2023 Volvo S60 Recharge
Volvo has been on a quest to electrify their entire lineup within the next few years. Not just through battery electric vehicles, but adding both mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids, as well.
Case in point is this S60 sedan. Their sports compact sedan serves as an entry point to Volvo’s sedan lineup. This year, they added both a mild and a new plug-in hybrid driveline to the lineup. We were fortunate to review this Recharge T8 model to see how the latter works with this sporty entry for Volvo.
The exterior should be familiar to Volvo fans and owners. The taut roofline, blunt front end, and “Thor Hammer” headlamps make the S60 more distinctive amongst its class. The rear end is adorned with a pair of “C” shaped taillights that fits perfectly with its low-opening trunk. The license plate is mounted onto the trunk lid giving the handsome S60 a nice finish all around.
Our tester is a special edition made for the North American market. It starts with an Ultimate trim level, with blacked out finishes throughout the exterior. That includes a set of gloss black-finished split five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels. This Black Edition model is the most sporty-looking model Volvo has sold in the past few decades…not since the 200-Series Turbo.
The interior sports a signature Volvo look. Our Ultimate trim level tester wore a combination of black leather and sport cloth on a set of contoured and heavily bolstered seats. For most bodies, these seats are supportive and comfortable. Taller drivers may want to find a good position behind the wheel. Rear seat space depends on bodies, as well. There is a “transmission tunnel” that impede on center seat passengers in the rear, therefore our tester can seat four average-sized adults just fine.
Trunk space is quite accessible loading at the bumper. It holds 11.6 cubic feet of space.
The S60 offers a driver’s atmosphere that is engaging and informative. The TFT instrumentation offers two dials, along with plenty of information on trip and fuel economy. Plus, it has a navigation pane in-between the dials. The center stack is dominated by a Google developed architecture housing many of the functions for the vehicle on the screen, including a tire pressure monitor and head-up display adjustments. Controls are sparse, but well placed for key functions not covered by the large center touchscreen.
For the S60 Recharge, Volvo reconfigured its driveline to make it simpler. It starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine connected to an electric motor, an eight-speed automatic transmission and an electric all-wheel drive system. This drive yields 455 combined horsepower and has been tested to go 4.3 seconds from 0-60 MPH.
In turn, the electric side of the driveline can go up to 41 miles of driving in Pure mode. We found that it can drain quite easily, while leaving a substantial range in the fuel tank. No matter which mode you are in, the S60 Recharge is a pleasure to drive and loves to cruise at highway speeds. In turn, this driveline returned a fuel consumption average of 26.6 MPG in our care.
The ride quality was quite smooth and taut at the same time. Cornering was rather flat, even on winter surfaces. Maneuverability is also solid through evasive situations.
In terms of the steering system, it offered a tight turning radius and on-center feel was somewhere between soft and solid. mode. We also found the braking system to be pretty responsive. The pedal feel felt on the softer side, yet it yielded solid stops in normal, panic, and winter conditions.
Pricing for a S60 sedan is $41,300 for a mild hybrid Core model with front-wheel drive. Our Recharge eAWD Ultimate Black Edition model came with a sticker price of $63,690. In either mild-hybrid or recharge plug-in form, there are three trim levels available. The Recharge also comes in a Polestar Engineered model with upgraded driving dynamics upgrades.
The sustainable premium sports sedan segment is still a highly competitive segment full of desirable models. The Volvo S60 Recharge competes with the BMW 330e – the only other plug-in hybrid in its class. However, consumers also compare the S60 with the Audi A4, Acura TLX, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Genesis G70, Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT4 and CT5.
Does the revamped Recharge driveline help the Volvo S60’s cause in this high profile and very competitive segment? In its own way, it does what it is intended to do. It does induce sone exciting driving, which is a trademark of this class. It also delivers a level of luxury and technology consumers want. That is what matters to anyone looking at this specific plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors