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2023 Volvo S60 Recharge Black Edition - Review By Larry Nutson

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2023 Volvo S60 Recharge Black Edition

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau

Volvo offers two 4-door sedans in the US market: the compact S60 and the midsize S90. I recently drove the S60, thanks to Volvo.

For 2023 the S60 features refreshed styling with a new front grille design and updated rear bumper inserts. Volvo revised the carline packaging by eliminating trim lines across all models. Customers now have the freedom to combine the exterior design, interior upholstery, and equipment level of their choice.

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The entire 2023 lineup of Volvo cars in the U.S. consists of mild hybrid, hybrid or electric vehicles. Period! Volvo is no longer offering a pure-ICE (internal combustion engine) powered model.

The S60 has two electrified powertrains. There’s the S60 (HEV) with a 247-HP mild hybrid 2.0-L four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine that, in addition, has a motor/generator and a 48-volt battery. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and there’s a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy rating is 28 mpg combined.

The S60 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) also using a 2.0-L turbo four-cylinder. It’s rated at 312-HP and drives the front wheels. The engine is paired with 143-HP electric motor that drives the rear wheels and uses a 18.8 kWh high-voltage battery. Combined system output is 455-HP. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive as standard. EPA fuel economy rating is 31 mpg combined running on gasoline only and 74 MPGe in hybrid mode. The electric-only driving range is 40 miles.

Both the S60 and S60 Recharge are available in Core, Plus and Ultimate trim packages. Both models are equipped with a long list of collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.

Google built-in is standard on the entire Volvo Cars range for model year 2023. Google Assistant voice control, Google Maps native navigation system, and Google Play store for additional apps, makes the S60 well equipped in its class.

Pricing for the 2023 S60 starts at $41,300 and the S60 Recharge starts at $51,250 plus a $1,095 destination charge.

My recent drive was in the S60 Recharge AWD equipped with the Ultimate package and the new Black Edition styling option. The S60 Black Edition was developed specifically for the US market and designed at the Volvo US design studio in California.

Black Edition styling is available on the plug-in hybrid S60 Recharge as well as the mild hybrid S60 and features exclusive high gloss black accents and badging, high gloss black 19-inch wheels and standard metallic paint.

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At the front, high gloss black covers the grille, Volvo badge, and grille slash. On the side, high gloss black wheels and window trim make the Black Edition distinct from any other S60. And around back, all badging—including the Volvo wordmark, model name, and motor designations—is in high gloss black, with darkened tailpipes accentuating the cars’ athletic appeal.

Just two colors, Onyx Black Metallic and Crystal White Metallic, are available.

I’ve been smitten over black cars since I don’t know when. Probably at a time when I could buy a new and not used car is when I consistency drove a black car. My daughters would complain whenever I got a new car that it was again black.

I really liked the looks of the S60 Recharge finished in Onyx Black that I drove. Classy, elegant, and stealthy are all good descriptors.

Beyond the good looks there is very good performance from the 455-horsepower at your command. Ride and handling is refined, composed, and comfortable with good confident overall dynamic behavior. The cabin is upscale with premium materials. The Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system makes some for great music listening no matter the genre.

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The Volvo S60 Recharge has been named a 2022 Best Hybrid and Electric Car by U.S. News & World Report, winning the Best Luxury Plug-In Hybrid category. After evaluating 82 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles, and considering overall score from the U.S. News Best Car rankings, the starting price, Level 2 charging rate, and EPA fuel economy estimates, the award went to the S60 Recharge.

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More information about the S60 and the entire Volvo model range can be found at www.volvocars/com/us. The S60 is built in the US at the Volvo Cars Ridgeville, SC plant.  

Of note, mild hybrids offer increased efficiency over pure-ICE vehicles, yet never need to be plugged in. For those without easy access to charging, such as someone living in an urban multi-unit dwelling, mild hybrids provide a good present-day solution. The new extended range plug-in hybrids offer all-electric driving in Pure mode while still providing a traditional gasoline-powered engine.

Hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains are a good choice for someone who wants to reduce their personal carbon footprint by moving away from a traditional pure ICE-powered car but is not afforded by their living arrangements to drive a pure-electric vehicle that requires at-home battery charging for the best user experience.

The future is electric. Happy motoring!

© 2023 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy