2021 Volvo XC 60 Recharge
Volvo has set its course to electrify its entire lineup by 2030. It has already made a huge leap in doing so through a series of plug-in hybrid models that are found on every model, except for the XC 40. That model is now available in a full battery-electric model.
As part of this electrification strategy, Volvo has christened these models under the Recharge sub-brand. In the case of their popular XC 60 premium compact SUV, we have not just a nice vehicle, but one with a charging port and a fuel filler – the Recharge T8.
The XC 60 Recharge looks like a “normal” model. Specific badges and the charge port door ahead of the driver are clues that it is the T8 model. With the said, it is a very handsome SUV with a sloping roofline and a more three-dimensional front-end design with the Thor’s Hammer headlamp units. The sloping roofline is accentuated by the XC 60’s L-shaped taillights.
Our Inscription tester added upgraded 20-inch alloy wheels, with additional chrome trim all around.
Steeping inside the XC 60 Inscription, you are reminded how much Volvo has evolved since refreshing its entire lineup a few years back. That begins with a fully digital instrument cluster, the Sensus infotainment screen, and that stubby Orrefors crystal gear changer. The driver’s atmosphere is clean with modern Scandinavian design and feel.
Seats are upholstered in perforated leather seats in Blond. The front seats are supportive and offer power adjustments for seatback bolsters, thigh support, lumbar, rake, height, and recline. They also felt kind of firm, but you can settle in for longer drives over time. Rear seat room is good, but we suggest that you be aware of is a “transmission hump” in-between the outboard seats.
Cargo space maxes out at 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seats down. The angled roofline does cut into the height.
The Recharge T8 driveline is made up of a gasoline-fueled 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine with a single electric motor. In total, this driveline offers up 400 combined horsepower, along with 472 pound-feet of torque. Our tester had all-wheel-drive as standard connected through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
We experienced a quiet operation with this driveline, even with just the gasoline engine running. It is also a quick mover, managing traffic in passing and on-ramp maneuvers. Cruising is equally smooth, especially when you venture into utilizing the Pilot Assist function.
In Pure Electric mode, you only get up to 19 miles of all-electric range. Overall, we observed an average of 26.0 MPG.
The ride quality is pure luxury. Our tester is also equipped with the air suspension system that can be adjusted when you need to load items in the rear cargo area. In all, it felt excellent. As for handling, it felt a tad soft, but very controlled. The steering and suspension responded quickly to hazards on the road and recovers just right.
On-center feel for the steering is very good and will hold its own even without Pilot Assist. The turning radius is tight, and maneuverability is easy to manage. Stopping power is pretty good. Even with the usual hybrid regenerative braking system, they modulate well, and pedal feel was just fine.
Pricing for the 2021 Volvo XC 60 Recharge T8 AWD lineup starts at $53,500. There are three trim levels available. Our Inscription tester came with a sticker price of $71,340. For non-Recharge models, the XC 60 lineup starts as low as $41,700.
The XC 60 Recharge is often compared to several plug-in premium SUV models, including battery-electric models. These competitors include the Tesla Model Y, BMW X3 xDrive30e, Jaguar I-Pace, the Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q5 55 TSFI-e Plug-In Hybrid. The rest of the XC 60 lineup is often cross-shopped with the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Cadillac XT4, Lincoln Corsair, Lexus NX, Jaguar E-Pace, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Infiniti QX50, and the Genesis GV70.
Overall, the Volvo XC 60 is a fantastic premium SUV in its size class. Adding the recharge driveline also provides its occupants with guilt-free driving. You are often reminded of that when you plug it in to a charger, as well as pump fuel into the tank. The reward is a fine SUV with superb driving manners befitting its luxury status.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors