Volvo XC60 T6

Recharge AWD

R-Design

Volvo XC60, 2021, side
Volvo XC60, 2021, nose
Volvo XC60, 2021, rear
Volvo XC60, 2021, interior
Volvo XC60, 2021, rear seats
Volvo XC60, 2021, boot

DECISIONS, decisions! At the moment, we've almost got too much choice.

Not only have we to pick the right brand and model, but we must also choose between petrol, diesel, hybrid or pure electric power. Then there's the decision whether to opt for self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

Perhaps the best bet for many right now, given the fact that electric charging points can be few and far between, is the plug-in hybrid. Particularly for company car buyers who will benefit from low benefit-in-kind tax due to reduced CO2 emissions.

One of the front-runners in plug-in hybrid mid-size SUVs is the Volvo XC60, a family four-wheel drive (two-wheel drive) which neatly blends luxury with all-purpose living and driving.

With an impressive combination of turbocharging and electrification, the XC60 T6 Recharge is bristling with technology, yet the motorist can be blissfully unaware and just get in and drive it like any other car - albeit a very rapid one.

To put its pace into context, its 0 to 62mph time of under six seconds is close to that of a Porsche Boxster. This is just part of the story however, because the steering, ride and handling is more akin to a normal high riding crossover.

The result is that you have to quickly readjust to the speed and, of course, also to the limitations of a substantial five-seater that's capable through its 4WD system of romping over the occasional field.

The cabin is cleverly designed to reflect its prestige and its Swedish heritage with elegant wood inserts and an appropriate degree of minimalism. Some owners may find it a bit too digitalised but most makers are now following this route.

Front and also rear seating is well shaped and supremely comfortable with generous legroom in the front and adequate space in the back. There are plenty of cubby holes and storage space up front and the boot is reasonably roomy being capable of holding 505litres of luggage - a bit smaller than most direct rivals. The space beneath the floor is taken up with the charging cables.

Rear seats split 60-40 to allow various luggage/passenger permutations.

The T6 Recharge can travel 33miles on electric power alone. Charging from a home wall box takes about three hours and more than seven hours if you use a conventional three-pin plug.

Although the official fuel consumption figures look astronomically advantageous, in reality most owners will get between 30mpg and 36mpg - still not bad for a large family vehicle with punchy acceleration. Our average hovered around 30mpg due to some spirited driving.

Noise levels are generally low, in keeping with car's prestige nature and feel. But under hard acceleration you can detect the engine hard at work as the two litre, four cylinder spins towards the red. Throttle back to cruise and the noise dies away to a distant hum.

There's nothing stingy about the amount of standard equipment - Nappa leather upholstery, head-up display, 10 speaker sound system, adaptive headlights and air suspension are all there.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC60 T6 Recharge AWD R-Design

Price: £54,975

Mechanical: 1969cc, 4 cyl, 335bhp,petrol/electric hybrid driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 5.9secs

Combined MPG: 100.9

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 64g/km

Bik rating: 17%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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