2022 has been a pretty big year for the Volvo XC60. It received slightly updated looks, a new infotainment system and a new mild-hybrid B6 engine. This XC60 T8 also sees a few key updates.
Engine – The big change to the 2022 XC60 T8 recharge is the larger battery and more powerful electric motor. The motor powers the rear wheels and it now produces 143 hp & 228 lb-ft of torque (88.9 kW & 309 Nm). Combined with the Turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine which powers the front wheels, the total output is 455 hp and 523 lb-ft of torque (282 kW & 709 Nm). This gives the Volvo XC60 T8 a 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds. That is really fast for something that tips the scales at 2,145 kg (4,731 lbs). The electric motor provides instant torque until the gas engine reaches its optimal operating rpm range. The stigma around Volvo vehicles is that they are safe but boring or slow vehicles. Not this XC60 T8. It is deceptively fast.
There are a few different drive modes. By default, the car will start in Auto Hybrid mode or, if you choose a setting in the infotainment system, it can start in Pure mode which is pure EV driving. Getting back to hybrid mode, the car will use the battery first and foremost, unless you push really hard down on the throttle pedal in which case the engine will turn on to provide more power. The electric motor however has more than enough power to get the SUV going at a reasonable pace and you can easily drive on highways with little effort.
Other drive modes are Sport, Off-road (which gets disabled after 40 or 50 km/h), and constant AWD which will turn on the engine and provide constant power for both the front and rear wheels. The car can also hold the battery charge for later use or use the engine to recharge the battery but that will greatly increase your fuel economy.
Battery & Charging – The battery is situated in the middle of the car where the driveshaft normally resides. No, there is no driveshaft underneath it. There is no physical connection between the front and rear. The battery is now 18.8 kWh in capacity, up from 11.1 kWh. This gives the XC60 T8 Extended Range an electric only driving range of 58 km (36 miles) as claimed by Volvo. In reality with cold temperatures and climate control running as it was during my time with the SUV, I noticed that it could drive for approximately 55km. Pretty close to the claimed range.
The XC60 can only be recharged from a wall outlet or a level 2 charger. From a standard home wall outlet, it’ll take roughly 9 – 10 hours, basically overnight. From a level 2 charger, it’ll be around 3 to 4 hours depending on the speed of the charger.
Fuel Economy – Depending on how often you can plug the XC60 in and recharge it, the fuel economy can be good or really good. Driving around with the battery depleted, the 2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Extended Range is rated for 8.5 L/100km (27.6 MPG) in a city and 8.5 L/100 km (27.6 MPG) on a highway. But with continuous recharging, I managed to drive for almost 600 km (370 miles) and only average 4.3 L/100km (54.7 MPG) during my time with the SUV. At the end of the week, I still had half a tank of gas.
Transmission – The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth gear changes. However, they are not the fastest shifts but the electric motor fills in the gaps between shifts. So the car still accelerates midway through a shift.
Braking – The brakes of the XC60 are strong and have a firm feeling brake pedal. It doesn’t have any sort of weird light and then firm feelings like in the Mercedes C300. The XC60 also has regenerative braking and a one-pedal drive mode. The one-pedal mode provides smooth and gradual complete stops without touching the brake pedal. Once in a while it may require a bit of help when you’re slowing down and stopping on a downward slope.
Handling – On a winding mountain road, the Volvo XC60 is not particularly engaging to drive. The steering is light and artificial feeling. You can make it firmer through a setting in the infotainment system but it’s not the same as the steering in the BMW X3 M40i for example. But at least this SUV is easy to drive around town and it’s not going to stress you out.
Ride Comfort – This particular demo vehicle came equipped with the optional air suspension. The suspension can be adjusted for a normal ride comfort or a firm ride mode. The firm mode allows it to resist more body roll through corners but makes the ride too jarry. The normal air suspension mode is great for city streets. It provides a plush but not floaty ride.
Interior Space – The 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 has the least amount of headroom among its closest competitors; the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. However, it has more legroom than both for front and rear passengers.
With this being a plug-in hybrid, the cargo capacity has not taken a big hit when compared to the non-PHEV versions of the XC60. It has 598 L (21.1 cu-ft) of space with the rear seats up which is only 15 L less than the non-hybrid XC60 but it’s still more than the space in the X3 30e and Mercedes GLC. With the rear seats folded, it only has 1,395 L (49.3 cu-ft) which again is less than the non-hybrid version but quite a bit less than the BMW and Mercedes as 1,500 and 1,600 L respectively.If equipped with the air suspension though, the rear can lower for easier loading or unloading of the trunk.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The cabin of the XC60 T8 is quiet. Obviously when the electric motor is providing the power, there’s only a faint whisper of tire noise that is audible in the car. When the engine has to turn on, the transition is seamless. As well, the engine itself is pretty quiet when it’s not working too hard. Under more moderate or hard acceleration, it can get quite noisy.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Extended Range starts at $64,950 CAD ($58,495 USD). This demo vehicle had the Ultimate level with a few options and packages which raised the price to $92,350 CAD ($75,145 USD). Take away the Bowers & Wilkins sound system for $3,750 CAD and this XC60 T8 costs around the same as the X3 30e PHEV with the same features. But you’re getting way more power in this XC60 than the X3 30e.
Gadgets – Speaking of features, this XC60 T8 recharge is fully loaded. Well, almost. The only features that it’s missing are the front massaging seats and the integrated booster cushions in the rear seats. Other features include soft Nappa leather upholstery, heated & ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, hands-free power liftgate, surround view cameras, head-up display, Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive, blind spot sensors, the aforementioned Bowers & Wilkins sound system for almost $4,000 CAD, and many more features.
One big change to the XC60’s gadgets for 2022 is the new infotainment system which is Android Auto motive based. At first glance, it looks similar to Volvo’s Sensus infotainment. It has the same four primary sections on the home screen with navigation on top, media below, phone below that, and vehicle status at the bottom. Now though, you can’t swipe left or right to access more pages. The car settings have been integrated into one settings menu and the amount of things that you can change has also been reduced. It allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but you can also access all of your personal things through the Google log in. You can also use Google Assistant by just saying “Hey Google”. Best of all, the new system loads much more quickly on cold start. The old one felt as though I was aging 20 years while I waited for the infotainment to boot up. This new one takes less than 10 seconds.
However, it’s not all perfect because the climate controls are still integrated into the infotainment screen. Yes, it is just one touch if you want to change the temperature but it’s more than one touch for everything else like changing the fan speed or direction of air. Thankfully, volume control is still a physical knob below the screen.
Interior Design – The interior of the 2022 Volvo XC60 has remained largely unchanged. Real wood and aluminum trim cover parts of the dashboard and center console while soft leather covers the rest. I do like Volvo’s use of carpet up the side of the center console as it reduces the use of hard plastics and gives the cabin a premium feel. A couple of things did change, however, one of which is the driver display. The graphics are different and now show a much larger navigation map. You can turn off the map but if you do that, then there’s a large black section between the speedometer and tachometer. The other change is to the sunroof controls. It is now a touch sensitive control that just requires a swipe of your finger to open or close it.
Exterior Design – Unlike the Inscription trim I test drove earlier in the year, this R-Design has a new front bumper for this model year. It looks aggressive but without being too “look at me”. The back sees a different bumper design with hidden exhaust pipes.
Safety – The Core XC60 Recharge (base) has nearly every safety and driver aid feature. Moving up to the Ultimate level will add Pilot Assist with adaptive cruise control, surround view cameras, and front & rear parking sensors. Every other feature like blind spot sensors, automatic emergency braking, lane keep and so on are all standard. The IIHS gave the 2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge a Top Safety Pick+ award with good scores in every crash test and Superior ratings for the driver and safety aids.
Warranty – The 2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Extended Range has a similar warranty period to its German rivals. It comes with a 4 year / 80,000 km new vehicle and powertrain warranty. One thing to note, I haven’t had the best experience with Volvo’s electric features as explained in my Volvo C40 review. This XC60 T8 also had minor gremlins. The Head-up display would intermittently turn off and only start working again after a drive cycle. The infotainment did have to reset once while driving which is one less time than it did in the C40 Recharge.
Conclusion – Overall, the bigger battery and more powerful electric motor make the 2022 XC60 Recharge a good luxury SUV. It can drive on electricity for longer than its rival from BMW plus it has a lot more power. The price is a little high but when compared to similarly equipped German rivals, it’s about the same. So in all, a good SUV that I would highly recommend you keep at the top of your list in this price category.
Thank you to Volvo Canada for providing the vehicle. www.VolvoCars.com