2018 Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Review

There are many competent small luxury crossovers on sale today and Volvo’s XC60 stands out by adding its own distinctly Scandinavian style to the segment.

Having been completely redesigned for 2018, the latest XC60 adds class-leading safety to its strengths and for the first time, the T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid is now on offer.

What’s it like inside?

The classy cabin is a distinct departure from the generally less adventurous European offerings and it is a big step up too from the previous generation XC60. The quality of the leather covered surfaces and the stylish interior design sets this Volvo apart from just about anything else in its class. The minimalist design does limit storage space for personal effects.

The battery pack is housed in the driveshaft tunnel and the center armrest is larger in this hybrid model and lacks the center air vents for rear passengers. A large touchscreen controls the majority of functions and can be a bit frustrating to use at first and there are better systems in certain rivals.

Space for occupants has been improved and the rear row can more comfortably accommodate taller passengers. The cargo space is not class-leading but offers plenty of room when the seats are folded down.

How does it drive?

The XC60 T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid may be fitted with some cutting-edge drivetrain hardware and boast serious acceleration figures but from behind the wheel it does not match the class leaders when it comes to handling dynamics. A slight hesitation in power delivery can sometimes be felt and there is some lean in corners that discourages press-on driving.

What it does offer is a supremely refined ride and a cabin that is well insulated from most external noise sources, larger road irregularities can thump through into the cabin but on most surfaces the suspension is well-damped.

Virtually silent progress can be made when driving in pure electric mode and while there are more accomplished sporty crossovers, few are as relaxing to drive on the daily commute.

What about the performance?

The XC60 is based on the larger XC90 platform and shares much of its running gear, the T8 plug-in hybrid makes use of the T6 variants 316 hp turbo and supercharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine and adds electric power to the rear axle which means a total of 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque is on offer. This setup gives the XC60 all-wheel drive capability and an 8-speed automatic transmission is fitted as standard.

Volvo claims a very sporty sub-5-second 0-60 mph time and this twin engine T8 feels suitably rapid at just about any speed.

EPA figures state that up to 18 miles can be travelled on electric power alone and a full recharge of the battery takes approximately 3-hours from a 240-volt power outlet.

Overall consumption figures are claimed to be better than the less powerful T6 however your results will be heavily dependent on how much of your commute involves city driving as this is where the T8 posts its best results. A combined 59 MPGe rating is claimed.

What are my options?

There are three trim levels to choose from, the base Momentum Trim is already very well equipped and features 10-way power front seats with memory function for the driver, 19-inch alloys, leather upholstery, 9-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth and smartphone integration and LED headlights with active high beam.

Safety levels are excellent and all models get lane keep assist, rear park assist with camera, road sign information monitor, collision avoidance with obstacle alert, driver attention alert and road departure warning.

R-Design Trim adds a 12.3-inch driver display, unique R-Design details, keyless entry, front sport seats, hands-free power liftgate, navigation system and gearshift paddles.

The top Inscription Trim adds the R-Design trim features excluding the sports seats and paddles and includes keyless entry and drive, 20-inch wheels and a leather-covered dashboard. A Luxury Seat Package is unique to this trim and adds premium leather, heating on all seats and massaging and ventilation for the front seats.

Numerous other packages and standalone items are available, some of the more notable items include adaptive air suspension, adaptive cruise control, head-up display and power-folding rear seats.

The Verdict

There is a lot to like about the 2018 XC60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid, it offers strong acceleration, reasonable economy and a sumptuously equipped cabin with a refreshingly different Swedish design style. It may be the priciest XC60 of the lot but the various incentives and state specific rebates can make a big difference in the final figure you pay.

Less than sporty handling and fuel economy figures that may be hard to achieve in practice are minor issues in an otherwise impressive offering that should suit those looking for a refined and capable luxury crossover.

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Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid
Starting MSRP
$52,900
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