Considering a change from your usual prestige motor? You could do a lot worse than the ultra-economical V60 Hybrid.
This "green" Swede estate offers a tremendously comfortable ride.
That is no surprise though, Volvos are known for their plush, supportive seats.
Unlike some Volvos, the V60 isn’t supposed to be a wardrobe-on-wheels as many models of the past have seemed.
That’s why the Scandinavian car maker markets it as a Sports Wagon.
Diesel and electric power
On the car's tailgate there’s a D6 badge because the combined performance of the five-cylinder turbo diesel and electric motor puts the car within the same brake-horsepower range as the petrol powered T6.
The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a 2.4-litre oil-burner, producing 212bhp and a maximum torque of 324lb.ft.
The rear axle is powered by an electric motor, producing 69bhp.
This is supplied with power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
Three driving modes
The car has a syrupy smooth six-speed automatic transmission too.
On the road, the V60 has three driving characteristics: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible.
If the battery pack has been recharged with electricity from renewable sources, its range is up to 32 miles with no carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe.
Hybrid is the standard setting whenever the Volvo is started.
The diesel engine and electric motor cooperate to ensure optimal balance between driving pleasure and environmental footprint, and it has a total range of up to 621 miles.
Finally, in Power mode, the technology is optimised to give the V60 the maximum possible clout.
The diesel engine and electric motor have a total power output of 212 + 69 brake horsepower and maximum torque of 324lb.ft +147lb.ft.
The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's acceleration from 0 to 62mph in just 6.0 seconds.
Switching to electric
You can choose to save battery power in order to drive on pure electricity later on: for instance in an urban green zone or in the heart of a city.
When Save is activated, the on-board system ensures there is always enough battery power to last for 12.5 miles of driving on electricity alone
This should be sufficient to get you to a fuel station or charging point in most areas.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid can be recharged from a normal power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A) at home or in a car park.
Recharging time varies with amperage. A full charge with 10A takes four-and-a-half hours.
This is cut to three-and-a-half hours with 16A, while a 6A charge takes seven-and-a-half hours.
Furthermore, pressing the V60’s AWD button activates the electrical four-wheel drive.
This distributes power between the diesel-driven front wheels and the electrically-driven rear axle.
The system has been designed to provide better grip when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance in snow or mud.
All in all, Volvo’s eco offering is an attractive alternative to green German executive estate rivals.
It is expensive at over £45,000, but it offers more kit than the average BMW or Audi.
So if you are considering a change from your usual prestige motor, you could do a lot worse than visiting a Volvo dealership and going for the very accomplished and efficient V60 Hybrid.
Pros & cons
- Power ✔
- Handling ✔
- Equipment ✔
- Efficiency ✔
- Comfort ✔
- Expensive X
- Max speed: 143 mph
- 0-62 mph: 6.0 secs
- Combined mpg: 156.9
- Engine: 2400cc 5 cylinder 20 valve diesel hybrid
- Max. power (bhp): 281
- Max. torque (lb.ft): 471
- CO2: 48 g/km
- Price: £45,175