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Behind the Wheel: Volvo S60 ReCharge T8

by Matt NelsonJanuary 24, 2024
The Volvo S60 mid-size sedan is a refined plug-in hybrid that delivers improved environmental impact and style to go with it.
Volvo S60 ReCharge T8 rear view on road.

The Volvo S60 model introduced in 2000 was positioned to compete with the popular BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class of the time. Since then, it has been a popular staple for the Swedish automaker. Now well into its third generation, the S60 has evolved as part of Volvo’s promise to electrify its entire fleet and now is available exclusively in electrified form as a plug-in hybrid. Green Car Journal editors had the opportunity to spend time behind the wheel of this Volvo PHEV and came away impressed by its style and satisfied with its overall performance.

Volvo has borrowed from its subsidiary company Polestar for power. The S60 is equipped with a 312 horsepower 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine augmented with a 143 horsepower electric motor located at the rear. Energy for the motor is supplied by an 18.8 kWh battery. The combination ekes an impressive 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft torque overall. Power is handled by an eight-speed Aisin automatic transmission and distributed via an all-wheel-drive system.

Volvo S60 ReCharge Electric Range

The S60 offers a combined EPA-rated range of 530 miles. If drivers choose to use the S60’s Pure driving mode using only the battery, they should expect an EPA range of about 41 miles. When using Pure mode, the S60 Recharge is rear-wheel-drive. The 14.9 kWh battery can be charged to full capacity in about five hours using a 220-volt charger.

The exterior of the Volvo S60 Recharge can be summed up in one word: refined. When looking over the front of the vehicle one notices Volvo’s familiar Thor’s Hammer LED-accented headlights, with the large Volvo badge front and center. Its hood slopes down toward the fenders at either end to lend a slightly muscular appearance. At its flanks, the S60’s roofline rakes gently to its rear haunches and ends abruptly at the rear end, again giving it an air of muscularity. A high trunk line is accented by a small rear diffuser and familiar Volvo taillights at the back.

Interior cabin of Volvo S60 ReCharge sedan.

A Refined Volvo S60

Stepping into the S60’s interior presents another example of a refined experience. A sleek and functional design here finds Volvo’s nine-inch infotainment screen taking center stage. Large HVAC vents frame the screen with a brushed aluminum trim piece accenting the bottom of the dashboard. Adequate storage is present in the center console and doors pockets. Rear seat passengers get a good amount of legroom for two adults in the outboard positions but less so in the middle position. Two B-pillar-mounted HVAC vents provide heated or cooled air to passengers on both sides. Trunk space is adequate for a mid-size sedan, though depth and a spare tire is sacrificed to store more batteries beneath the floor. 

Volvo employs a new Android OS for its infotainment system that integrates an array of features into its tech arsenal. Google Maps is incorporated, with the S60 utilizing GPS information to adjust efficiency parameters according to driving conditions encountered in city or highway driving. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster ahead of the driver is also capable of displaying Google Maps information. A handy heads-up display lends the ability to easily read current speed and other information without taking eyes off the road.

Volvo S60 ReCharge plug-in hybrid on a road.

Volvo S60 ReCharge Tech

A proud hallmark of Volvo is safety, and the S60 Recharge is no exception. The car received a five out of five star crash test safety rating, along with receiving Volvo’s award winning safety tech. The S60 Recharge is equipped with 360-degree cameras, Blind Sport Warning, Cross-Traffic Alert, among other notable tech features. Four trim levels are offered including the base Core, mid-range Plus, and Ultimate trims, all available in an aptly named Black Edition that adds black accented wheels, grille, and badges.

The Volvo S60 Recharge T8 is a welcome blend of refinement and power offering an entry price of $51,950. It bears consideration as a great all-around car for anyone desiring the ability to get home quickly and in comfort while also stepping up to the environmental benefits of plug-in electric power.