2023 Volvo S60 Recharge AWD Ultimate Black Edition

The S60 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid version of Volvo’s sedan. It’s a good blend of luxury and performance – in fact, it has a whopping 455 horsepower! – and can go up to 41 miles on a charge. Drawbacks are a relatively small trunk and an infotainment system with a learning curve. While most shoppers looking for a luxury sedan will think about an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, the Volvo S60 competes well and is the only one available as a plug-in hybrid.

Base Price: $57,950
As Tested: $63,690
Horsepower: 455
Mileage: 74 MPGe gas+electric/31 mpg combined city+highway

For 2023, the five-passenger Recharge is available in four trims, up from two last year. The battery is now the same one that was offered as an “extended range” battery last year with an all-electric range of 41 miles. All S60 models get an updated Google-based infotainment system.

In addition to the four trims, Core, Plus, Ultimate and Polestar Engineered, there are also Dark and Bright exterior themes, as well as a new Black Edition which adds blacked-out exterior styling touches and black 19-inch wheels. Starting prices range from $51,250 to $68,050.

The 2023 S60 Recharge is the most powerful Volvo ever made. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Combined output is 455 horses and 523 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

Acceleration is swift – Volvo says it can go from zero to 60 mpg in 4.3 seconds. This is nearly two seconds faster than its gas-powered sibling. The transition from electric- to gas-power and back is smooth and seamless. Handling is nimble with a smooth and balanced ride. Steering is responsive and the S60 Recharge stays planted when cornering. You can adjust braking to have a normal feel or set it at one-pedal driving to maximize power returned to the battery. While the S60 Recharge isn’t really a sports car, this Volvo does have sporty handling and will put a smile on your face!

Charging the S60 Recharge takes about four hours when using a Level 2 (240-volt) plug. It can take 8-12 hours with a regular 120-volt household plug.

Fuel economy is great for a small luxury sedan. EPA estimates for my tester are 74 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent) city and 73 MPGe highway with a combined rating of 74 MPGe when using gas and electric power. With the gas engine, it gets 30 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with a combined rating of 31 mpg. During my week with the S60, I used less than one gallon of gas as I was easily able to keep my daily driving under 41 miles per day on most days.

The cabin is classy with Swedish minimalist styling.  Materials are high-end and the build quality is excellent with attention given to every detail. The tablet-like infotainment system dominates the dash. Seats in both rows are supportive and comfortable with plenty of room – adults in both rows enjoy good leg- and headroom.

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera,  dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings, eight-way power adjustable passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, Google-based infotainment system with a vertical touchscreen, 11-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, four USB-C ports, adaptive LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a panoramic moonroof.

Available features include a surround-view camera system, head-up display, quad-zone automatic climate control, textile upholstery, real leather upholstery, Nappa leather and textile upholstery, front sport seats, heated front seats, four-way front-seat power-lumbar adjustments, passenger-seat memory settings,  heated steering wheel, glass shift knob, 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system,15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, navigation, wireless device charging, ambient interior lighting, cabin air filtration, universal garage door opener, and adaptive LED fog lights.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, and driver-attention monitoring.

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control. Pilot Assist (Volvo’s partially automated driving system), front and side parking sensors, and automatic parking assist.

The new Google-based infotainment system includes Google Maps for navigation, Google Assistant for voice control, and Google Play for other apps. It has a vertical orientation, like a tablet. There are many menus and submenus so it takes time to figure out where everything is. One peeve is that there’s only a volume knob but not a tuning knob so it can be a pain to change radio stations. On the plus side, graphics look good and the system responds quickly to voice and touch commands. The system can receive over-the-air updates.

The trunk is smaller than most rivals at 11.6 cubic feet. The rear seats fold providing flexibility in hauling larger items.

The good:

Speedy acceleration

Balanced handling, smooth ride

Classy cabin

The not-so-good:

Infotainment system takes getting used to

Small trunk

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $57,950. The Climate Package is $750 and adds heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and headlight high pressure cleaning. Metallic paint is $695. Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system is $3,200. Destination charge is $1,095 bringing the grand total to $63,690.

Bottom line:

This stylish luxury sedan from Volvo boasts quick acceleration, nimble handling, a classy cabin, lots of standard and available features and tech, and excellent fuel economy with its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The 2023 S60 is definitely worth checking out – give it a test drive even if you think you want one of its German rivals.

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