Volvo’s new Recharge plug-in hybrid models have enjoyed great success in their first appearance in the annual Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Awards, netting a haul of four honours between them.
The results are a further boost to the reputation of Volvo’s plug-in hybrid technology for delivering excellent efficiency without diminishing performance.
The XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD has been crowned the Alternatively Fuelled Towcar of the Year. The achievement sustains the impressive performance of Volvo’s premium compact SUV which, in diesel-powered form, was the reigning 2020 Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year.
The V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD mid-size estate has taken the Family Towcar of the Year title, while both models also drove off with the best-in-category honours for towing caravans, with the XC40 winning the 1,500-1,700kg caravan class and the V60 reigning supreme in the over 1,700kg sector.
The panel of expert judges scrutinised the capabilities of 40 different vehicles, taking into account all the factors that contribute to a car’s ‘caravanability’, including towing capacity, roof load and nose weight limits, and boot space.
Commenting on the XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid’s performance, the judges reported: “Delicious kerb weight, delicious economy and pulls like a train. It’s capable of towing a large caravan, but with hybrid tech to enhance economy, especially when not towing.”
The XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T5 FWD tips the scales at a minimum of 1,812kg (running order weight) and produces 180hp and 265Nm of torque from its 1.5-litre petrol engine, along with 82hp and 160Nm from its electric motor. Its maximum braked trailer towing capacity is 1,800kg. The efficiency of its petrol-electric powertrain results in official WLTP Combined fuel economy of 117.7-134.5mpg, while CO2 emissions are 47-55g/km, together with an all-electric driving range of up to 27.3 miles (according to battery charge, vehicle load and driving conditions).
The V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD was praised for “one of the best combinations of astonishing power delivery, practicality and a fair price tag”. It has all-wheel drive and a minimum running order weight of 2,075kg, and its 2.0-litre petrol engine musters 253hp and 350Nm of torque, while its electric motor produces 87hp and 240Nm. This helps give it a maximum braked towing weight of 2,000kg. Its benchmark WLTP efficiency figures are 134.5-156.9mpg and 41-46g/km of CO2, along with an electric-only range of up to 34.2 miles.
Steve Beattie, Volvo Car UK’s Head of Sales, said: “Volvo has taken a market lead in rolling out Recharge plug-in hybrid versions across our entire UK model range. The Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar Awards are a welcome independent seal of approval of how our advanced technology offers customers excellent real-world performance, practicality and flexibility that goes beyond simple fuel and emissions efficiency.”