2023 Volvo S60 Recharge T8 verses 2024 Volvo V60 Polestar, a comparative piece.
We just so happened to have booked test drives for the 2023 Volvo S60 and the 2024 V60 consecutively, so could not help but compare the two like brother and sister. Even going so far as to take them both out to Chilliwack, a 2 hour drive to go fishing for the weekend(s).
The comparison piece makes sense, as these two vehicles actually have a lot in common. The S60 is the sedan version, and the V60 is the wagon build; and both are equipped with Volvo’s recharge-ability.
As I hinted to earlier, the weather cooperated and we found ourselves with two back to back long weekends. A time in October, which also coincided with salmon spawning and Chilliwack’s annual Coho Derby. So ended up fishing for both weekends, as we can up empty the first go around… and spoiler: the second attempt as well.
For both weeks we were willing to take the 2 hour drive, as at this point we are fans of Volvo so knew we would like the extended ride time in either models, just fine. And the full trip with city to highway driving, and some off-roading would be a great test.
This is where the recharge function comes in handy. Just by driving as you normally would, you can charge the battery and have it provide “x” amount of charge for “x” number of kilometres. On the way there we earned 38km, with the ability for more, so should you activate it. To do so, you have to venture into the infotainment settings and choose your option for the drive mode.
Here, you can select the way in which the car drives (modes), and if you want to activate the recharge option. Not doing so has you using your charge first, and it does go a lot quicker than the time it takes you to accrue it.
Long story short, both the V60 and the S60 are fuel friendly. So why not have the recharge function active when you start? Why must you remember to go through all these buttons, just to use the main feature of the car? I cannot see a driver opting out of the ability to earn free kilometres in a landscape of expensive petrol. And if you don’t want to earn your electric charge, you can also pay for it, by plugging both vehicles in to charge overnight.
The S60 went 870km with a full tank (not including battery recharge), where as the V60 was closer to a regulator sedan at an average of 500km. Regardless, both provided a lot of city driving, with the ability to have your commute for free, and this is without the further savings of an eco-mode.
The music quality for both are amazing, as audio has always been a focus for the Volvo brand. For us, it was a nice to have when driving for this extended period of time. What is a road trip without good music? Bluetooth media, satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay options are available. And once all set up, all you need to do is step into each vehicle with the fob and your music automatically plays. What a greeting from your Volvo.
The 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge T8 is equipped with Harmon Kardon speakers with full surround sound capabilities. It is the easier to navigate of the two. But for those familiar with Volvo, you know that they reserve Bowers & Wilkins for their luxury line of vehicles, and in this case the 2024 Volvo V60 Polestar. Which on top of having precision placed speakers for a naturally full sound experience, you also have the option to set your music up for “concert hall” or “jazz concert” acoustics. The minds behind this were truly considerate of the music enthusiasts.
As for their appearances, both sedan and hatchback are lowered; and air more on the sporty side.
Within, the seats are firm and supportive with excellent lumbar support. Both have heated seats and wheel, but no cooling option. This heating also extends to the back seat passengers.
Also noticeable is the classic Volvo vertical air conditioning vents, larger at the centre and individual smaller units on either end of the front cabin. They stand out as, traditionally the slats run horizontally, but here they travel vertically like columns, and allow for greater air flow.
Both models have a less functional central compartment with a shallow tray, a slot for coins, and an additional cigarette charger plus C and USB cable capabilities within.
There isn’t a lot of storage here, which includes the cup holders that does hideaway with a roll out compartment door. For safekeeping you will have to rely on the glove compartment and bin on either doors.
I really appreciated the S60 status service screen that easily identified oil, tire pressure, or any systematic needs your car may have. Although overall both the S60 and V60 kept the aesthetic more simple with a clean, less is more approach to buttons and screens. Basic interface, everything you need is on display and within reach.
Between the two, I found the 2024 Volvo V60 Polestar really pulls ahead with its accent, Swedish yellow seat belt. Its seat also felt a lot more supportive, definitely indicative of the race car. A bony bucket seat that is both firm and comfortable . The leather feels puffed up and lets you sink in, helping to reduce any road impact. That and the lowered stance offers more control, although you still feel all the dips and pot holes of a paved or dirt road.
Both the V60 and S60 have the same start engine dial that you twist to the right to start or stop. The Volvo S60 has the mid range donut-style gearshift that you can loop your fingers through to shift. Whereas the Volvo V60 has the luxury see-through crystal gear shift that reflects light in the dark.
Interestingly, the cabin of the 2024 Volvo V60 Polestar stays relatively well lit, with a constant dim glow. A warmth from the digital screens and dull overhead light. This provided us with the perfect ambient lighting for our take out dinner of gas station Triple O’s.
So it is ironic that the reverse camera was an after thought and did not have its own lighting. The screen came up illegible on poorly lit roads. So although the quality of the camera was there, the actual visual was not, as it was hard to make up black shapes in the night.
Between the two, we preferred the Volvo wagon with its luxury feel, including a soft cloth-like leather on the dash. It took us stylishly from city to country with all the needed cargo room thanks to its hatchback, not to mention power and agility from full all-wheel-drive capabilities.
And although we still felt bumps on the road, it felt minimized given how sturdy the 2024 Volvo V60 Polestar was built. It is one of the easiest and most relaxing vehicles to helm. It gave us a smooth ride with touch acceleration and responsive output. This was especially the case when engaged in the “Polestar Engineered mode”, which optimizes acceleration and gearshift response for a sportier and more dynamic driving experience.
In short two similar vehicles and two different price points, both with the ability to take you from your daily A to B, and C on the weekends. It just depends one how many extra bells and whistles you wish with your wheels.