The electric and hybrid car market is growing year on year in the UK, with manufacturers and dealerships across the UK gearing up for the ban on petrol and diesel engines in 2040. Taggarts, part of Lookers plc, an ever-expanding dealership group across the UK, has a portfolio featuring an ever-increasing number of fully electric & hybrid vehicles and they have pledged to keep expanding on this front for the foreseeable future.
I had never set foot within an electric or hybrid vehicle until this weekend when Taggarts gave me the opportunity to take a Volvo XC60 T8 Hybrid R-Design Pro (Automatic) out for a daytrip.
I arrived at Taggarts Volvo Dealership in Hillington, Glasgow with no pre-conceived ideas about what to expect from my first hybrid experience. I was put at ease by the Sales Manager, Dean, who took me out to the vehicle I would be driving for the day and talked me through the starting procedures as well as showing me how to use the very modern tablet style display infotainment unit that controls everything from the music to the climate controls. The car was fuelled and ready to go but due to me having never seen a hybrid vehicle in action, Dean kindly showed me how simple it is to connect the electric side of the vehicle to an electric charging port on site at the dealership. It truly is as simple as plug both ends in and leave the vehicle and port to do their thing.
VOLVO XC60 T8 Hybrid R-Design Pro
Swedish manufacturer VOLVO are committed to the electric/ hybrid revolution with the promise that as of 2019 every single vehicle they offer will come with an electric motor of some sort. The XC60 is a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and plays host to a 10.4kWh battery which when fully charged gives it 28 miles of pure electric driving. A full charge of the vehicle takes 2-6hrs depending on the charge port being used and the level of charge the car already has. The other engine is a full petrol engine and you instantly know when the car changes from using the hybrid as the engine purr turns to more of a sporty growl. Size wise the XC60 is a perfect family car, not being too big but big enough for a shed load of equipment in the electronic boot and a lot of comfort in the front and back. Keeping kids occupied on long journeys can be difficult but VOLVO have you covered, with an option of TV screens available on their XC models.
I currently drive a small hatchback but found the XC60 to be just as easy to drive, even with the considerable size difference. The first thing I noticed when starting the car was just how quiet the engine was, even with the radio turned off it was virtually silent until it picked up speed, and even then, the engine only gave off a slight purr. From the off I could tell the model I had was packed full of power (400hp) but this didn’t seem to affect the ride or handling when driving the vehicle in and round Glasgow City Centre. This model comes equipped with 5 different drive modes: AWD, Pure Eco, Hybrid, Power & Off Road of which the Eco mode is ideal for city driving and Hybrid hits the spot for longer journeys. The other modes would come into their own in various situations but during my trip I had no reason to use them.
The XC60 T8 Hybrid R-Design Pro (Automatic) is packed full of tech, and as I alluded to before most of it is controlled from the 9-inch touchscreen monitor on the dashboard. Check out a list of infotainment equipment below:
- Sensus Satellite Navigation with Head up Display (HUD)
- Sensus Connect with High Performance Sound with 10 Speakers/330W output
- 1 x USB
- Bluetooth Hands free System
- DAB Digital Radio
- Volvo on Call
A DAY’S ROADTRIP IN THE VOLVO XC60
For my day out in the XC60 I left the city surroundings of Glasgow and headed for the stunning surroundings of Gleneagles House Hotel to test the car on the open roads and then treat myself to a spot of lunch. The car is comfortable, spacious and safe, so safe in fact, that it was given a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The Sensus Sat Nav system was easy to use and the head up display between the Rev Counter and Speedo is a lovely little touch. As expected for a car costing around £60,000 cruise control was included on the steering wheel and was activated by the click of one button, with the speed chosen displayed on the speedo.
After fuelling up on delicious food at Birnam Brasserie within Gleneagles Hotel it was time to return to Glasgow and upon arriving I decided to take the car into the city to test it out in a different environment. I activated Pure Eco mode and took a silent, hybrid fuelled drive around the city centre. Even with the abundance of power the XC60 possesses, the ride in and around the city was still extremely comfortable and with electricity powering me, pollution levels from the XC60 were at a minimum.
My first ever hybrid experience courtesy of Taggarts was a great one and in all honestly, I would totally consider a hybrid car the next time I am in the market. The VOLVO XC60 T8 Hybrid R-Design Pro (Automatic) is a comfortable, powerful, safe and a tech packed beast of a machine and if I was in the market for an SUV with this spec, I would choose the XC60 over any petrol or diesel engine SUV.
LOOKERS FOR BEN CHARITY PROJECT
To raise money for the automotive charity, Ben, Lookers are travelling across the UK and Ireland, visiting each and every Lookers dealership, including our Taggarts sites, using only electric cars. Lookers is supporting the charity by taking on the challenge of a 6-month long road trip across its dealerships between May and October 2018. Ben is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their families. You can follow this challenge on the Lookers website and by following #LookersEC4Ben on social media.
- 8000 employees
- 2000 miles
- 31 brands
- 1 fundraising goal
*This is a partnership post with Lookers.