2024 Volvo XC60 Black Edition review

Posted on June 17, 2024Comments Off on 2024 Volvo XC60 Black Edition review

The Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Black Edition PHEV is like a regular XC60 but, you guessed it, more black.

Joining the line-up as the flagship variant of Sweden’s popular mid-sized SUV, the Black Edition is positioned to sell on style considering it’s essentially an aesthetic upgrade over the Recharge Ultimate T8 Plug-in Hybrid.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but is it worth spending over $100,000 on the XC60 – Black Edition or otherwise?

Especially considering Volvo’s mid-sized SUV is seven years old now, and an electric replacement is in the works.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the XC60 T8 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid!

Even if you’re set on an XC60, the base model Plus B5 nets you a whopping $30,000 saving, and rivals from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are impossible to ignore in the premium SUV sphere.

How does the Volvo XC60 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Volvo XC60 against similarly sized vehicles.

Volvo XC60 cutout image

Volvo

XC60

How much does the Volvo XC60 cost?

The 2024 Volvo XC60 range starts at $73,990 before on-road costs for the base Plus B5, and tops out with our T8 Black Edition tester at $103,990 plus on-roads.

Model Variant $RRP
2024 Volvo XC60 Plus B5 MHEV $73,990
2024 Volvo XC60 Ultimate B5 Bright MHEV $80,990
2024 Volvo XC60 Recharge Plus T8 PHEV $92,990
2024 Volvo XC60 Recharge Ultimate T8 PHEV $101,990
2024 Volvo XC60 T8 Black Edition PHEV $103,990

To see how the Volvo XC60 lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What is the Volvo XC60 like on the inside?

The interior of the XC60 is very stylish, very Swedish, and very black.

In this case those are all good things, and there’s plenty of substance to match the style.

It all starts with the perforated leather seats, which leave little to fault. They’re soft, supportive and fully adjustable. We’re not just talking slide and recline; there’s a page in the infotainment system dedicated to adjustments for bolster width, thigh support and lumbar support, in addition to the expected functions.

Changes can be made via toggles on the side of the seat and through the screen itself, so it’s easy find a comfortable setup that moulds to your frame. With so much adjustability available, memory settings are handy when switching between drivers.

You’ll never find the seats too hot or cold either, as both front chairs have three-stage heating and cooling functions.

The next most important touchpoint is the steering wheel, and it also feels premium.

A happy medium between thin and thick, the rim is trimmed in leather with black stitching. While there’s not much padding or squidge, it’s comfortable to hold and should wear well over time.

As with other top end Volvos, the piece de resistance is the Orrefors crystal gear selector.

It adds no functionality whatsoever and does look a little out of place among the rest of the black and silver trim, but I don’t care. The cabin is a more special place because of it, and it’s far more interesting than the pint-sized toggles you see elsewhere.

Not for everyone, but I commend Volvo for thinking outside the box.

Elsewhere it’s a swathe of black leather and plastic with some metal accents.

The dash, door cards and armrest are all trimmed in soft leather, so you never come in contact with anything cheap and nasty. I do question the longevity of the glossy black plastic surrounding the gear selector and infotainment screen though.

Every part feels sturdy too, so it’s hard to feel shortchanged. All the physical buttons and switches have a solid clunk to them.

Aside from the crystal gear selector, there’s less bling here than in other premium SUVs. In my view that’s a drawcard, as the cabin is comfortable and easy to adjust to if you’re new to the Volvo brand.

That approachability carries over to the technology on offer in the XC60 Black Edition.

Behind the steering wheel sits a digital instrument display that shows all the information you need and not much more.

From left to right you get a speedo, customisable centre screen and drive mode display. Throughout the test I stuck with maps as the centre readout, which is a great way to keep your eyes facing ahead while driving.

Automotive industry take note – you can prioritise safety without introducing overbearing nannies.

None of the available display space has gone to waste as trip information and range figures are located at the base of the screen.

Shifting across, a 9.0-inch portrait infotainment screen is located front and centre, and it has quickly become one of my favourite systems going around.

Jointly developed with Google, the system is laid out like a smartphone with built-in Google apps and services such as YouTube and Google Maps.

The main upside of this is that people are so used to living with smartphones that navigating the infotainment screen feels like second nature.

It’s easy to move between the home screen and different apps, while convenient shortcuts to commonly used features are permanently pinned to the bottom of the screen. Like a modern iPhone, the screen in the Volvo is ultra responsive.

Google Maps in particular is a valuable inclusion, as the app provides accurate, up-to-date traffic information.

The user-friendly nature of Volvo’s infotainment setup makes it all the more surprising that Apple CarPlay requires a wired connection.

The native system is great, but you’d expect wireless mirroring in a $100,000 premium SUV. Having said that, the wireless charging pad proved temperamental so plugging devices in is the safest option if you want to arrive at your destination with a fully charged phone.

Two USB-C points can be found under the centre armrest, and there’s a 12V outlet near the gear selector.

The buttons on the steering wheel also lack edges to separate them, so it can be difficult to make the right selection without looking down.

It was a mistake I made often as I was regularly reaching to crank up the incredible 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins stereo. As well as looking the part, the speakers are clean, crisp, and easily configurable.

Custom sound experiences are available within the infotainment menus, and I particularly enjoyed the ‘concert’ mode which transports you to the mosh pit at your favourite live music act.

The sound system is one of several features elevating the interior of the XC60, but it didn’t completely distract me from the lack of storage space available.

Aside from generous door bins and a large glovebox, the clever storage solutions associated with Swedish engineering are in short supply.

There’s no space underneath the centre stack, the centre cupholders are on the smaller side and sunglasses are left homeless. A BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz GLC definitely offers more on this front.

At least occupants aren’t left wanting for room as there’s plenty for both first and second row passengers, with one exception.

Kids and adults of all shapes and sizes can get comfortable in the rear outboard seats as legroom is plentiful. Just don’t extend your knees out too far, as the front seat backs are too firm to rest against.

Even with the panoramic sunroof, only tall types topping six-four will struggle for headroom. The middle seat is a child-only zone, though.

A tall transmission tunnel eliminates just about all legroom for the middle passenger, forcing them to take up the foot room of people either side.

It’s a shame given the XC60 serves as a family car for many. The rear doors don’t open especially wide either, making it difficult for less mobile people to access the back seats.

Volvo has thought of the children though, including pop-up booster seats in the outboard seats to save parents from lugging around a loose, bulky alternative.

Given the compromised seating space, the centre seat is better left empty with the armrest folded down. That gives the option of retractable cupholders, freeing up space elsewhere.

Other amenities include a pair of USB-C connections, air vents located next to the rear windows, map pockets, and small door bins on either side.

Further back, boot space is down on most rivals at 468 litres. It’s easy to load items thanks to a wide-opening powered tailgate, but the total space available is capped.

Hardcore IKEA enthusiasts can take solace in the fact that the rear bench folds 60/40 to unlock 1445L of cargo room.

Camping trips are made easier by the inclusion of a 12V outlet on the boot wall, which is perfect for powering an esky.

A net on the left side helps to keep smaller items secure, and the boot is well lit.

Dimensions Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 PHEV
Length 4708mm
Width 1999mm
Height 1658mm
Wheelbase 2865mm
Kerb weight 2146kg
Boot space (seats up) 468L
Boot space (seats folded) 1445L

To see how the Volvo XC60 lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What’s under the bonnet?

There are two engines offered for the 2024 Volvo XC60.

XC60 B5 models are fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated with a 48V mild-hybrid system. Outputs are rated at 183kW and 350Nm and Volvo claims the XC60 B5 can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds.

The top-spec XC60 T8 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid teams a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and 18.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The petrol motor makes 223kW and 400Nm on its own, while the rear-mounted electric motor develops 107kW and 309Nm. System outputs are 340kW and 709Nm, and Volvo claims the XC60 PHEV can sprint from 0-100 in 4.8 seconds.

Technical Specifications Volvo XC60 T8 PHEV
Engine 2.0L 4cyl turbo PHEV
Engine outputs 223kW + 400Nm
Electric motor outputs 107kW + 309Nm
Total system power 340kW
Total system torque 709Nm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Battery 18.8kWh lithium-ion
Driven Wheels All-wheel drive
Weight 2147kg (tare)
Fuel economy (claimed) 1.6L/100km
Electric range 81km
Fuel economy (as tested) 0.5L/100km (full battery)
5.0L (empty battery)
Fuel tank 71L
Octane rating 95 RON

To see how the Volvo XC60 lines up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Volvo XC60 drive?

Modern Volvos promise comfort and safety. While both are present here, the XC60 has some tricks up its sleeve in Recharge T8 guise.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain offers drivers a choice, and imbues the car with a wonderfully split personality.

If you ignore the little bag of charging goodies in the boot, the XC60 runs as a smooth, efficient hybrid with bucketloads of power on tap when called upon.

System outputs are 340kW and 709Nm, and the XC60 PHEV feels every bit as quick as Volvo claims it is when your put your foot down. All the while, the fuel economy readout rarely tipped over 5.0L/100km in my experience.

That makes the T8 a capable long-distance cruiser, as overtaking is never an issue and fuel stops are few and far between. It’s comfortable, too.

Floaty suspension keeps the disturbances of potholes and coarse country roads out of the cabin, while tyre noise is minimal even with the 21-inch alloys. It feels like a big car, because it is.

But what if you have no interest in 0-100km/h times and just want to negotiate the daily city commute without losing your cool? The XC60 can do that, too.

Volvo claims the plug-in hybrid can travel 81km on electric power alone, so in theory an average commute (33km round trip in Australia) can be completed in peaceful, efficient silence.

That formed the basis of my experience with the car, as I charged it every night and activated the Pure EV drive mode every morning before setting off to work, hence the fuel consumption figure in the table above. Your mileage may vary.

Charging times will vary depending on the resources at your disposal, but when plugged in to a traditional wall socket the battery in our tester charged from zero to 100 per cent in around eight hours.

In EV mode the XC60 is whisper quiet, and still packs enough punch to seize upon gaps in the traffic.

The auto-hold feature takes some of the effort out of sitting in bumper-to-bumper jams, allowing the driver an opportunity to give their right foot a rest from modulating the brake pedal.

As for suburban streets, it’s more of the same except for a couple of frustrating quirks.

For example, we found the front collision warning system to be over-sensitive, sending unnecessary shudders through the cabin when passing through narrow openings between parked cars.

What do you get?

The new Black Edition gets all the best kit of the XC60 range as well as a black exterior package.

XC60 B5 Plus highlights:

  • 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • LED headlights with active bending
  • LED front fog lights
  • 9.0-inch Android Automotive infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation incl. Google Maps
  • DAB radio
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Digital Service, 4yr subscription
  • Wireless smartphone charger
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Electric tailgate
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Electric front seats with memory
  • Power-folding rear headrests
  • Leather-accented upholstery

XC60 B5 Ultimate Bright adds:

  • 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • Head-up display
  • Unique instrument panel display
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Crystal gear selector

XC60 Recharge Ultimate T8 Plug-in Hybrid adds:

  • Air suspension with Four-C Active Chassis
  • Bowers and Wilkins sound system
  • Rear privacy glass
  • 21-inch alloy wheels
  • R-Design exterior styling

XC60 T8 Black Edition adds:

  • Onyx Black exterior paint
  • Onyx Black grille and badging
  • Black window trims
  • 21-inch black alloy wheels
  • Black Nappa leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Power adjustable side support

Is the Volvo XC60 safe?

Volvo XC60 models built in 2024 are currently unrated, although petrol versions of the Volvo XC60 built between 2017 and the end of 2023 wear a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on Euro NCAP tests in 2017.

The XC60 scored 98 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for pedestrian detection and 95 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety features include:

  • Adjustable speed limiter
  • Adaptive cruise control incl. Pilot Assist
    • Active lane centring
    • Stop&Go function
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Forward, Reverse
    • Pedestrian, Cyclist, Animal detection
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • 360-degree cameras
  • Front, rear, side parking sensors
  • Hill start assist
  • Hill descent control

How much does the Volvo XC60 cost to run?

Like the wider Volvo line-up, the XC60 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, with eight years of complementary 24/7 roadside assistance.

Aftersales Program Volvo XC60 Black Edition
Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres
PHEV battery warranty 8 years
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
3-year service plan $1750
5-year service plan $3000

CarExpert’s Take on the Volvo XC60

The new Black Edition doesn’t change the XC60 formula in any significant way. It’s still a handsome, comfortable and clever medium SUV.

As such, the appeal of the blacked-out version will be subject to individual aesthetic preferences.

It’s $2000 dearer than the regular Recharge Ultimate T8, and if black is your colour (or shade?) then the upgrade is probably worthwhile.

However, this debate is more about whether the Recharge Ultimate T8 stacks up against the competition and lesser XC60 models.

That question is tougher to answer.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain on offer here is a real selling point – it blends efficiency and performance seamlessly in all driving environments.

The equivalent BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz GLC can’t match the Volvo on either front, and the Swede still comes in cheaper. You may not get quite as much gadgetry or bling in the cabin of the XC60, but that brings a charm of its own.

Sure, you also have to pay a hefty premium over the base XC60 B5, but that’s often the case with premium brands when upgrading within the model range.

If only the Volvo had a little more storage space. Then it would be a truly compelling package.

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