Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

27 Mar, 2013 3:15pm Kyle Fortune

We drive the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, which mixes style, luxury and low running costs

Verdict

3
Volvo's integration of electric plug-in propulsion and a conventional turbodiesel creates some astonishing consumption and emissions figures in a car that feels pretty conventional to drive. The high purchase price seriously dents its appeal, though, and it’s disappointing that the boot is now a good deal smaller than even a VW Golf’s.

With an electric motor and efficient turbodiesel, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is capable of a huge 155.2mpg. That’s even more impressive when you consider it’s four-wheel drive and has 281bhp.

There are three drive modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power. In Pure the Volvo can travel up to 31 miles on electric power alone. The diesel will fire up only if you floor the accelerator or exceed 78mph. In Hybrid the car will juggle power sources to achieve the best economy. The switches between electric and diesel are seamless, and on a mixture of roads we saw 60mpg.

Power mode unlocks the full potential, letting it cover 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. It picks up quickly, using its electric torque before the diesel surges in the mid-range.

The extra 250kg of hybrid tech and strengthening is noticeable in corners; the Plug-in doesn’t feel as light on its feet as the standard car. Fitting a large battery pack under the boot floor has cut load space from 470 litres to 310 litres as well.

Key to the V60’s appeal are the minuscule running costs – and used regularly with electric power alone, it’ll cost next to nothing to drive. But with a price tag of £43,775, it needs to.

Key specs

  • Price: £43,775
  • Engine: 2.4-litre 4cyl turbodiesel and electric motor
  • Power: 212bhp/69bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 140mph
  • Economy: 155.2mpg
  • CO2: 48g/km
  • Equipment: Climate control, alloys, sat-nav, adaptive cruise control
  • On sale: Now
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