Car Reviews

2020 Volvo XC60 SUV Review

Volvo’s XC60 is a well-rounded family SUV, but what happens when you want it sportier in every sense of the word? Then you get this one, the XC60 T8 Polestar


Volvo’s XC60 is a well-rounded and well-liked family SUV, but what happens when you want it sportier in every sense of the word. Then you go all out and get this one, the XC60 T8 Polestar. Polestar is Volvo’s subsidiary electric car brand which also spices up some of Volvo’s best-selling models. A rival to the performance SUVs such as the Audi SQ5, BMW X3M and the Porsche Macan, the XC60 T8 Polestar has 415 horsepower, sportier looks and it showcases the Swedish brand’s latest and greatest plug-in hybrid tech. But is it really a performance car in the true sense of the word?

Volvo XC60 Polestar T8 PLugin Hybrid

The XC60 is already a great looking SUV and Polestar only improves this further. The wheel arches are extended, the grille finished in gloss black, there are chrome exhaust pipes at the rear and Polestar badging pretty much everywhere you look. These huge 22-inch wheels are the party piece however. Look closer and you will notice the large Brembo brake callipers, which bite onto performance brake discs and pads for tremendous stopping power. There is also Ohlins adjustable suspension which offers multiple settings whether you are on road or on the race track, along with this strut bar for extra precise handling.  Overkill for a family SUV? Yes! But do we still love it? Absolutely!

Volvo Sensus Connect Infotainment

The XC60 has one of the finest interiors in its class, it’s spacious and mirrors the larger XC90, but on a smaller scale. Polestar treatment kicks in again with these gold coloured seatbelts, polestar upholstery, a sports steering wheel and lots of emblems throughout the cabin. As the range-topping model in the XC60 range it has every feature you could imagine, including a premium Harmon Kardon sounds system with surround sound, Volvo’s Sensus connect infotainment system and this optional sliding panoramic sunroof.

Driving modes Volvo

The XC60 T8 combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined power output of 415 horsepower and 400Nm of torque. Throw in electric all-wheel drive and an eight speed automatic transmission and this large SUV really can move. The 10.4 kilowatt battery can offer around 45 kilometres of range and it can offer very low combined fuel efficiency with the petrol engine. This means it would be well-suited to urban commuting, although the urge to put this car into sport mode all to often takes over.

Polestar brake callipers and brake discs

0-100km/h takes just 5.4 seconds, with the petrol engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor powering the rear wheels in unison. Power delivery is instantaneous and quite surprising for such a large SUV. Thanks to the adjustable Ohlins suspension, upgraded brakes and electric all-wheel-drive, this SUV handles much better than most, with less body roll and more grip through tight turns. That said, the sports suspension is too firm for most Irish backroads.

Volvo XC60 Ireland

So what is the price of all this Polestar tomfoolery you say? Well prices for the XC60 T8 Polestar start from a whopping €88,309, while our test car with various options clocks in at over €93,000. While this model will be far beyond the reach of most of us, it does however showcase Volvo’s ever improving plug-in hybrid technology. This large SUV can go from rambling around town in zero emmisions mode, to performance thriller on demand.

Volvo Ireland Dublin

Test Car Details:

Model driven: Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar

Prices from: €88,309

Price as tested: €93,189

Annual Road Tax: €170

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and electric motor

Power/Torque: 415bhp/400Nm

Top Speed: TBC

0-100km/h: 5.4 seconds

Transmission: Automatic

Body style: SUV

Boot Space: 468 litres