Volvo XC60 T8

Styling

The new XC60—in all its powertrain variations—is redesigned with a longer wheelbase with reduced overhangs. In keeping with the trend of crossovers becoming more wagon-like (especially from a profile view), its stance is lower and wider than previous generations of SUVs.

The XC60 shares many of the design features found in the larger XC90. It’s essentially a scaled-down version of its big brother, with a similar grille and many of the same design elements—but packaged more tightly especially in the front fascia and rear view. The angles are sharper, and the feeling is sportier—with a belt line that angles up to the back and the liftgate tilting forward.

Performance

Look for “T8” as the way Volvo designates the plug-in version of its SUVs. In other words, the XC60 T5 is the two-liter four-cylinder 250 horsepower version; the T6 is supercharged to bring the horsepower to 316 ponies; and the strongest version is the T8, which adds electric motors to produce a whopping 400 horsepower and 472 pounds of torque.

Or simply use this impressive metric: The Volvo XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid scoots from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds. That puts the plug-in Volvo crossover in the same company as the Porsche Macan Turbo and Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid.

“I think it’s fantastic that our top-of-the-range car is a plug-in hybrid,” said Michael Fleiss, vice president of powertrain engineering at Volvo. “A great car starts with a great powertrain. It’s such a big part of how it makes you feel when you are driving.” He explained that a compact engine allows for reduced weight, more agility, a sophisticated suspension, and better comfort.

The XC60’s steering is tuned for responsiveness (although not as taut as some reviewers like). Nonetheless, nearly all the reviews confirm that Volvo delivered on a ride quality that strikes the balance of comfort and relative sportiness for an SUV.

Efficiency/Range

The EPA has not yet given an official range for the XC60 T8, but Volvo promises about 20 miles purely on electricity. The bigger heavier XC90, which has the same powertrain, is officially rated at 14 miles of all-electric range.

Volvo’s battery pack is now 10.4 kilowatt-hours—a jump from the previous 9.2-kWh pack. (The improved battery will also be employed in the 2018 XC90, 2018 S90, and other future Volvo plug-in hybrids.)

Given our rule of thumb of about three to four miles per kilowatt-hour, we suspect that the XC60 T8 will go even further than 20 miles before being depleted. Drivers can play a role in pushing the range to its limit via a set of selectable modes. The “Pure” mode helps ensure the vehicle stays electric-only and zero-emissions, as long as there’s juice remaining in the battery. Leave the XC60 in “Hybrid” mode to allow the car’s computer to strike the right balance of efficiency, performance, and smooth driving. Or have a little fun with “Power” mode for maximum oomph (at the expense of some efficiency).

Charging

Volvo XC60 T8

Like the XC90 T8, the smaller plug-in SUV comes with a 3.5-kW, 16-amp onboard charger, and a Level 2 charging cable supplied by AeroVironment. That should mean a full charge of the 10.4 kWh pack in two to three hours from a 240-volt source. Plug into a standard 110-volt outlet for an overnight charge of about seven hours. It’s all very standard for a plug-in hybrid with a modest amount of battery capacity.

Passenger/Cargo Room

Volvo XC60 T8

The cockpit of the 2018 XC60 has an intimate feel, while still providing passengers with a
generous amount of leg- and head-room—even in the second row. The redesigned model added a few inches to the wheelbase, which is helpful in that regard. At the same time, there’s no compromise of luggage space in the plug-in version of the car. The feeling of spaciousness is also helped by the panoramic sunroof, which comes standard.

The cabin feels luxurious, high-tech and thoughtfully designed with well-placed storage spaces. The materials—wood, leather, and chrome—are refined. All trim levels, including the entry-level Momentum is well-equipped with features such as leather, 10-way power front seats, and power liftgate. A large iPad-like screen in the dash provides controls for the center of the dash and is the main hub for the infotainment system. An optional four-zone climate system and filter system is new for 2018.

Safety

The Volvo brand is synonymous with safety. Advanced safety features include automatic braking, steering assistance, and lane mitigation—all standard features. A step up with the $1,100 Vision package adds blind-spot detection.

Price

The 2018 XC60 T8—with the well-equipped Momentum trim—starts at $52,900, before a $5,002 federal tax credit and other state-based incentives. A fully-loaded R-Design T8—which adds a firmer suspension tune, 19-inch wheels, and sports seats—bumps the price to about $64,000. The top-of-the-line Inscription model—with proximity-key entry, a hands-free tailgate, and driftwood interior trim—brings the price to nearly $70,000.

Volvo XC60 T8

In rough terms, the Volvo plug-in hybrid SUV is at least several thousand dollars less than competing luxury plug-ins hybrid models, such as the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid, BMW X5 xdrive40e and Mercedes-Benz GLE550e. Those competing models have smaller battery packs with less pure-electric range.

Purchase Process

The Volvo XC60 is all-new for the 2018 model year. The T8 plug-in hybrid is expected to arrive at dealerships in September 2017.

Volvo XC60 T8 specifications

Availability: 2017
Base MSRP: $52900
Est. tax credit: $5000
Technology: Plug-in Hybrid
Body type: SUV
Seats: 5
EPA Range: 20 miles electric + gasoline
Battery size: 10 kWh
Charging rate: 3.5 kW

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