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Volvo V60 Hybrid Review

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a smart-looking estate car that’s comfortable to drive and has big boot. But if you want to ensure the promised super low fuel bills, you’ll need to charge it up regularly.

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8/10
wowscore
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
With nearly 60 years of experience between them, carwow’s expert reviewers thoroughly test every car on sale on carwow, and so are perfectly placed to present you the facts and help you make that exciting decision
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Spacious boot
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Very efficient if plugged in

What's not so good

  • Hesitant automatic gearbox
  • Needs to be plugged in – a lot
  • Infotainment can be laggy

Volvo V60 Hybrid: what would you like to read next?

Is the Volvo V60 Hybrid a good car?

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the shining example of how Volvo has advanced through the ages, because it’s an estate car that isn’t a box on wheels, and it contains a cutting-edge hybrid system.

It’s basically Volvo being Doctor Who, because every so often it ‘regenerates’ to be more contemporary and cool, but with all the traditional values – so the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a Swedish Jodie Whitaker.

The broad grille, subtle creases and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights (yep, that’s really what they’re called) make it look just like a baby V90. It looks pretty sharp at the back too, thanks to some huge ‘L’-shaped brake lights and a set of real exhaust pipes – unlike the horrid fake chrome items you get in a Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant.

There isn’t any fakery inside the Volvo V60’s cabin, either. You get plenty of plush leather, cold-to-the-touch aluminium and even optional driftwood trims which all look like they belong on the walls of a swanky Stockholm cocktail bar.

It’s a similar story with the Volvo V60’s cool vertical touchscreen. This comes as standard across the range and looks and feels just like an iPad, but It’s a bit fiddly to operate when you’re driving – unlike the screens in a BMW 3 Series Touring or Audi A4 Avant.

Thankfully, everything else about the Volvo V60’s cabin is there to help you relax. You get lovely supportive seats in the front with plenty of adjustment as standard and there’s enough space in the back for tall passengers to get comfy, too.

V60 PHEV is incredibly rapid and comfortable, but it isn't what you'd call entertaining.

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

It’s not just good at carrying passengers, as you’d expect from a Volvo the boot’s pretty spacious, too. It’s roomier than the load bays you get in a C-Class Estate and A4 Avant so there’s more than enough room for a baby buggy and some suitcases or – if you fold the back seats down – a bike.

After a hard day’s pedalling, the Volvo V60 is the ideal place to sit back and relax. It’s quiet and comfortable to drive and comes with plenty of active safety and driver assistance systems to help you avoid bumps and scrapes.

There are two plug-in hybrids, called T6 and T8. Both comprise a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The T6 produces 253hp and can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 5.2 seconds, while the T8 generates 318hp and can do the same sprint in 4.4 seconds, which is sports car territory.

Volvo V60 Plug-in hybrid range and charging

Both versions of the V60 Plug-in hybrid can run on electric power alone for 34 miles.

You can charge a V60 PHEV to around 80% in three hours from a three-pin plug, but a 7kW wallbox will cut this time to a little over an hour. A 100% charge from a 7kW box will take a little more than an hour and a half.

The T6 can do a claimed 156.9mpg while the T8 offers a claimed 128.4mpg.If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive estate car that won’t break the bank then, you should also look at the BMW 3 Series Touring PHEV. But, if it’s a comfortable, stylish and very safe family car you’re after, then the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid makes a very fine choice indeed.

How practical is it?

Fab seats and plenty of cabin space make the V60 comfortable, but the middle rear passenger gets a rougher deal.

Boot (seats up)
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Boot (seats down)
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You should find it very easy to get a comfortable driving position in the Volvo V60. Its seats support your back in all the right places and feel more thickly padded than seats you get in alternatives.

Standard electric height adjustment for both front seats means you’ll find it easy to raise and lower the seat, while the steering wheel can be adjusted up and down and in and out to give you an unobstructed view of the digital driver’s display. The driver’s seat also comes with a memory function so it’s easy to return the seat to your position if someone else has been using the car.

Electric lumbar adjustment is another standard feature and it doesn’t feel as weedy as you’ll get in other cars – you’ll find the added support it offers very welcome on long journeys. You also get heated seats fitted as standard in every Volvo V60 – just the thing to kickstart your body on cold mornings and you can pay extra to have heated rear seats fitted, too.

Speaking of rear seats, the Volvo V60 has no problem carrying a few adults in the back. Even if you’re a tall driver, your equally tall friend sitting behind will have enough knee room to stay comfortable on a long journey and they’ll have more than enough headroom.

The only thing you might hear complaints about is the lack of foot room, though. With your seat in its lowest position, any passenger sitting behind you might have trouble sliding their feet underneath your seat.

That’s more of a problem if you have three people in the back because the huge hump in the floor means a third person will have to share the other passengers’ footwells. Other than that, though, the middle seat isn’t as hard as you find in some alternatives and headroom isn’t an issue, even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted.

The Volvo V60’s rear doors open nice and wide so fitting a child seat is an easy job. The gap’s still plenty big enough to manoeuvre a seat into place and the clearly marked Isofix points – which are located under plastic covers – make it easy to lock the seat into place.

There are so many cubby spaces hidden inside the Volvo V60 so keeping its cabin tidy is a doddle.

The glovebox is large enough for a couple of big bottles and the door bins are also a healthy size, although their contents jiggle about over bumps because there’s no felt lining as you get in a BMW 3 Series Touring. You get a couple of cupholders and a tray for your phone in between the front seats and there’s a deep storage space hidden under the front centre armrest.

In the back, there’s only space for a small bottle of water in the rear door cubbies, but the central armrest has two cupholders and a shallow lidded tray that’s big enough to hide a couple of smartphones.

The Volvo V60 PHEV has 529 litres of boot space (there’s no penalty for choosing the hybrid) which is slightly more than you get in a Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant so it’s easily big enough to carry a baby buggy and a few suitcases or a set of golf clubs.

It’s easy to load because there’s no load lip to lift things over, the boot floor is completely flat, and all models also come with a power-operated boot lid. That said, to get the hands-free opening function – handy if you have your hands full with shopping – you’ll need to go for a Volvo V60 Inscription model or above.

Another option worth considering is the Convenience Pack. With it fitted, you can fold down the rear seats from the boot, and you get hooks for your shopping, a net for holding your luggage in place and a couple of storage nets on the sides of the centre console between the two front seats. You also get a 12V socket in the boot and a three-prong plug in the dashboard.

Without the Convenience Pack, you’ll have to lean in and yank a toggle next to the rear headrests to drop the seats. Do that and you get a total load capacity of 1,441 litres, which means the Volvo V60 will easily swallow a bike without you having to bother taking its wheels off.

What's it like to drive?

Hybrid set-up gives V60 PHEV a real zing off the line, but it’s better at long distances or in EV mode in town. Fun it is not.

There are two plug-in hybrid models, called T6 and T8. Both comprise a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The T6 produces 253hp and can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 5.2 seconds, while the T8 generates 318hp and can do the same sprint in 4.4 seconds, which is sports car territory.

The T6 emits as little as 41g/km of CO2 and can cover 34 miles on electric power alone, while the T8 emits 50g/km and covers about the same distance under EV power. The T6 can do a claimed 156.9mpg while the T8 offers a claimed 128.4mpg.

Unfortunately, the Volvo V60 PHEV’s eight-speed automatic gearbox is slow to respond when you want a quick burst of acceleration.

You can charge a V60 PHEV to around 80% in three hours from a three-pin plug, but a 7kW wallbox will cut this time to a little over an hour. A 100% charge from a 7kW box will take a little more than an hour and a half.

If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive estate car that won’t break the bank then, you should also look at the BMW 3 Series Touring PHEV. But, if place comfort, style and safety higher on your list of needs, then the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid makes a fine choice.

The Volvo V60 feels most at home on the motorway, where its quiet cabin makes it a relaxing place to sit. Wind noise is almost non-existent, and road noise is barely loud enough to register. It’s also pretty smooth over bumpy roads, provided you avoid the optional 20-inch alloy wheels.

That’s not to say the Volvo V60 isn’t easy to drive in town. All models come with rear parking sensors (Inscription models and above also get them at the front), but if you want to make low-speed manoeuvring a bit easier, it’s worth considering the optional 360-degree camera.

The large pillars at the front and rear of the car give you a couple of blinds spots to contend with, but the Volvo V60’s easier to see out of than the S60 saloon and its light steering means it’s just as easy to thread through tight city streets.

If your daily driving involves a lot of long trips, you can turn the comfort up a couple of notches by adding the Volvo V60’s optional Intellisafe Pro Pack. This includes Pilot assist and adaptive cruise control, which allow the V60 to brake, accelerate and steer itself on the motorway – as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel.

This pack looks like even better value when you consider it also includes a blind spot warning system and rear collision mitigation, which will apply the brakes if you reverse out into oncoming traffic.

That’s not to say the Volvo isn’t a car you’ll happily drive yourself. There’s plenty of grip, very little body lean and the sort of poise you don’t usually expect from a Volvo. Sure, the V60 isn’t quite as much fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series Touring, but then it’s more comfortable.

It’s especially cossetting if you pay extra for the optional adaptive suspension. Although, put your Volvo in Dynamic mode and they make the V60 too stiff to actually enjoy – it starts to fidget and feel bumpy even on fairly smooth roads.

What's it like inside?

Interior looks cool and feels nicely built, but the infotainment system can be slow to respond.

Next Read full interior review