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Long-term car review: Volvo VC60 T8 R-Design Pro

volvo xc60 t8 r-design pro


Unsurprisingly, the XC60 hasn’t been anywhere in the recent weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown.

But, looking on the bright side, it’s a great-looking monument to have on the drive. 

Over the years there’ve been some styling monstrosities parked out front to my neighbours’ dismay – the Hyundai Terracan and Nissan Cube, are examples – but our Volvo easily holds its ground against the Jaguar S-Type on the adjacent drive and the Tesla Model 3 parked at next-door-but-one.

Like the Tesla owner, I typically charge at home but a bizarre connection issue with my PodPoint home charger recently came to light.

Thankfully, it was easily and quickly fixed after an online chat with its customer service team.

The unit wasn’t detecting when I inserted the charging cable, but a remote reset by PodPoint was all it took to remedy the situation.

Not that I can go anywhere, of course.

My pre-lockdown commute used to be done in pure electric mode so I’m used to the background noise in the XC60’s cabin being low.

But, even now, the car provides a rare, peaceful escape from being locked down in a noisy household when I need to listen back to an interview or catch up with a podcast.

Its optional Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system, which adds £2,500 to the car’s list price, is a combination of 15 surround-sound speakers, including a subwoofer integrated into the car as opposed to being inside a box, all coupled to a 1,100 watt output amp.

With the car’s windows down there’s enough power to drown out a wandering Leslie Garrett or rowdy karaoke-mad neighbours if necessary.

The ‘sound experience’ icon on the XC60’s touchscreen allows owners to easily access three custom-designed audio modes, each of which offers a different presentation to the listener.

Studio mode gives quite an intimate, precise sound, while Individual Stage creates more of an impression of an open-air gig with a softer sound.

Finally, Concert Hall mode claims to recreate the acoustic qualities of Sweden’s famous Gothenburg Concert Hall near to Volvo’s headquarters.

In practice, many buyers will find the mode they prefer for the majority of their musical tastes and leave it at that, but it is fun and impressive to demonstrate the different qualities to passengers. 

In any case, it’s an impressive audio set-up and dealer sales staff should give prospective buyers the chance to hear the system against the standard kit in another demonstrator where possible.


Price: £65,870 including options
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, 400BHP
Performance: 0-62mph in 5.2 secs, top speed 140mph
Fuel efficiency: 104.6 mpg
Emissions: 60G/KM (WLTP)

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