2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge Review
|2.0L I4 Turbo + plug-in hybrid
|455 hp, 523 lb-ft
|US fuel economy (MPG/MPGe):
|CAN fuel economy (L/100KM / Le/100KM):
|Starting Price (USD):
|$53,440 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (USD):
|$59,190 (inc. dest.)
|Starting Price (CAD):
|$62,265 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (CAD):
|$66,715 (inc. dest.)
Quick: how many new sedans are out there boasting over 450 horsepower and a sticker under $60,000?
In a number of ways, this plug-in Volvo four-door is the thinking man’s muscle car. The S60 is quick, it’s four-adults comfortable, and the sticker is surprisingly reasonable. A week with this premium sedan revealed its slow-burn appeal, appeal that goes far beyond its on-paper niche status.Get a Quote on a New 2023 Volvo S60
For 2023, Volvo has given all of its 60-series models a refresh, including the V60 Cross Country we recently reviewed. There are the subtlest of changes to the bumpers, and some new wheel designs. This is still fundamentally the same look we’ve seen for years though, and you’ll hear no complaints from the AutoGuide staff. The S60 remains one of the most handsome sedans on the market.SEE ALSO: 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 Review
Even Volvo isn’t immune to the industry’s black-out detailing trend, however. This tester features the Black Edition package, which coats the badging and trim in the eponymous hue. Checking that box also brings in black 19-inch alloy wheels, and buyers have the choice of just white or black exterior paint. We prefer this high-contrast look—but we like the default range of paint options even more.
Inside, the S60 adopts the Android-based infotainment system that first debuted in Polestars and has slowly spread amongst the Volvo family.
Under the skin, plug-in hybrid Recharge models have swapped in a larger battery pack, going from 11.6 to 18.8 kilowatt-hours. This sees a commensurate boost to the all-electric range, which is now quoted at 41 miles (or 64 kilometers in Canada).
Equal parts quick and comfy
That PHEV powertrain also spits out more power than before. The 312-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four works in tandem with a rear-mounted electric motor for a combined 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic handles shifting duties, and boy does the T8 Recharge shift, clocking the dash to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds.
Don’t go into this S60 expecting some sort of low-key hot rod, though. This four-door never feels as quick as that acceleration stat suggests. The build-up of power is so deliberate, so linear, that the S60 skips the drama. The ultimate sleeper? It’s got to be on the short list.
The difference the larger battery pack adds to the equation is more zero-emissions flexibility. Using the car’s Hold and Charge features, I was able to fine-tune when the electrons were pumping, keeping the sedan in EV mode around the city and using straight gas when it was best: on the highway. The added oomph of the rear electric motor ensures the S60 doesn’t feel tardy, either: and in EV mode, it’s a rear-drive sedan. Bonus.
The rest of the driving experience is much like that acceleration run: reserved and quietly capable. This T8 Recharge Plus doesn’t feature the trick Öhlins dampers of the Polestar Engineered model, but it remains composed through corners with little body roll. The variable-ratio steering is light, even when you select the firm option. This Swede isn’t as expressive as something like a BMW M340i or Genesis G70, but its still capable of producing smiles down a back road.SEE ALSO: 2024 Volvo EX90 Hands on Preview
Cabin made for road trips
From the front seats, pretty much all the positives I enjoyed in the V60 transfer over to the S60. This is a lower trim, with regular leather instead of the Nappa hide—and in boring black—but the seating position, excellent support and cushioning, and good sight lines are all here. Material quality is uniformly great, and we appreciate the reserved deployment of piano black. There are plenty of power adjustments for a wide variety of drivers to get comfortable behind that smooth steering wheel, too. This T8 Recharge tester does miss out on the massage seats—boo, hiss—yet the optional steering wheel heating remains one of the most effective in the industry.
Checking that Climate package box also adds three-stage heating to the rear outboard seats. The S60’s second row is one of the more spacious offerings in the class too, and the standard panoramic roof lets plenty of natural light in. This is a very easy space to spend large amounts of time in.
If there’s one major bone to pick with the S60 cabin, it’s the lack of knick-knack storage space. The center console is almost useless; my iPhone can’t even fit inside, and there’s no wireless charge pad for it, so it occupies one of the cupholders. At least the trunk is decently capacious, measuring 13.8 cubic feet (391 liters). The S60’s sheer width only adds to the practicality. If storage space is a big concern however, stick to the long-roof V60.SEE ALSO: 2022 Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge Review: Healthy Smoothie
Tech is better, but still off pace
We here at AutoGuide have not always been the biggest fans of Volvo’s latest Android Automotive-based infotainment system. I’m happy to report it’s improved for its showing here in the 2023 S60, however.
Having Google navigation built-in remains a key selling point: it works well, with quick responses. The issues crop up when trying to do more complicated actions on the 9.0-inch touchscreen, as the reliance on text menus requires more focus. I’m sure, given a long enough time line, switching the battery from Auto to Charge on the fly would become second nature. But icons would be easier—and more physical controls better still.
The digital instrument cluster looks good, but offers no real customization: you can have the map in the center, or not.
This being a lower Plus trim, it skips out on features like a power-adjustable thigh support and head-up display. This particular S60 T8 Recharge does still include dual-zone climate control, a well-judged adaptive cruise control system, and a useful 360-degree camera.
2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge: Dollars and sense
It’s tough to call a $59,190 ($66,715 CAD, both including destination) sedan a bargain. But hear me out.
There is precious little that you can buy under 60 large with around 400 horsepower. The list gets smaller still if your criteria includes shuttling three other adults. Not only that, but the Recharge’s PHEV nature makes its wallet-punch light after purchase, too. I never plugged it in, and yet over a week of regular use it still averaged 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km). That is just off its official rating of 31 mpg combined (7.6 L/100 km). I did use the Charge feature to recoup some battery juice a few times too; a half-charge netted me 19.2 miles (31 km).
This model only had a handful of options. I’d skip the Black Edition ($2,345 / $2,100 CAD), but do recommend the Climate ($750 / $1,000 CAD) and Harman Kardon ($800 / $1,000) upgrades, the latter especially in colder climes.
This or the less spacious, 100-horsepower-down Acura TLX Type S? Oh, easy; the Acura’s ELS sound system is the only thing I’d miss.SEE ALSO: 2021 Acura TLX Type S Review: A Journey of Rediscovery
Verdict: 2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge Review
The 2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge flies under the radar. It isn’t as sporty as a 3 Series or as flashy as a Benz, but it is muscle car quick, classically handsome, and helpfully efficient.
The simplistic infotainment and lack of in-cabin storage hurt it, but those looking for a well-rounded, premium four-door that will save them money during and after purchase will find an excellent offering in this Volvo.
How much does the 2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge cost?
Getting into the most powerful Volvo S60 will cost from $53,440 ($62,265 CAD).
What is the all-electric range of the 2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge?
The S60 T8 Recharge is rated to 41 miles (64 km) on only electric power.
How long does it take to charge the 2023 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge?
With a Type 2 charger, the S60 will fully charge its 18.8-kWh battery pack in around five hours.
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- Versatile powertrain
- Classy inside and out
- A performance bargain
- Not super engaging
- Cabin lacks storage space
- Middling infotainment
Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
More by Kyle Patrick