Is a Volvo Hybrid Worth It?

Volvo offers several hybrids which range from mild hybrids to plug-in hybrid models. Read on to find out all you need to know about the Volvo hybrid.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Volvo currently offers several hybrid vehicles ranging from plug-in hybrids to mild hybrids. Volvo has announced that the 2023lineup will only feature variations of their hybrid powertrains. 
That’s right, when it comes to their latest vehicles, Volvo is focused on the future. The Swedish car brand aims to produce nothing but fully electric vehicles by 2030 and to be totally carbon-neutral by 2040. But let’s start with something a little closer on the Volvo horizon: hybrid vehicles. 
Whether you opt for one of the newly designed Volvo plug-in hybrids or are more interested in a mild hybrid powertrain like that of the
XC-60 T6
, there are a lot of shopping options to explore. 
To guide you through the ins and outs of Volvo’s latest and greatest hybrid vehicles, we’ll go over the selection of Volvo’s mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid classes, how they differ, and how you could save money—and the environment by driving one.  

2022 Volvo hybrid models guide

Volvo has done a great job of staying with the times by continuing to offer EVs and plug-in hybrids—which is where auto trends have been heading in recent years. 
But if you’re just getting your feet wet in the hybrid territory and don’t feel ready for a car you have to charge overnight, you might be more inclined to drive one of Volvo’s mild hybrid models. 
The mild hybrid powertrain features a 48-volt battery and an electric motor that smoothes out your ride and improves gas mileage—and there’s no plugging in required
These battery-assisted models are equipped with either a B5 or B6 powertrain, which replaces the better-known T5 and T6 powertrains of yesteryear. 
Let’s look at the table below to better understand the details of what these mild hybrids offer.
Model
Vehicle type
Starting price
Fuel economy (base trim)
XC60
SUV
$43,745
23 city/30 highway/26 combined mpg
S60
Sedan
$40,295
25 city/33 highway/28 combined mpg
S90
Sedan
$52,895
23 city/31 highway/26 combined mpg
V90 Cross Country
Station wagon
$56,295
25 city/29 highway/25 combined mpg
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Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric car: what’s the difference?

As its name suggests, the mild hybrid’s improvements in fuel economy are not the kind of mpg numbers usually associated with say, a Prius—that’s because the hybrid battery is merely assisting the engine. If you’re looking for a more dramatic improvement in fuel economy, you might want to consider a Volvo plug-in hybrid. 
While both hybrid versions employ battery charging through a regenerative brake system, the plug-in hybrid has a battery that is able to completely power the car, with no fuel necessary. With this kind of capability, the battery needs to be periodically recharged by plugging in. 
When fully charged, Volvo’s plug-in hybrids can travel between 35 and 41 miles in pure mode depending on the model, meaning that they will emit zero tailpipe emissions for that distance. 
Take a look at the table below for a breakdown of each plug-in hybrid Volvo model. Keep in mind that the city/highway mpg indicates the fuel economy you’ll get after driving the maximum allotted miles in pure mode.
Model
Vehicle type
Starting price
Fuel economy (base trim)
XC60 Recharge
SUV
$54,250
26 city/28 highway/63 combined mpge
XC90 Recharge
SUV
$64,800
25 city/27 highway/66 combined mpge
S60 Recharge
Sedan
$47,650
30 city/33 highway/74 combined mpge
S90 Recharge
Sedan
$61,050
28 city/31 highway/66 combined mpge
V60 Recharge
Station wagon
$67,300
30 city/33 highway/74 combined mpge
As for
electric vehicles
, Volvo has created a stellar duo of fully electric vehicles with the C40 Recharge crossover SUV and the XC40 Recharge compact SUV. 
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The best Volvo hybrid cars

Volvo has become a force on the green market, but which of their hybrid vehicles is the best? Seeing as Volvo is considered a luxury vehicle, all of their hybrid offerings are of great quality—but certain models are standouts for their performance, reliability, and overall high ratings. 

Best Volvo hybrid overall: 2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge

With a 9.5 rating and an Editor’s Choice award from Car and Driver, the 2022
Volvo XC90
earns the top spot as the best overall Volvo hybrid. Experts love the roomy, high-end interior and impressive acceleration response from Volvo’s largest plug-in hybrid SUV. 
The base model, the XC90 Momentum has also been applauded for its 455 horsepower and built-in navigation as a standard feature. Upgraded trims, like the XC90 Inscription, come with even more glamorous touches like ventilated massage front seats and lane-keeping assistance.

Best used Volvo hybrid: 2016 XC90 

Sufficient to say, this is Volvo’s major player in the hybrid lineup. Back in 2016, MotorTrend voted the XC90 its SUV of the year. A stat like that is hard to contend with, so if you're shopping around for a used Volvo hybrid, the 2016 XC90 shroud not be overlooked. 
Although there’s been some criticism that that year’s hybrid model was a little technically complicated and adds450pounds to its curb weight, the XC90 is one of Volvo’s best sellers. Plus, the fact that you could be averaging around 43 mpg in the city more than makes up for the upfront cost. 

Best PHEV: 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Inscription

When it comes to driver satisfaction, the 2021
Volvo XC60 Recharge
is a class act. In recent years, SUVs have far outsold sedans, and Volvo is well aware of this. Thanks to features like blind-spot monitoring and a comfortable cabin with climate-controlled seats, this hybrid scores high marks with regard to safety and comfort. 
Although the base price of the T8 Inscription trim level is a bit steep (it hovers around the $60,000 mark), it’s the kind of car you’re likely to keep in your family for years to come. 

Are Volvo hybrids worth it?

Yes. If you’ve got your eye on a Volvo—whether it be brand new or a few years old, it’s absolutely worth investing in a hybrid. In case you still have doubts, let’s review why the Volvo hybrid is a solid choice. 

Performance

While the plug-in hybrid’s main focus is reducing tailpipe emissions, it still boasts up to 455combined horsepower, which is quite substantial in the hybrid realm, with several plug-in models able to go from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds

Reliability

Volvo’s hybrid battery is predicted to last for around 10 years and typically comes with an 8-year warranty. A Volvo hybrid’s greatest strength is its world-class safety ratings. Volvo has a long-time reputation for being one of the safest vehicles ever. 

Cost of ownership

It’s no secret that the price tags of the Volvo hybrid models skew a little high, but which one is actually a better deal—the plug-in hybrid or the mild hybrid?
Let’s look at the cost of ownership of the 2022
Volvo S60
mild hybrid base model, the Momentum. The starting MSRP is $40,295, but according to Edmunds, the five-year cost of ownership comes in at  $52,891 based on the following criteria:
  • Insurance: $6,703
  • Maintenance: $6,239
  • Repairs: $1,878
  • Financing: $3,964
  • Taxes and fees: $2,945
  • Financing: $3,964
  • Fuel: $10,670
  • Depreciation: $20,492
Meanwhile, the 2022 S60 hybrid plug-in base model, the R-Design has a starting MSRP of $47,650 and a total cost of ownership of $50,164
All in all, you’re better off investing in the hybrid plug-in—mostly due in part to the estimated
$7,500 tax credit
you’ll receive in the first year of ownership. 

How to get sustainable rates on car insurance

Owning a Volvo hybrid is a worthwhile purchase, but no matter what car you choose to buy, choosing a great
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FAQs

Probably not. In most cases, you’ll only be eligible for a tax credit if you drive the Volvo hybrid plug-in or a 100% electric vehicle.
The 48-volt battery in the mild hybrid costs between $1,000 to $4,000 to replace. As for the high voltage hybrid battery used in the plug-in hybrid, a replacement costs between $11,149 and $11,232. But don’t panic—your hybrid battery is under warranty for eight years, so the likelihood of having to pay for a replacement plug-in hybrid battery anytime soon is highly unlikely.
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