Although it debuted more than two decades ago, the Volvo S60 has never found a niche and has been lost in the midst of more heralded compact luxury sedans.
In 2021, sales of the S60 dipped to 10,550. And that was far from the bottom. The official count for 2022 will likely be just under 6,000, less than one-sixth of the S60s sold in 2002, its top sales year ever.
Needing to bolster the entry level luxury sedan, the Swedish auto manufacturer adds the new 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge, a plug-in hybrid with fantastic performance and fuel economy.
Several years ago, Volvo decided to designate a name for its lineup of electric vehicles, putting the tag of Recharge on any hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) or all-electric vehicles. Recharge vehicles in Volvo-speak, will benefit from a more powerful electric motor and a larger battery pack. The Recharge tag appears on all its hybrid or electric vehicles.
Volvo has ambitious plans to electrify its brand. In 2020, the company stated it would launch an electrified car every year with a goal of reaching 50 percent of its global sales by 2025. It currently offers Recharge models in eight vehicles – C40, XC40, XC60, XC90, S60, S90, V60, and V90.
All versions of the Volvo S60 received subtle changes to their interior and exterior styling. Overall, the S60 brand is a stylish sedan that delivers a pleasing driving experience, yet not as good as several more high-priced sportier rivals.
In electric mode, the S60 Recharge will go 41 miles before switching over to the gas-powered engine. The 14.9-kWh battery can be recharged in about four hours using a 240-volt outlet and around nine hours using a standard 120-volt home outlet. The plug-in hybrid gets 74 MPG-equivalent in EV mode and 30 mpg when gas powered.
What will grab the attention of potential buyers of the S60 Recharge PHEV is the company’s claims that it’s the most performance-laden Volvo ever. Stepping heavily on the gas pedal may have drivers wondering if this is indeed a Volvo, which has never been known for producing high-speed vehicles.
The all-wheel drive Recharge PHEV has a single electric motor and a turbocharged 2.0-liter, inline-four that generates a combined 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. The engine generates 312 horsepower and 143 hp comes from the rear-mounted electric motor. The combination produces sportscar-like acceleration, traveling 0-60 in 4.1 seconds.
Offered in four trim models (Core, Plus, Ultimate, Polestar Engineered), the S60 Recharge provides a smooth and comfortable ride. It definitely has a fun factor, cornering with precision and providing sharp handling on challenging, curvy roads.
Standard driver-assistance safety features include forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, traffic-sign recognition, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and rear parking sensors.
AT A GLANCE – 2023 VOLVO S60 RECHARGE PLUG-IN HYBRID
- Performance: Electric motor, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 455 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 74 mpge
- Price estimate: $51,300 to $57,950
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited; hybrid-electric system: 8 years, 100,000 miles
The S60 Recharge offers a luxury interior that is modern, well-built and utilizes mostly high-quality materials that includes a cool crystal shift knob. All versions of the S60 get a standard panoramic moonroof, dual-zone climate control with an air purifier, leather seats, Harman Kardons sound system, 9-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and voice recognition.
The S60 also comes equipped with a new Google-based infotainment system that includes a voice recognition Google assistant and Google maps navigation system.
All five passengers will be comfortable in both rows, where leg and head room are solid, even for taller folks. A downside to the interior is a small trunk that measures 11.6 cubic feet. The rear seats fold down to create large storage capacity.
Thanks to the 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge plug-in hybrid, sales could receive a much-needed bolster this year. The compact luxury sedan is extremely quick, gets good fuel economy, and has lots of safety features that one expects with a Volvo.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.