2023 Volvo S60 Recharge evaluation

PROS:

  • Clear appears
  • Frugal energy
  • Nice sound system

CONS:

  • Uneven energy supply
  • No Android Auto

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

An excellent driving, nice trying, and naturally extremely secure sedan that may serve you properly till you are prepared to leap over to hitch the EV life-style.

The present technology S60 is getting slightly lengthy within the tooth. Launched in 2018 and iterated over time since, in 2023 it’s all a bit acquainted. That’s very true with a swath of fascinating automobiles beginning to make their manner over the Swedish horizon, electrified choices following within the footsteps of Volvo’s all-electric X40 Recharge and the upcoming EX90.

However, for many who aren’t fairly able to decide to the battery-electric life-style, Volvo’s present plug-in Recharge powertrain, as seen right here on this S60, is a compelling selection. With an estimated 41 miles of vary and 455 horsepower besides, it’s each quick and probably frugal, a no-compromises sedan. Or… few compromises, at the least. Does it get up within the face of newer, more energizing rivals, particularly in a market the place the common-or-garden sedan is more and more verboten?

Design

On the fashion facet, Volvo’s making an attempt to clean up the S60 with what it calls the Black Version. It’s merely however appropriately named, and when you like issues which might be coloured black, you’re going to like this. The automotive is, after all, black, however so too the wheels and the trim and even a lot of the branding

It’s black-on-black to an excessive, to the purpose the place a buddy likened it to Knight Rider. This factor is fairly extra trendy trying than a 1980’s Pontiac Trans Am, although — even when the present design of the S60 is now turning 5. That’s previous for a automotive with premium aspirations, the place recent appears are an essential aspect of status, however that doesn’t change the truth that that is nonetheless an excellent trying automotive.

Although lots of the particulars are misplaced within the monochrome stylings, these Thor’s Hammer headlights look nice, located low on the automotive’s steeply angled nostril, both facet of a grille that contains a grid-like sample that contrasts properly with the in any other case delicate form of this sedan.

Issues have a generic circulation over the entrance fenders earlier than getting fascinating once more with the pronounced creases above the rear wheels, my favourite design cue on the complete machine. Out again, a delicate lip protruding from the trailing fringe of the trunk lid helps add some character to the posterior, whereas the massive, daring tail lights proceed the development set by the headlights. They’re additionally extremely exhausting to overlook, a security characteristic in their very own proper.

Personally, I’ll at all times be extra of a fan of those traces as utilized to the V60 wagon, however I can’t deny this sedan nonetheless appears recent, even when the Black Version makes its most notable shapes rather a lot tougher to identify.

The black-on-black theme continues to the inside, although a number of the brightwork has survived right here to interrupt up what would in any other case be a really monotonous place. The S60’s inside received a little bit of an up-do in 2022 with the introduction of Android Automotive, a really gentle refresh that also appears fairly good. The knurled and polished steel band throughout the dashboard right here highlights the form of the sprint and leads properly to the Bowers & Wilkins speaker grilles embedded on the doorways, although the spotlight is the central tweeter poking out of the center of the sprint. It’s a wonderful sound system and properly definitely worth the $3,200 up-charge.

Leather-based sections lead subtly to textured rubber expanses in an inside that’s typically stuffed with good supplies, solely a small part of dust-magnet piano black plastic surrounding the central shifter cheapening issues up a bit. However, the Orrefors Sweden crystal knob itself nonetheless provides a very good dose of sophistication to the joint.

Sadly, the drive mode curler knob that previously lived forward of that shifter has gone, which suggests if you wish to go from Hybrid to Energy to Pure to Fixed AWD modes you’ll have to go digging right into a sub-menu within the 9-inch touchscreen. That’s a disappointment when you wish to toggle via modes as ceaselessly as I do.

That touchscreen runs Android Automotive, to not be confused with Android Auto. Automotive brings the complete Google expertise proper into the automotive. Register and you may straight set up apps like YouTube Music and Spotify to run natively with or with out your telephone. What it does it does properly, providing quick access to your tackle e-book, contacts, even calendar appointments so your automotive will in all probability know the place you need to go earlier than you even inform it.

Sadly, there’s a variety of stuff it nonetheless doesn’t do. App choice remains to be a fraction of what’s out there on Android Auto and it simply doesn’t appear to be rising. In the meantime, in-car options just like the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster don’t have almost the breadth of customization nor the depth of accessible data discovered on competing programs.

Android Automotive does pair properly with that gauge cluster and even the heads-up show, so you will have full navigation directions in every single place you look. And, crucially, Google has lastly added Apple CarPlay assist, so iPhone customers may have quick access to all their telephone’s media. Nonetheless, when you’re an Android Person, Android Auto remains to be lacking and, together with it, its lots of of suitable apps.

Transferring again to the extra tangible features of the automotive, entrance seats are eminently comfy and customizable, and the warmers constructed into them in addition to into the steering wheel are among the many strongest within the enterprise. Really a blessing on a cold morning.

Rear seating is barely much less accommodating however nonetheless fairly comfortable, with first rate headroom and loads of legroom and, sure, highly effective heaters again right here, too. There’s a small pass-through between the seats for skis or equally skinny cargo, however each seats fold flat on the contact of a button, increasing the S60’s paltry 11.6 cubic ft of cargo capability. That the V60 presents 22.9 with the seats up is one more field within the wagon’s favor in my e-book, however when you’re the kind who prefers a trunk to a hatch, it’s workable.

Driving Dynamics

The S60 is much from a sports activities automotive however, with 455 hp and 523 pound-feet of torque on faucet, it actually will get up and strikes like one. More often than not, anyway. The powertrain here’s a little difficult. Up entrance you will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine making 312 hp by itself. That energy solely goes to the 19-inch entrance wheels, right here wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires.

Out again you will have one other, wholly separate powertrain. This can be a 143-hp electrical motor that drives solely the rear wheels. Put the automotive into Pure mode and it’ll pull from the 14.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack to maneuver you silently and emissions-free. Volvo says you may get 41 miles on a cost and I truly did barely higher in my testing, regardless of the chilly this time of yr. That battery fees through a level-two charger, so when you make a variety of quick journeys and may plug in between them you possibly can be an excellent gasoline financial system.

Nonetheless, faucet into the utmost energy delivered by the gasoline engine up entrance and also you’ll in all probability be one thing nearer to the 30 mpg metropolis, 33 freeway that the EPA charges the S60 T8. In my testing, which included a good bit of all-EV driving tempered by equal quantities of spirited driving, I averaged 35.5 mpg. That’s fairly far for a automotive this heavy with this a lot energy. However once more, you possibly can do rather a lot higher when you’re a frequent charger.

Once more, this can be a difficult powertrain and on the street it sadly feels a bit difficult. In EV-only Pure mode the automotive truly has good torque and within reason fast, solely feeling flat whenever you stand up to freeway speeds. Put the automotive into Energy mode and issues get fairly extra vigorous. The engine fires up and also you get most energy and responsiveness.

The final word energy on this mode may be very sturdy, however the supply nonetheless leaves a bit to be desired. At decrease speeds, when the engine’s eight-speed transmission is in a decrease gear, the automotive surges ahead easily and powerfully. However, typically you catch that transmission within the improper gear. Put your foot down and also you get a fast kick of torque from the electrical motor. Then, every thing appears to pause because the transmission drops a couple of cogs and the gasoline engine joins the celebration unfashionably late. For the driving force it’s a clumsy feeling. For the passengers, it’s downright nauseating.

You’ll be able to study to drive round it with slightly bit of additional care, not not like coping with a automotive with a laggy turbo, but it surely additionally impacts the dealing with. When pushing via a nook, getting on the throttle aggressively may end up in both the entrance or the rear shedding grip first relying on which drivetrain has extra torque to supply first.

The core dealing with of the automotive, although, is actually fairly tractable. There’s a good bit of physique roll, no shock given the 4,425-pound curb weight, however these Pirelli don’t hand over their grip simply. Total, the S60 presents a very good steadiness of comfy cruising with simply sufficient engagement in dealing with to maintain issues enjoyable.

For quieter occasions, there two different drive modes: Hybrid which is what the automotive falls over to when the battery cost is depleted, and Fixed AWD, which ensures you’ll have each powertrains working collectively. That is very helpful for guaranteeing dependable habits in low-grip conditions like snow or ice.

Pricing and Choices

A base Volvo S60 Recharge Core begins at $52,345. What you’re right here, although, is an Final spec automotive with the Black Version bundle. The Final spec provides key options like Volvo’s Pilot Help energetic security system, together with adaptive cruise, plus niceties just like the heads-up show and 360 digital camera. The Black Version begins at $57,950, although the black paint itself is one other $695 on high of that. Add $3,200 for that Bowers & Wilkins sound system, $750 for the local weather bundle (which heats the steering wheel, rear seats, and washer nozzles), plus a $1,095 vacation spot cost, and you’ve got an out-the-door value of $63,690.

To me, the notion of getting a Volvo with out all of the active-safety options can be a wierd one, so I’d counsel stepping up at the least to the Plus. The $2,700 premium over the Core provides Pilot Help and the 360 digital camera. However, in case you have the funds you’ll be able to step all the way in which as much as the $69,225 Polestar Engineered taste, with higher suspension and higher brakes.

The S60 Recharge’s worth candy spot is certainly nearer to Plus than Polestar, however you do you. No matter taste, you’re getting an incredible driving, nice trying, and naturally extremely secure sedan that may serve you properly till you’re prepared to leap over to hitch the EV life-style.


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