2022 Volvo XC60
2022 Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 is a five-seat compact SUV with a sedate style inside and out that masks its potent turbocharged and full-on hybrid powertrains. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive commonly available.
Updates for 2022 include mild-hybrid tech for newly renamed B5 and B6 versions plus an Android-based operating system for infotainment and a host of mild changes to the cabin and driver-assistance tech.
The new B5 name applies to a 260-hp turbo-4, while B6 now denotes a 295-hp turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder. Plug-in hybrid versions called Recharge balance frugality and performance, with 19 miles of all-electric range and 400-plus horsepower.
Between a five-star NHTSA rating and a Top Safety Pick+ score from the IIHS, the XC60 has plenty of safety credentials. Standard tech is extensive, ranging from automatic emergency braking to adaptive cruise control to blind-spot monitors with steering assist.
Fuel economy ranges from a high of 23 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined for front-wheel-drive B5 versions to 22/28/24 mpg for B6s with all-wheel drive. The XC60 Recharge offers 19 miles of all-electric range and a 57 MPGe rating.
The XC60 comes in three basic flavors: Momentum, Inscription, and R-Design.
The lineup starts with the $43,475 XC60 B5 Momentum, which comes with cloth upholstery, rear parking sensors, keyless start, adaptive LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. All-wheel drive costs $2,300 more, and other options include larger wheels, leather upholstery, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, premium audio, and the automaker’s Pilot Assist tech that allows for limited hands-off driving.
Inscription versions add nappa leather seats that are heated and cooled up front, wood trim, and a few other items for $51,245. R-Design models cost the same and add similar features but toss in different seats, 19-inch wheels, and a sport-tuned chassis.
Topping the lineup is the $70,595 Polestar Engineered, which delivers 415 hp to all four wheels and rides on a special chassis setup with 21-inch wheels.
On all, a 9.0-inch touchscreen with a new Android backbone includes Android Auto but will need an update to handle Apple CarPlay.
The XC60 wears ultra-clean lines everywhere you look. Its tasteful exterior blends upright Volvo cues with modern touches, such as LED lighting and big wheels. Especially nice touches include signature LED lighting up front and the vertical taillights that are both pretty and functional.
R-Design and Polestar Engineered versions have subtly sportier exterior touches. Wheel sizes can range from 18 to 21 inches, with a wide variety of sizes available. Volvo also has an unusually broad palette of paint colors for a compact luxury SUV.
If you’re familiar with other Volvo models, you’ll feel right at home inside the XC60 – even if this year’s new Android-based infotainment system is new. The vertical 9.0-inch touchscreen takes center stage, with few buttons and knobs to be found otherwise.
Light, dark, and brown interior hues are offered, with various cloth and leather trims. Momentum and R-Design trim levels use aluminum interior accents, while real wood makes an appearance inside the Inscription.
All-day-comfortable front seats give way to decent rear-seat room. The rear seatbacks fold to grow the XC60’s cargo space from about 30 to roughly 50 cubic feet of space.
Volvo offers a wide range of choices for XC60 shoppers, stretching from zippy to zippiest. There’s not a slow one in this bunch.
Base versions come standard with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is optional. With 247 hp sent to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission, they have plenty of scoot for most users. Stronger yet are the 295-hp B6 models, which are smooth, nearly silent operators. All-wheel drive is standard on B6 and higher versions of the XC60.
Plug-in hybrid Recharge and Polestar Engineered versions start life as B6s but add an 87-hp electric motor and a big lithium-ion battery pack, good for a total output of at least 400 hp. They are downright rapid, with 60 mph coming up in five seconds or less.
Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic drive modes that tweak throttle response and steering heft don’t totally transform the XC60, though they’re fun enough to cycle through.
The standard coil-sprung suspension is tuned more for comfort than sport, even in R-Design versions, but the XC60 can be hustled down a winding road when called upon. Better yet is the optional – albeit rare – air suspension, which smothers bumps that the larger wheels tend to transmit directly into the cabin.
Even with all-wheel drive, don’t look for any semblance of mud-plugging ability, though. The XC60 is at its best in snowy or wet conditions, but not on a rugged mountain trail.
Striking an appealing balance between performance and day-to-day comfort, the Volvo XC60 makes a strong case for itself against other compact luxury SUVs.
—by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection