Volvo is synonymous with station wagons. The two are so intertwined that it is conceivable when someone mentions Volvo, you instantly think of station wagons. They might even be the King of the station wagon.
While their reputation for safe, stylish and conservative vehicles has ensured that they have remained relevant for 95 years, we often forget that they have a playful side. A side on which people who love and build station wagons get to have a bit of fun, and have a little laugh.
Here in 2022, the station wagon, as we know it in the U.S., comes in two forms. A supercar-killer, like the Mercedes E63 S and Audi RS6, or a pseudo-SUV, like the Subaru Outback or Audi Allroad. Volvo, on the other hand, has a car that doesn’t fit into either of those molds, it’s a plug-in hybrid, stylish wagon sleeper with 415 horsepower. This is the Volvo V60 T8 Recharge, a stunning example of Swedish style and Polestar performance.
2022 Volvo V60 T8 Recharge: performance and handling
Let’s just get right to it, this is a fast car. Not just fast for a station wagon, but fast in comparison to everything. A turbo and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is teamed with an electric motor to deliver 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. When 415 horsepower goes to all four wheels the results are dramatic. 60 mph comes in just 4.3 seconds from a dead stop. That is faster than a lot of sports cars and even more impressive from a 4,529-pound station wagon.
The V60 Recharge will also return 30 mpg on gasoline alone or 69 mpg-e when running in hybrid mode.
On the handling side of things, Volvo turned to Polestar to up the fun factor. Ohlins shock absorbers work with revised and lowered coil-springs to reduce body roll and give the wagon prodigious amounts of grip.
When things get a bit too fast, there is a set of six-piston Brembo brakes at the front with 14.6-inch slotted brake rotors to return control.
This is not a track-day car, but you will be able to keep up with a lot of sports cars when the road gets twisty.
Features, technology and safety
The V60 Recharge is Volvo’s range-topping hybrid station wagon, and as such it is fully loaded with all the goodies, comfort and safety systems you would expect. Nappa Leather with aluminum trim fills out the cabin, and all seating surfaces, front and back, are heated, as well as the steering wheel.
You get a 12-inch touchscreen that has all of the premium features and apps native to a high-end luxury car, and works with a brilliant Bowers & Wilkins 1,400-watt sound system with a subwoofer in the back.
A panoramic moonroof, blacked-out trim, 19-inch wheels, and of course, the iconic Thor’s Hammer headlights complete the exterior look. It is aggressive but subtle enough to fly under the radar.
Volvo doesn’t skimp on safety. The V60 is an NHTSA five-star crash-rated vehicle and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick +. You also get advanced side-impact protection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic alert systems, and a 360-degree camera.
Fast, safe, loaded with great features, it’s hard to find many flaws in the V60 Recharge formula.
2022 V60 T8 Recharge: price and warranty
There’s no easy way to say this; the V60 Recharge starts at $67,300. That’s a lot of coin for a car, but then again, you do get a lot of car.
Nearly $70,000 for a Volvo may seem like a stretch, but this is a car that competes with the best that Mercedes-Benz and Audi have to offer. In the case of Mercedes, you would need the better part of $90,000 to get an E450 All-Terrain with similar equipment.
A $20,000 savings over the Mercedes is nothing to sniff at, and the Volvo is significantly faster and more engaging to drive.
Volvo’s warranty is one of the better ones for luxury cars. Four separate warranties cover the V60 Recharge. The basic warranty and drivetrain warranty run for four years or 50,000 miles, corrosion protection for 12 years and unlimited miles, and the hybrid and electric components for eight years or 100,000 miles.
Volvo does give you four years of roadside assistance and three years of scheduled maintenance as well.
Is the V60 Recharge worth buying?
In a word, yes. Sure, $67,300 is a lot to pay for a car, but you cannot get this level of performance, style, comfort, features, and fun from any of the other luxury brands for less. In fact, you will pay significantly more to match what the V60 Recharge can do. From that aspect, it is worth the price.
If you happen to be looking for an SUV alternative, and you don’t want to drive what everyone else has, then it’s hard to overlook the Volvo. It is a great-looking car, and chances are you won’t run into anyone else who has one. It will happily take you, the family, and all of their luggage across the country in comfort. And when the roads get twisty, it will definitely put a smile on your face.