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Changes: The 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate Dark

2023 Volvo XC60 front 3/4 view

If the car above looks familiar---like we've been here really recently familiar---well, there's a reason for that.

2023 Volvo XC60 rear 3/4 view

This is the 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid, and we reviewed the 2022 model just three months ago. Volvo, however, has made some subtle changes for the new model year. The two trim levels, Momentum and Inscription, have been replaced by four---Core, Plus, Ultimate, and Polestar Engineered. Each offers a step up in standard equipment, with the Polestar Engineered folding in 21-inch forged wheels and exclusive chassis tuning with Ohlins shock absorbers. Our '23 tester was the XC60 Recharge Ultimate, which is equipped very much the way the '22 Inscription was, with the inclusion of the formerly extra-cost ($2,050) Advanced Package and 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels (previously $800) as standard equipment.

All the XC60 Recharge models are AWD, and the next choice beyond that is Light, with brightwork, or Dark, with dark trim. Neither affects the cost of the vehicle. Our tester was a Dark, so the full name is the 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate Dark.

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge charging port

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge hood up

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge powerplant

Unless you opt for the Polestar Engineered trim, there are no mechanical changes from 2022. Allow me to quote from my own review of three months ago: Under the hood of the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Inscription Extended Range is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with 312 horsepower. Nothing to sneeze at. But it's paired with a 143 horsepower electric motor. Total system output: 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and has electronic all-wheel drive. If that sounds like a recipe for performance, it is. Zero to 60 happens in 4.5 seconds. That's muscle car territory. Best of all, another layer of batteries in this year's XC60 Recharge adds range---doubles it, in fact---to 36 miles on a single charge. The EPA gives it a 63 MPGe rating, and says if you don't charge it for the pure EV, the hybrid operation alone will return 28 miles per gallon combined city/highway.

I have a 40-mile roundtrip commute Monday through Friday. During the week I had the XC60, all but four of the miles I drove were on the pure electric charge. I charged it on household current in my driveway at night and had a full charge by the time I needed to leave the next morning.

That means, in the 200 miles I drove, 180 were without using a drop of gasoline or putting a particle of pollution in the air, and 20 needed gasoline to happen. But---that also means that in a week's worth of commuting, I used less than a gallon of gasoline. And the XC60 has an 18.8 gallon fuel tank. So---if I drove it only to commute---it would take 26.32 weeks----six months---half a year---to drain the fuel tank to empty. Even using my rule that the fuel level never dips below a quarter of a tank...that's 19.74 weeks or five months between fill-ups. Road trips? Remember to plug it in the night before and the first 36 miles are gasoline-free. From that point on, using the EPA estimate for the hybrid, your range is 526.4 miles. From a car that hits 60 from a standing start in 4.5 seconds.

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge rear cargo area

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge rear seat

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge front seats

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge instrument panel

Base price for the 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate is $66,950. That brings an extremely high level of standard equipment, including a Harman/Kardon premium Audi system, a full suite of active safety features, a panoramic moonroof, your choice of Nappa leather or a tailored wool blend (our car had the leather) and a graphical head-up display.

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge Orrefors Crystal shifter

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge center stack

Extra-cost options on our tester included the Climate Package (headlamp cleaners, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel) for $750, Thunder Grey Metallic paint for $695, a power-operated tailgate for $200, a phenomenal Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system for $3,200, and four-corner air suspension for $1,800. With $1,095 destination charge, the as-tested price of the 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge AWD Ultimate Dark is $74,690.

2023 Volvo XC60 front view

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge side view

2023 Volvo XC60 rear view

Volvo offering more options for equipping the XC60 is a solid move, as, I would think, is the inclusion of a Polestar Engineering trim (I'd need to drive that to be sure). Beyond that, it's the same great car as it was in '22, so allow me to close with the words I used to end that review: Yes, a sticker above $70,000 is an eye-opener for a mid-size crossover SUV. But let's look at the particulars---it's a premium brand (Volvo), it's very powerful (0-60 in 4.5) and it offers crazy range and the opportunity to bypass gas stations in city driving for weeks on end. That's a pretty strong combination.


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