2021 Volvo XC60 launched in Malaysia – Recharge T8 PHEV branding, T5 gets Pilot Assist; RM278k-RM325k

Volvo’s slew of 2021 model year updates are being rolled out across the Malaysian range – following the introduction of the revised XC90 earlier this month and the launch of the facelifted S90 just last week, it’s now time for the smaller XC60 to get its tweaks. No, this isn’t the facelifted model that was shown globally last month, but there are still plenty of detail changes for us to take a look at.

As per the XC90 and S90, the biggest of these changes concerns the number of variants, which has been trimmed to just two. There’s no more mid-spec T8 AWD Inscription plug-in hybrid model, but the base petrol-powered T5 AWD Momentum continues to feature, priced at RM278,195 on-the-road without insurance. At the other end of the spectrum is the range-topping T8 AWD Inscription Plus, which retails at RM324,656.

These prices are RM1,215 and RM1,464 cheaper respectively compared to the previous models. They also include a full exemption of the sales and service tax (SST), valid until June 30; without those incentives, the XC60 is priced at RM298,888 for the T5 and RM343,888 for the T8. Included in the purchase is a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty and, in the T8’s case, an eight-year/160,000 km plug-in hybrid battery warranty.

2021 Volvo XC60 launched in Malaysia – Recharge T8 PHEV branding, T5 gets Pilot Assist; RM278k-RM325k

Beyond the rejigged lineup, the revisions include the new Recharge branding for the T8 model, replacing the previous Twin Engine moniker. The move is in line with Volvo’s new global strategy for electrification, which began with the reveal of the XC40 Recharge P8 electric SUV (also set to arrive in Malaysia soon) last year. The nomenclature has also found its way on the recently-launched XC40 Recharge T5 plug-in hybrid.

Externally, the two cars appear largely identical to before. The Momentum comes with standard LED headlights with auto high beam, while the Inscription Plus adds adaptive headlights and chrome highlights on the grille, air intakes, side skirts (with the Inscription script) and reflectors. Both variants still feature visible exhaust tips (rectangular on the Inscription Plus) that have been expunged on the facelifted model.

The only point of visual difference between the MY2020 and MY2021 Momentum are the wheels, now two-tone five-split-spoke alloys – replacing the previous silver Y-spoke items – that still measure 18 inches in diameter. The Inscription Plus continues to roll on 19-inch ten-spoke two-tone rollers.

2021 Volvo XC60 launched in Malaysia – Recharge T8 PHEV branding, T5 gets Pilot Assist; RM278k-RM325k

Inside, both models now get the option of brown Linear Lime wood inlays in addition to the standard Iron Ore aluminium (Momentum) and Driftwood (Inscription Plus) trim. As standard, the XC60 retains comfort seats with power-adjustment and driver’s side memory (both sides for the Inscription Plus) and regular leather upholstery, with the Inscription Plus also coming with a leather-wrapped dashboard.

The latter is also fitted with an Orrefors crystal gearknob in the same updated design introduced last year, plus a 15-speaker, 1,100-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system. The latter has been upgraded with a new amplifier, silver Continuum speaker cones, active noise cancellation and a new “Jazz Club” setting. The Momentum gets ten speakers with 330 watts of output.

Both cars continue to feature a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a nine-inch Sensus Connect infotainment touchscreen. No Android Automotive OS here, unfortunately – that will have to wait until the facelift. You still get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, of course, plus new rear USB Type-C ports for MY2021 (the ports at the front of the cabin are still regular USBs).

Standard kit continues to include keyless entry, twist-knob start, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear corner vents, auto-dimming mirrors, a reverse camera, Qi wireless charging, front and rear parking sensors, rear grocery hooks and a hands-free powered tailgate.

The Inscription Plus throws in front fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, multi-colour ambient lighting, powered front seat cushion extensions and rear headrest fold, a head-up display, navigation, a 360-degree camera and parking assist. Both models come with the Dynamic Chassis, not to be confused with air suspension – instead, you get passive dampers, front coil springs and a transverse leaf spring at the rear.

Safety-wise, the XC60 gets autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist, oncoming vehicle and large animal detection, evasive steering assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with steering assist and rear cross traffic alert with braking. There’s also an integrated booster for the second-row middle seat.

2021 Volvo XC60 launched in Malaysia – Recharge T8 PHEV branding, T5 gets Pilot Assist; RM278k-RM325k

For the first time, the Momentum also gets Pilot Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist to provide Level 2 semi-autonomous driving functionality. This feature was previously only offered on the Inscription Plus, so this is a big step up.

No changes to the mechanicals, with both cars getting a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. In the T5, the mill makes 254 PS at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,800 rpm, sent to all four wheels.

The Recharge T8’s engine is aided by a supercharger and produces 320 PS at 5,700 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 5,400 rpm. The rear axle features an 87 PS/240 Nm electric motor to deliver a total system output of 407 PS and 640 Nm. A larger 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery added in 2020 provides an all-electric range of 54 km, helping to deliver a fuel consumption figure of 2.2 litres per 100 km.