26 Jan 2015

2015 Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid First Drive Review

V60 Polestar or V60 Hybrid? Which should I request when getting in touch with Volvo? Despite it being closest to my heart in terms of speed and handling I'd already spent a day with the Polestar. I asked for a V60 D6 Hybrid.

Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid
Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid

So a Volvo V60 in Passion Red, visually the same as any other V60 R-Design, rocked up at chez Speedmonkey. Parked alongside the Jaguar XFR-S, which was going back to Jag the day the V60 arrived, it held its own in terms of looks.

Volvo got it right with the S60 and V60. It's a cracking looking car. The interior is better than those from the Germans and the new D4 engine is one of the best new diesels on the market.

But this didn't have the D4. It had the old 215bhp, 2.4 diesel, found in a few other Volvos and known as the D5, plus a 70bhp electric motor.

The diesel engine powers the front axle and the electric motor powers the rear. It can be a four wheel drive, front wheel drive or rear wheel drive car depending on what setting you select.

The settings are Pure, Hybrid or Power. You can also select Save, which saves electricity in the battery, and AWD.

In Power mode you get the full 285bhp and a massive 660Nm/471lb ft of torque. This makes the V60 Hybrid a fast wagon - it'll do 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds. Take-off from 0mph is instant, thanks to the electric motor, and top speed is 143mph.

You don't get anywhere near the claimed 155mpg in Power. The old D5 was never the most refined nor economical engine and in the V60 Hybrid in Power I've averaged 35mpg.
Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid
Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid

Pure is more intriguing. It causes the car to run purely on electricity although the diesel engine kicks in if you apply too much throttle. Despite having driven around a hundred cars a year the only other hybrid I'd driven was the Range Rover and the only electric car was the Renault Zoe.

The V60 is attractive as it has a 30 mile range on the battery and a 500(ish) range on diesel. Despite overnight temperatures dropping to -5℃ the electric range I've seen has been 25 miles. Not too bad.

The driving experience is not too bad either. I can see a whole generation of young drivers learning in cars like this and driving just as I have been doing - easy on the accelerator, try not to brake too much, keep it smooth and flowing. Preserve electricity at all cost and see it as a failure if the diesel engine kicks in.

It's intriguing and it's fun and in real world driving conditions it's entirely relevant.

The V60 Hybrid is a year or so old now. Updated with a D4 and a slightly bigger battery it'd be even better than it is, but the one I'm running right now will do for the moment. I'm enjoying driving it far more than I thought I would.

The only downsides I can see are the price, which at a £47k without options is too expensive, and the 'old' engine.

If this is the future I'll be pretty happy.


Price - £46,675 (£54,075 as tested)
Engine - 2.4 litre diesel plus electric motor
Transmission - 6-speed automatic
0-60mph - 6.1 seconds
Top speed - 143mph
Power - 215bhp diesel, 70bhp electric - 275bhp
Torque - 324lb ft diesel, 147lb ft electric - 471lb ft/640Nm
Economy - 155mpg
CO2 - 48g/km
Kerb weight - 2058kg
Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid
Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid

Can you guess where the battery is located?

Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid

Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid

By Matt Hubbard