Volvo X60 T8 Recharge crossover combines gasoline, electric power

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Volvo’s XC60 premium compact crossover now comes in a “Recharge” version, featuring a plug-in hybrid drive system, which reportedly can go up to 41 miles on a single charge.

The XC60 Recharge was upgraded last year to give it extended battery range. This model is part of the second generation of the XC60, introduced five years ago.

For 2023, the XC60 T8 Recharge comes in three basic versions, beginning with the Core model, with a base price of $58,495 (plus $1,095 freight).

It’s followed by the Plus model, which adds the Plus Package to the Core version, making the price $62,745. “Plus” features include Pilot Assist, a 360-degree Surround View camera system, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Next is the Ultimate model ($68,950), which we tested for this report. It includes the Plus features, along with the Ultimate Package upgrades.

The Ultimate Package brings Harman Kardon premium sound, front-seat ventilation, a graphical head-up display, and more.

Our tester came with the “Dark” exterior, at no extra cost, which replaced the standard “Bright” themed exterior. Volvo says the Dark theme presents a “contemporary and dynamic exterior design expression with glossy black detailing.”

Dark theme features include a high-gloss black mesh grille, window trim and mirror caps. Also standard on our Ultimate were the beautiful 20-inch, diamond-cut alloy wheels.

This is a fun ride thanks to its total of 455 horsepower and 523 foot-pounds of torque.

That comes from its combination of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 143-horsepower electric motor. The gasoline engine by itself is rated at 312 horsepower.

Power on our tester was supplied by an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission driving the front wheels, and the electric motor powering the rear wheels, giving the car all-wheel drive.

Electric-only range with the improved long-range battery is now an EPA estimated 35-41 miles when driven in pure mode, on a single full charge. Volvo says that owners with access to charging at home or at their workplaces can use battery power for the majority of their routine daily driving.

All Recharge T8 models also qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.

Volvo says the new battery has an added third layer of cells to increase nominal energy from 11.6 kWh to 18.8 kWh.

The electric motor also was boosted in power from the previous model’s 87 hp. Besides the new powertrain, the 2022 model upgrades included one-pedal drive capability on XC60 and S90 Recharge models.

That extra power from the electric motor increased power to the rear wheels by about 65 percent, enhancing performance and drivability, as well as improving the all-wheel-drive capabilities.

 One-pedal drive, already a feature on all-electric Volvo vehicles, allows the driver to control acceleration and braking using only the accelerator pedal. Just as in the Nissan Leaf electric car we recently tested, this feature uses so-called regenerative braking – back pressure from the electric motor in braking mode – to stop the car without having to depress the brake pedal.

It takes a little bit of practice, as we learned on the Leaf, but is a useful feature.

Volvo says the extra battery capacity also helps on cold winter and hot summer days when accessories – such as heating and air conditioning – tend to gobble up battery power. Drivers can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin remotely via the Volvo Cars app while maintaining all-electric driving range.

The XC60 Recharge model’s turbocharged T8 gasoline engine has also been upgraded to provide better fuel efficiency and performance. That includes reduced tailpipe emissions.

EPA ratings on our XC60 Recharge Ultimate were 63 mpg-e (primary electric driving), and overall regular combined mpg of 28, using gasoline and electric drive together.

The Recharge models are in the lineup along with the regular gasoline XC60 models, which begin at $43,450.

The Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid is part of the second generation XC60 compact crossover, introduced for 2018. For model year 2021, adaptive headlights and rear USB-C ports were added as standard equipment.

All models come with all-wheel drive and automatic stop/start technology, paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual feature.

The hybrid battery pack can be recharged using the standard charging cable, which, with an adaptor, enables Level 1 or Level 2 charging using a household outlet.

Three drive modes are offered: Pure, (zero tailpipe emissions); Power; and Hybrid (maximum efficiency and range). Charging also occurs during engine braking or while the combustion engine is running.

The Ultimate Package replaced last year’s Inscription Package. Other Ultimate features include Nappa leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, “tailored” dashboard and upper door panels, high-level interior illumination, power-adjustable front seats with power-adjustable side supports and cushion extension, front and rear park assist, and front “Recharge” tread plates.

Extras on our Ultimate included the Bowers & Wilkins audio upgrade ($3,200); air suspension system for a softer, cushioned ride ($1,800); Climate Package ($750), with headlight cleaners, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats; power-operated tailgate ($200); and Thunder Grey Metallic exterior paint ($695).

Just as you’d expect from Volvo, the XC60 is well built, well equipped, very comfortable, full of safety features, and a delight to drive. Road handling was superb, especially on twisty country roads near our home that we love to use for test drives.

Volvo says the XC60 Recharge T8 can go from zero-60 mph in 5.0 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph.

Our car’s transmission shifted smoothly and at mostly just at the right time, so we did not make use of the provided manual-shift feature. The gearbox’s computer controller helps keep it from gear-hunting on uphill and downhill slopes, and it brings quick bursts of speed – mostly from the electric motor at lower RPMs — to accommodate passing and uphill freeway ramps.

In keeping with its upscale mission (and price), our cabin was high quality. There is sufficient knee and legroom in the back seat, but it’s more comfortable with just two adults in the rear, with the center armrest pulled down from the seatback.

Among other standard features were a panoramic moon roof with power sunshade, LED headlights; leather-wrapped steering wheel (tilt and telescopic); keyless entry and pushbutton start; and two-zone automatic climate control.

It also comes with walnut wood interior inlays; illuminated door handles and high-level interior lighting; navigation, Wi-Fi, HD and satellite radio; two front and two rear USB ports, Bluetooth connection, and 9-inch touch screen; a 12.3-inch digital instrument display; laminated side windows; and automatic high beams.

Standard technology features include Volvo’s City Safety system. It takes over control of the vehicle if the driver becomes distracted – perhaps while “texting” instead of driving – and automatically stops the car if it is about to run into the vehicle in front.

Also included are Pedestrian, Cyclist and Large Animal Detection; the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive system; Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation; Lane Departure Warning and Driver Alert Control; and road sign information.

Other safety gear includes seat-mounted side air bags and roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for both rows, electronic stability control with traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, tire-pressure monitoring, the Volvo Whiplash Protection System, a high-strength steel safety cage, and side-impact protection.

There also are electric power steering, adjustable drive-mode settings, and dual integrated tailpipes.

Total sticker price for our 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD Ultimate was $74,690, including freight and options.

The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Express-News since 2000. Contact him at or on Twitter @gchambers3. His driving partner, Emma Jayne Williams, contributed to this report.

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 AWD Ultimate

The 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate comes with Nappa leather upholstery and wood interior inlays.

The 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate comes with Nappa leather upholstery and wood interior inlays.

Emma Jayne Williams

The package: Compact, premium, five-door, five-passenger, turbocharged inline four-cylinder, gasoline and electric-powered, all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid crossover utility vehicle.

Highlights: The XC60  is Volvo’s compact SUV, and the Recharge model is a plug-in hybrid version. It has a long list of high-tech safety features and options, and a powerful four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor.

Negatives: Can get pricey with all the options.

Engine: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder gasoline, turbocharged, paired with electric drive motor for the rear wheels.

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic.

Power/torque: 455 HP./523 foot-pounds, combined gasoline and electric.

Length: 185.4 inches.

Curb weight: 4,175 pounds.

Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.

Cargo volume: 25.8 cubic feet (behind rear seat); 63.3 cubic feet (rear seat folded).

Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds.

Side air bags: Front seat-mounted, roof-mounted side-curtain for both rows, standard.

Electronic stability control: Standard.

Fuel capacity/type: 18.8 gallons/unleaded premium recommended, not required.

EPA fuel economy: 63 MPG-e; 28 mpg combined.

Base price: $68,950, plus $1,095 freight.

Price as tested: $74,690, including freight and options (2023 XC60 Recharge T8 AWD Ultimate).

On the Road rating: 8.8 (of a possible 10).

Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.

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