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Pros and Cons: 2024 Volvo XC60 Recharge on Everyman Driver

The 2024 Volvo XC60 Recharge is a unique compact luxury SUV that stands out in the market. It’s a plug-in hybrid variant of the standard gas-powered Volvo XC60, offering a rare choice in its class for eco-conscious luxury buyers.

This vehicle shares many of its fundamental components with the conventional XC60, which is a positive aspect. Both versions provide ample passenger space and an attractive design. They offer a smooth and comfortable ride on the road, although some may find the XC60’s suspension a bit firm, especially on uneven surfaces. However, the real highlight of the XC60 Recharge is its powertrain.

Under the hood, the XC60 Recharge features a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor on the rear wheels. The substantial battery beneath the floor allows the XC60 Recharge to travel an estimated 36 miles on pure electric power before switching to the gas engine. The combined power output of this system is an impressive 455 horsepower, and all-wheel drive comes standard.

While the XC60 Recharge has many advantages, it does fall behind some rivals in certain aspects. For instance, its Google-based infotainment system can be frustrating to use, with competitors like the Lexus NX 450+ and Audi Q5 PHEV offering more user-friendly software. The Lexus also provides a more comfortable ride, while the Audi boasts greater cargo capacity.

On the positive side, the XC60 Recharge’s plug-in system is both powerful and efficient, and it comes loaded with standard safety features. Its unique combination of features sets it apart from other luxury plug-in options. However, it lags in cargo space compared to competitors, and some drivers might find the ride a bit bumpy on certain road surfaces. Additionally, the touchscreen interface could be more intuitive.

The XC60 Recharge is equipped with a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder gas engine paired with a rear-mounted electric motor. A rechargeable 18.8-kWh battery powers the electric motor, providing a total system output of 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain delivers rapid acceleration, with a Volvo-estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.

On the road, the XC60 Recharge offers quick and confident performance with minimal body roll. The steering is responsive, although it may lack some excitement. While it may not be as spirited as the Audi Q5e on curvy roads, the Volvo holds its own. Braking is strong, although the transition from regenerative to mechanical braking is not as seamless as some competitors.

Volvo excels in seating and ride comfort, making the XC60 Recharge an excellent choice for long road trips. The standard suspension prioritizes comfort, and there’s an optional self-adjusting air suspension. The Polestar trim takes things up a notch with an electronically tuned-up suspension for more spirited handling.

The EPA has not yet rated the 2024 XC60 Recharge, but the mechanically identical 2023 model achieved 63 MPGe (combined city and highway) in standard hybrid mode. The Lexus NX 450h+ outperforms it in hybrid mode with 84 MPGe combined.

The XC60 Recharge boasts an all-electric range of 36 miles, surpassing the Audi Q5e’s range of approximately 23 miles. However, the Lexus NX 450h+ edges ahead with a range of 37 miles.

Charging the XC60 Recharge with a Level 2 240-volt charger takes about five hours to replenish a depleted battery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support DC fast charging, which is typically found in fully electric vehicles.

Inside the XC60 Recharge, you’ll find a sophisticated and spacious cabin with comfortable, highly adjustable seats and premium materials. The interior exudes elegant luxury, with optional features like a crystal shifter knob. Instead of a standalone infotainment screen, Volvo integrates a high-resolution 9-inch color touchscreen into the center stack, flanked by climate system air vents.

While some competitors use tablet-like infotainment screens, the XC60 Recharge’s system is based on Google’s operating system. It supports touch and voice commands in plain language, and you can add apps from Google Play. The navigation system is seamlessly integrated with Google Maps, offering live traffic and automatic rerouting. However, the infotainment system controls many functions, which can be distracting for the driver. The touchscreen, while responsive, may require some navigation through menus to find specific functions.

The XC60 Recharge is equipped with Apple CarPlay compatibility, in addition to its Android-based system. It also features a Wi-Fi hotspot and two USB-C ports in the front console. The optional premium 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system (standard in the Polestar trim) offers an exceptional listening experience.

In terms of space, the Lincoln Corsair plug-in leads the class in both front and rear head- and legroom, with the XC60 Recharge close behind. With the rear seats in use, the XC60 Recharge offers 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than rivals like the Corsair (27.6 cubic feet) and Audi Q5e (25.9 cubic feet). However, it shines when the rear seats are folded down, providing an impressive 63.3 cubic feet of cargo room, surpassing the Corsair and Q5e.

In conclusion, the 2024 Volvo XC60 Recharge is a compelling compact luxury SUV, thanks to its powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid system. While it excels in many areas, including comfort and ride quality, it does have some drawbacks, such as limited cargo space and a somewhat challenging infotainment system. However, for those seeking a blend of luxury and eco-friendliness, the XC60 Recharge remains an attractive choice.

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