I think it’s fair to say the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a perfect car for a very small niche within the market.
High-mileage drivers would be better served looking elsewhere, as the substantial purchase price of the V60, even including the £5,000 plug-in car grant, would make the running costs prohibitive.
The official combined cycle fuel economy of a V60 D5 Geartronic – effectively our car without the hybrid components – is 45.6mpg.
And on those occasions where we’ve had to run our test car on diesel during a longer journey, this seems a typical achievement for the hybrid.
On the motorway after the plug-in charge is depleted, there isn’t much of a chance for the electric motor to take over from the engine and save fuel.
Although the network of public charging points along the major road network in the UK is improving, the 30-mile range limit of the V60 would make frequent recharging on a long journey tedious and the temptation to rely on diesel would be strong.
And it’s an expensive car just to use for commuting.
In purchase price terms, it’s more than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class hybrid, which is available as either a saloon or estate and the smaller battery and hybrid components don’t compromise luggage capacity.
Recently we had a low coolant level warning.
The V60’s information display is excellent because it shows a diagram of the car and highlights the area under the bonnet that needs attention. It also does this for low screen wash and other alerts.
It makes sure a driver unfamiliar with the location of items under the bonnet doesn’t waste time trying to find them and encourages regular checks.
We took the car to our local Volvo dealer. No coolant leak was found, but the reservoir was topped up as it had fallen below the minimum level.