Is the 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge is a top choice for your next luxury PHEV. Click here to learn more about this small, eco-friendly SUV.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 15, 2022
The 2021
Volvo
XC60 Recharge PHEV is a top pick when it comes to luxury and design, although the fuel-reducing aspects of this high-end hybrid are better suited to drivers with a shorter-than-average daily commute. 
When you see a Volvo, you likely expect a high standard of style, performance, technology, and driving feel. The XC60 Recharge delivers, but now there’s a new aspect to think about — hybrid performance! How does this luxury car compare when you add a PHEV powertrain? You may save a bit on fuel, but is it enough to put this eco-friendly car ahead of its high-end competition?
Dive into everything there is to know about the Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV with
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2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid

Volvo’s forward-thinking design and performance standards already accomplish what many other car manufacturers tend to lean towards when they release a new electric vehicle or PHEV. There’s no need to introduce futuristic styling or over-the-top gimmicks—the 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge simply continues the Volvo tradition of stand-out luxury and cutting-edge execution.
Its foray into the small-SUV segment may not make the XC60 Recharge most affordablePHEV in its class, but it definitely aims to please for its price point. If you want to turn heads and enjoy the eco-friendly ride while you do it, the 2021 XC60 Recharge is a top choice.

Pricing

The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV powertrain comes standard on the Inscription Expression trim starting at $54,595. Volvo also offers the option to add the PHEV powertrain to the XC60 R-Design—priced at $60,745—and to the top tier Inscription trim— priced at $62,095
Once again, it’s not the cheapest PHEV on the block, but Volvo rarely caters to the budget buyer. And on the flip side: every new Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid purchase is eligible for a $5,419 federal tax credit!

Performance and fuel economy

So what exactly does the PHEV powertrain look like? Also known as the T8 powertrain, this PHEV pairs a turbo and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a dual set of electric motors, operated by an eight-speed automatic transmission
The fuel economy leaves a bit to be desired at only 57 MPGe combined on gas and electric power and 25 MPG combined on gas-only. However, the XC60 Recharge PHEV can cover 19 miles using only electric power. If you tend to stick pretty close to home, you could get away with your day-to-day business on a single charge and save the gas power exclusively for longer trips. 
Speaking of charging — we can’t skip the XC60 Recharge’s charging time! This small SUV can recharge its 11.6kWH lithium-ion battery in just three hours using a Level 2, 220V charger and between eight and nine hours on a standard 120-volt household charger. Plug it in overnight to easily enjoy those 19 electric-only miles for around-town errands or short, daily commutes!
What the XC60 Recharge lacks in fuel economy, it more than makes up for in power. That turbo/supercharged engine combo pumps out a maximum of 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. While the suspension could use some refinement, there’s no knocking the plug-in hybrid’s 6.8-second zero-to-60 acceleration time or confident handling
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Exterior styling

Handsome, sleek, racy, and thoughtful — all of these can be used to describe Volvo’s standards and the XC60 Recharge’s exterior execution. Some might compare it to the larger XC90, but that’s not exactly a weakness when it comes to the Volvo look.
Choose between the following eight paint options for this smart, small SUV:
  • Onyx Black Metallic 
  • Bright Silver Metallic 
  • Osmium Gray Metallic 
  • Pine Gray Metallic 
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Fusion Red Metallic 
  • Crystal White Metallic
  • Ice White

Interior and comfort

The XC60 Recharge PHEV may be a small SUV by designation, but it won’t feel small on the inside. The interior styling reflects the materials and design of more expensive Volvos, and your extra passengers will love the spacious back row.
The cubby storage is a little lackluster and the XC60 only offers 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space when all seats are in use. However, stow that second row of seats, and your cargo space more than triples to 63.6 cubic feet.

Technology

From integrated entertainment to driver assistance, the XC60 Recharge’s technology does not disappoint. Connecting your device is easier than ever across all trims with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Volvo’s Bluetooth connectivity. 
Sync up to the 9.0-inch Sensus Connect infotainment system with real-time navigation and weather, and connect to the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for ease of use. The XC60 uses a top-of-the-line Bowers and Wilkins audio system to maximize your listening experience during your daily commute.
The entire XC60 line has a 5/5 star rating from the NHTSA and received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS with the following included and available driver-assistance features:
  • Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-keeping assist 
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
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Warranty coverage

The appeal of Volvo doesn’t just stop at design and technology. The XC60 comes with a competitive warranty package that covers three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first) of unpaid scheduled maintenance and the following coverages:
  • Limited warranty: four years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Hybrid warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first)

Trim levels and options

You won’t be able to enjoy the T8 PHEV powertrain on the XC60’s entry-level Momentum trim, but nobody’s complaining. The three trims that you can enjoy — Inscription Expression, R-Design, and Inscription — come standard with most of the technology and enhancements that drivers crave in a luxury SUV.
The R-Design trim offers a somewhat sportier experience, and the higher-tier Inscription trim includes a Lounge Package with massaging front seats, leather-wrapped sun visors, and a nubuck headliner. Every trim of the XC60 Recharge also comes with AWD.

The bottom line

The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid is a solid luxury SUV, although the hybrid performance may leave something to be desired if you’re used to longer, uninterrupted drives. Its 19 miles of all-electric driving range is a mere fraction of its total gas-powered 520-mile range. However, that driving range is only possible because of the battery-assisted driving function of every PHEV. 

2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV vs. 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e PHEV

Volvo runs some pretty close competition with other luxury car brands. Let’s see how the 2021 Volvo measures up against the
BMW X3 xDrive30e
PHEV. 
Overall, the two PHEVs run fairly head-to-head, but the X3 takes a slight lead in several areas. It has a gas-only fuel economy of 24 mg combined—one mpg short of the XC60 recharge—but the X3’s gas and electric fuel economy of 60 MPGe beats the XC60 by 3 MPGe. It also has a longer electric-only driving range of 31 miles and a starting price that’s $4000 less.
The X3’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine doesn’t put out the same horsepower as the XC60’s, but it does accelerate much faster with a 4.4-second zero-to-60 time.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV
$54,595
25 mpg
57 MPGe
19 miles
2 hours
8 years or 100,000 miles
2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e PHEV
$50,595
24 mpg
60 MPGe
31 miles
3.5 hours
8 years or 80,000 miles

2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV vs. 2021 Audi Q5 Premium 55 PHEV

The 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge also competes closely with the
Audi Q5 Premium
55 PHEV, starting at $52,895
The Q5 has a slightly flipped advantage over the XC60—better gas-only fuel economy, but less so when it comes to combined gas and electric. The Q5 PHEV gets 27 mpg once the battery has been drained—just slightly better than the XC60—but it only gets 50 MPGe when the battery and engine are working together. Like the X3, the Q5 also has a zippier acceleration — zero-to-60 in 5.0 seconds — although it also can’t beat the XC60’s power output.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV
$54,595
25 mpg
57 MPGe
19 miles
2 hours
8 years or 100,000 miles
2021 Audi Q5 Premium 55 PHEV
$52,895
27 mpg
50 MPGe
19 miles
2.5 hours
8 years or 100,000 miles

How to save money on car insurance

The fact of the matter is, when you're comparing luxury PHEVs the deciding factors usually come down to personal preference over hybrid advantages. But no matter which PHEV you choose, you can
save on car expenses
in style. Just don’t forget to find a premium insurance package!
Keep the savings going by using the
Jerry
app to find the most affordable car insurance for your luxury PHEV. You can browse the best quotes from 55+ of the nation’s top providers in 45 seconds or less! Pick your favorite policy and Jerry’s team of insurance experts will help switch and get you on track to save an average of over $800 a year.
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