The 78 kilometers of pure electric drive promised by the laboratory measurements in the combined WLTP test cycle, the Swedish car, which is impressive in every way – both in terms of size and aesthetics (which in fact can reach 94 in the most favorable urban cycle) is a real lure , but we don't think it's the one that will primarily lead those who can afford to break the psychological barrier of 70,000 euros to acquire the VOLVO XC60 Recharge T8 AWD plug-in hybrid. And this is not because the 78 (and much more the 94) kilometers of zero emissions are in practice at least 30% less, which is more or less the case for all plug-in hybrid models on the market, but mainly because Volvo's stylish SUV has and other qualities to demonstrate, which are part of what in marketing language you may have heard called “unique selling point” – USP.
Economy and ecology or perhaps performance?
And as strange as it may seem for a car that touts its eco-credentials, as a golden mean between fully electric battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and “conventional” cars with internal combustion engines, its most basic merit may after all, it is not even the possibility of driving without consuming gasoline – something that for the owner of such an expensive, premium car is of little financial importance. Besides, with the average real fuel consumption of the test reaching 8.2 L/100km – but it can easily approach 10.0 L/100km if you overdo it with the “sweet” (as we'll see) throttle, probably the economy doesn't is the number one question when buying the big, but stylish, Volvo.
A much more important quality for the driver of the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD is probably the performance, as with just 4.9 seconds for the well-known 0-100 km/h, the Swedish SUV seems to be in direct competition with most of the hot GTi on the market, with permanent four-wheel drive to support the smooth passage of the increased combined power of 455 hp on the asphalt – while offering the well-known advantages in relation to traction on slippery surfaces. It is worth pointing out that it is an electric and electronically controlled four-wheel drive – with all the positives this implies in terms of improving traction – which is achieved with the help of the electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
Under the front hood rests the very good two-liter, direct-injection turbocharged and all-aluminum D4 series gasoline engine that produces 310 hp at 6,000 rpm and lets its maximum torque (400 Nm) unfold between 3,000 and 4,800 rpm. The cooperation of this engine with the electric motor of 107 kW (146 PS) – and the torque of 309 Nm – is what offers the impressive accelerations on the move, with the usually immediate response to the throttle. The 8-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, does a good job of giving the driver the option of manual/serial shifts when he wants to take full control. It goes without saying that the option to choose the operation program of the drive system is offered, between fully electric (Pure) operation, hybrid (Hybrid), sport (Power), permanent four-wheel drive (Constant AWD), and off-road driving (Off-road). Note that the towed load reaches 2,250 kg.
But it is not only the performance that will make you find yourself behind the wheel of our Volvo test. It's also the total space/practicality/equipment package that offers transportation capabilities that are hard to find in competing models. In a way, the XC60 could be described not only as an SUV, but also as a station wagon. The trunk is simply huge, possibly the 598 liters you see in the technical characteristics do not tell the whole truth while the maximum capacity reaches 1,395 liters (almost 1.5 cubic meters!).
Somehow we end up talking about a car not only of a large size, but also of high practicality – which is even “enhanced” by one more feature: the ease of driving that refers to a smaller car! If you don't drive it, you can't perceive it: the XC60 looks extremely agile, thanks to its quick steering wheel (turning circle 11.4 meters), while the suspension, which in everyday life offers level comfort, manages to control extremely effectively the movements of the two tons that weighs the body. It goes without saying that you don't feel unsafe anywhere, the big Volvo treads very well on the asphalt.
Add to all this the familiar quality and Scandinavian design – elements we talked about at the beginning of our text – and another USP begins to take shape, another incentive to buy this Volvo. Which as worthy of carrying the heavy Swedish brand can bring nothing less than a complete package of the most advanced driver assistance systems, while the robustness that characterizes its construction comes to remind us of the high expertise that Volvo has in the field of passive safety . Also add a number of digital conveniences such as integrated Google services that include a number of applications such as Google Assistant, Google Maps and many others from Google Play, directly in the car – this is a very useful personalization -, but also the remote functions Volvo Cars app.
EVALUATION (OUT OF 10)
VOLVO XC60 Recharge T8 AWD PHEV
ROAD BEHAVIOR 8
DRIVER SATISFACTION 8
VALUE FOR MONEY 7
And since no one is perfect we have to point out that at some point Volvo will have to review the ergonomics and the touchscreen menu through which a number of vehicle functions are set. Some of the functions of the instrument panel also need a review, as well as the smart key itself, with the tiny indications on its small buttons.
Because of this
Obviously the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD is not what you first think. It's not just any large and luxurious SUV – it's certainly a premium and expensive car, but at the same time it offers the advantage of being different from the established (see German “establishment”). A differentiation that results both from the aesthetic approach, but also from the special characteristics of the big Volvo, which in the end we would not buy it so much because it is a plug-in hybrid – i.e. “green” – but more because it is incredibly practical, easy to drive and…” cannon”. Provided, of course, that we would also have a correspondingly large garage…
MODEL VOLVO XC60 Recharge T8 AWD PHEV 2024 TIMH €73.174 FEES €0
MOTOR 1969, Turbo, Electric Motor, 4 Cylinder, Inline FUEL OIL Hybrid
POWER kW(PS)/rpm 455 TORQUE Nm/rpm 709
TRANSMISSION Automatic, 8-speed, automatic four-wheel drive
PERFORMANCES 0-100 in 4.9 sec, final 180 km/h
CONSUMPTION/CO2 1,3 L/100km, 30 g/km
VOLVO XC60 Recharge T8 AWD PHEV 2024
FOR SPACES, PERFORMANCE, PRACTICALITY, BUILD QUALITY, EQUIPMENT, DRIVING, EASE OF CONTROL/DRIVE.
AGAINST ERGONOMIC MINOR WORKSHOPS.
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