This year’s ‘Green Award’ winner, the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid is a remarkable technological achievement.
We tested the V60’s real-world economy using What Car?’s True MPG test gear, towing on a mix of A-roads and motorways. On the first circuit, starting with a full charge, the Volvo returned 44.9mpg. At times it was towing on electric power alone, even at 60mph. On the second circuit, starting with the battery drained, the car still achieved 29.6mpg. These are remarkable figures when pulling a heavy twin-axle caravan.
Such impressive economy doesn’t come at the expense of performance, as the 30-60mph time of 9.9 seconds shows. It’s a stable car, too, feeling secure at the legal limit and beyond, although the back of the car did step out on the third and fastest run in the lane-change test.
So far so good, but choosing the V60 Plug-In Hybrid does mean making compromises. The electrics take up a lot of space under the boot floor, eating into the space available for bags. We couldn’t come close to fitting our typical load of holiday luggage in the back.
It’s also an expensive car, costing £44,975 even after claiming the £5000 plug-in-car grant. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also uses electric power, but costs much less and is more practical.