill Start Assist.
The Recharge features a 253bhp petrol engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gear box. There’s also a further 87hp on tap, courtesy of the electric motor. Together this provides a whopping 335bhp, with 400Nm. Claimed WLTP economy is 134.5mpg – 156.9mpg with CO2 emissions of just 41- 46g/km.
On the road, it’s swift, with 0-62mph talking just 5.4 seconds in Power mode, one of four drive settings. The default Hybrid mode, Pure, aforementioned Power or Individual. The hybrid system itself works well & you’ll barely notice the shifts between petrol & electric power. You can utilise some clever brake regeneration by selecting B in the gearbox, one pull back from D, which will add a few precious battery miles to your range.
Talking of which, Volvo claims a 34-mile range on electric power alone, although experience has taught us that this is more likely to be 25-28 miles in mixed driving conditions. The key as always with a PHEV, is plug-in when you can. Charging the batteries takes 2.5 hours from a 3.7kW wall box, such as our Rolec home charger https://www.rolecserv.com/fleet-charging or six hours on a three-pin plug, which we would not recommend.
Handling wise, the batteries do give the Recharge a more lumpy ride than the straight petrol version & you can feel a slight pull around tight corners from the extra battery weight. Steering is reassuringly light. I’s fun to drive & awesome when you need to overtake on the motorway. Beware though. If you don’t utilise the battery range, you’ll be lucky to break 40mpg, so plug-in.
Costing £46,130, the T6 Recharge ain’t cheap, but for corporate customers, the monthly rental cost will be sweetened by a low BIK of just 10%.
From our point of view, the Recharge is a welcome edition to the V60 range, whilst also making a lot of sense for Volvo, as it heads toward full electrification. For fleet customers, it offers excellent tax savings & if you can plug-in regularly, you will be able to take advantage of that 25-30 mile pure electric range.
A Young Wallander 4/5