The start point for the best source of fleet information
Volvo's plug-in hybrid roll-out continues with a slightly more reserved option joining the V60 range.
A second plug-in hybrid powertrain joins the V60 range, with a total output of 340hp
Standard equipment on R-Design:
Hands-free tailgate, tinted rear windows, multidirectional lumbar support, active bending headlights with adaptive shadow technology, 18in alloy wheels, integrated roof rails, headlight cleaning system, 9in touchscreen with satnav, 12.3in driver information display, autonomous emergency braking with steering support, oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road protection, two-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, cruise control with speed limiter
Fleets and policymakers alike may still be debating the effectiveness of plug-in hybrids, but Volvo is in no doubt that they're a strong option on the way to electrification. That's why it now has such a powertrain available with every model in its range. For the V60 upper-medium estate, this first took the form of the high-performance T8, but now the T6 Recharge tested here has arrived as a less powerful, cheaper choice, which looks like it should be a more mainstream option for most fleet applications.
That said, while the T6's output is more modest than the T8, it's still far from slow, since the new model pairs a 253hp petrol engine with an 87hp electric motor. With all of the combined 340hp directed to the wheels, the V60 has proper sports car performance, being capable of 0-60mph in just over five seconds. The rest of the driving experience doesn't match up to that though, as the car feels a bit soft and leaden in corners (the T6 weighs nearly 200kg more than an equivalent petrol mild hybrid V60) and the steering is uncommunicative. This is despite our test car being in the sporty R-Design equipment grade, since unlike with petrol and diesel mild hybrid versions, the PHEV in this spec retains the standard suspension, rather than swapping it out for a firmer set-up. However, for many drivers this lack of sportiness will generally be an advantage, since driving the T6 is a very comfortable and even relaxing way of covering miles, even on bumpy British B-roads.
The air of luxury is boosted further by the refinement of the PHEV powertrain, whether it be running silently on the battery alone (which it can manage reasonably enough even at motorway speeds) or with the still pretty quiet petrol engine chipping in smoothly as and when it's needed. The default hybrid driving mode lets the car work out which to use at what time, but there's also a pure electric mode to force it to use the battery only (WLTP electric range is up to 34 miles) or a power mode to send maximum grunt to the wheels, with traction aided by the standard all-wheel drive - the petrol engine driving the front axle and the electric motor the rear. Alternatively, there's a dedicated AWD mode should the car find itself in a low-grip situation.
Aside from the powertrain, the rest of the V60 is the same stylish and practical car we've come to admire a lot over the past couple of years - and don't worry, the addition of the PHEV battery doesn't come at the cost of any boot space.
Compared with the T8, the T6 Recharge offers a P11D saving of just over £6,000 in R-Design spec (a slightly more expensive, more luxury-focused Inscription version is also available). However, it is possible to undercut this with PHEV versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate, though the Volvo holds its value better than the latter. The German cars also offer better official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures - for as much as those are worth given the heavily user-dependent nature of PHEV efficiency.