The Volvo XC60 SUV has polite manners and efficient engine technology, but its purity of Volvoness separates this SUV from the competition
Table of Contents
Volvo XC60 Overview
New for 2022
2 New Engines
Volvo Vehicle Warranty
Performance and Fuel Economy
Ride and Handling
CleanZone Air Filtration
Back Seats and Cargo
Why buy the Volvo XC60 B6?
The Crystal White metallic paint of the 2022 Volvo XC60 tester is a popular conversation starter. The handsomely styled XC60 prompted comments of praise by several female passers-by as it sat parked in my driveway. It is an approachable and tastefully styled midsize SUV crossover.
Volvo says the XC60 was not designed to look down on others but to drive. In some ways, it is the missing link that merges a car with an SUV for uncompromising Scandinavian design. This five-seat SUV crossover has polite manners, efficient engine technology, and family function. But its allure is more than function and style; it is its purity of Volvoness that resonates.
Volvo XC60 Overview
The first-generation XC60 for North America debuted in 2010, and it has continued as Volvo’s top-selling model — around the world. The second-gen debuted for 2018 and was made 1.8 inches longer and about the same width, but with a roofline that is 2.1 inches lower. In addition, the wheelbase lengthened by 3.6 inches, now at 112.8 inches.
The freshened 2022 model builds on that midsize footprint and adds a few significant updates. While the exterior changes for 2022 are subtle, Volvo’s attention to detail and some unique extras reinforce ownership.
The gas-engine XC60 models now have “mild hybrid” engines helping Volvo reach its goal of total electrification by 2030. By then, the company intends to sell only fully electric cars and phase out any vehicle in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.
And a unique addition is Volvo’s CleanZone air filtration system. The system can stop up to 95 percent of pollutants from entering the passenger compartment.
New for 2022
Highlights of the 2022 changes include:
- Updated grille with updated and heated logo (for a clear Pilot Assist camera in all weather conditions);
- Restyled front fascia with stronger horizontal lines in the lower fascia and a restyled rear fascia with hidden tailpipes;
- New wheel designs and some new paint colors, including Silver Dawn Metallic;
- Next-generation Android infotainment system integrated with Google. Included are Google Assistant with natural voice recognition, Google Maps with real-time traffic information, Google Play Store for media apps, and Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity.
- Over-the-air software updates using the Volvo Cars app for such areas as propulsion systems, new features, bug fixes, and infotainment enhancements. In addition, Volvo says drivers of the pure electric XC40 Recharge should see an improved driving range. Its Range App will help maximize battery usage and give cold weather warnings for optimal battery performance.
Other XC60 infotainment features include 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot, USB input, Google keyboard, and full Apple iPhone compatibility
2 New Gas Engines
The Volvo XC60 is sold in gas-powered or gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid models.
Two new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines debut mild hybrid electrification through a new 48-volt system. The system combines a 13-hp ISG or Integrated Starter Generator.
The ISG is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it provides a silent, fast and refined start/stop function, Volvo says. And it facilitates the engines’ idle stop-start operation and gives a torque boost at low speed.
What were engine designations of T5 and T6 are now B5 and B6. As before, the B5 engine is turbocharged, and the B6 is turbocharged and supercharged. The B5 has 247 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque from 1,800 to 4,800 rpm.
The 295-hp B6 engine gets a new electric supercharger, or e-Charger, which replaces a mechanical supercharger. The e-Charger is quieter and provides enhanced engine response, Volvo says.
In addition, the B5 and the B6 now have electronic shifting and braking “by wire.” The latter allows brake energy to be banked and used to boost overall efficiency and fuel economy.
Volvo’s thoughtful engineering includes one of the most orderly engine bays I’ve seen. The engine shows off with a large, black plastic shroud and the secondary hood release is easy to find. Dual struts easily raise the hood to a near-vertical position.
Volvo XC60 Pricing
The gas XC60 is sold three trim levels of Momentum, Inscription, and R-Design. All models have a choice of B5 or B6 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines and Volvo’s eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive is the standard drive layout with the optional advanced AWD system. (The AWD system has “instant on,” with little chance for the wheels to begin slipping on startup.)
Starting MSRPs range from $43,745 to $51,245 to $49,895. Today’s tester is the XC60 B6 AWD R-Design that was $65,890. Pricing includes the $1,095 freight charge from Gothenburg, Sweden.
The price difference between the B5 engine and the B6 is about $6,500. AWD adds $2,300.
The plug-in hybrid XC60 Recharge is sold in three 400-horsepower trim levels with starting prices ranging from $55,345 for the Inscription to $61,495 for the R-Design and up to $70,595 for the 415 hp XC60 Polestar T8 eAWD. The hybrid system allows about 19 miles of electric driving before switching to the 2.0-liter gas engine.
Check here for current pricing and incentives.
Volvo New Vehicle Warranty
The Volvo warranty package is for four years or 50,000 miles with roadside assistance and free scheduled maintenance for 3-years/36,000-miles. Also unique is that Volvo pays for four years of Google Assistant and Google Maps with its ever-helpful road sign information.
XC60 B6 Performance and Fuel Economy
Dual “charging” of the B6 engine gets the most out of its 2.0-liter engine. But moving away from a stop can seem sluggish — the tester weighs 4,238 pounds — until the e-supercharger kicks in. Then, the turbocharger carries the power into the higher rpms.
Once moving, the acceleration is responsive at all speeds. The eight-speed automatic gives easy downshifts, though timed to maximize fuel economy.
Dial up Sport mode and the performance attitude sharpens, but it is not hell-bent. I used the Sport mode in traffic to keep the power on point and then dialed back to Comfort on the open road for more fuel economy.
Fuel economy estimates for the B6 AWD are 21 mpg city, 27 highway and 24 mpg combined, on the recommended premium. I was averaging 23.4 to 24 mpg. Front-drive models have mileage ratings of 23/30/26 mpg. And the 18.8-gallon tank gives a substantial cruising range.
The electric steering has smooth rotation with adequate road feedback. In addition, the level of steering-wheel resistance can be made lighter or heavier by accessing the drive mode categories through the touchscreen. The turning circle is tight at 37.4 feet — an engineering accomplishment with all-wheel drive, the long wheelbase and 21-inch Pirelli Scorpion tires (an R-Design upgrade).
XC60 Pilot Assist
The Pilot Assist (part of the $2,050 Advanced package) is a suite of driver-assist systems for hands-on-the-wheel semi-autonomous driving. The assist system works on highways and at speeds up to 80 mph, and does not require a car in front to follow. The system will steer, accelerate and brake as needed.
The guidance calibrations work well enough, but the vehicle still crossed over the white line a few times and then gave me loud tones as a warning (as if I did something wrong). That’s why the driver must always stay vigilant and keep hands on the steering wheel. Pilot Assist is best used on major highways in stop-and-go commuter traffic.
These systems can also be prone to shutoff in low-light or shadowy conditions (such as under a highway overpass) and low sunlight into the camera, such as sunset. I’ve also experienced assist cancellations when traveling alongside a white semi-trailer. And California’s light gray concrete can confuse when the white lines are faded or disrupted.
XC60 R-Design Ride and Handling
Among the significant options on the tester was the four-corner air suspension, a stand-alone extra at $1,800. Volvo’s active chassis maintains ride height automatically and adapts each shock absorber to current road and driving conditions.
The suspension gently yields when stepping over speed bumps or along sections of broken road. Power hard into a corner and the nose follows the trajectory with a flat attitude and no unwieldy suspension rebound. But under light load on lumpy or crumbling road surfaces, the air suspension gets busy trying to balance the heaves and unevenness.
At higher speeds, the air suspension lowers the vehicle automatically to reduce drag and enhance stability. In addition, an Off-Road mode increases ground clearance. And loading or unloading cargo or tailgating, the cargo height can be lowered by 3 inches by pushing a button inside the load area.
The cabin is well soundproofed and the big Pirellis are a delicious upgrade for quiet rolling and supple grip. Braking is absolute and without grab or dive from 12.7-inch front discs, 11.9-inch rear.
XC60 Safety Features
Volvo is a safety champion, but I’m still not a supporter of the iPadlike touchscreen. The vertical screen in the center of the instrument panel is used to access just about everything, although there is a knob for audio volume. But making adjustments to temperature, fan speed, or seat heaters is a two-touch process, which usually takes eyes from the road.
However, the XC60 has an arsenal of other safety features, including City Safety. The collision avoidance system recognizes pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals. It also adds lane-keep assist and oncoming lane mitigation, which will take over steering if needed to avoid a head-on or front-corner impact.
Other standard safety features include six air bags, blind-spot warning, and cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping steering assist, oncoming lane mitigation (with steering assist), and hill-descent control.
CleanZone Air Filtration
For people prone to breathing ailments, Volvo’s CleanZone air filtration system can mean the difference between going out and staying.
The advanced filter system (a world first, the company says) will trap airborne particles as small as 2.5 microns (PM 2.5). There are about 25,000 microns in an inch. The widths of the larger particles in the PM 2.5 size range would be about 30 times smaller than a human hair. The smaller particles are so small that several thousand could fit on the period at the end of this sentence.
The system’s multifilter also helps reduce dust, pollen, particles, and chemical odors.
The cabin can be pre-cleaned before entering the car using the Volvo Cars app. And on a warm day, the automatic CleanZone helps ventilate the passenger compartment when the vehicle is unlocked.
XC60 Interior Function
The interior design is artful but functional — mostly. The cabin is roomy with considerable headroom of 38 inches, even with the panoramic roof. Sightlines are unobstructed across the hood or over the shoulder. And the 360-degree surround-view camera system is a worthwhile addition to the Advanced package, $2,050, which includes Pilot Assist with adaptive cruise control.
The 10-way power seats, including seat-bottom tilt, are gently contoured and supportive for the long haul.
The switch controls for the front map lights and sunroof are touch-sensitive and require just a light touch to activate.
There is open access to the wireless charging pad on the shift console. Storage areas are somewhat limited, but there is a huge, nonlocking glove box and door panels with separate spaces for a large bottle and catchall space. The center armrest has a small storage box, which houses two USBs, including one C-type.
Back Seat and Cargo Space
Back seat space has adult-class legroom of 38 inches, but with a slight butts-down, knees-up position with no seatback recline. There are numerous conveniences, including the coat hooks on the B-pillars. The broad, fold-down armrest is padded with pop-forward cup holders and covered but slim storage.
Back-seat B pillars have a vertical vent that provides airflow that is so helpful for passengers prone to motion discomfort. And there also is a pair of vents in the center floor console, along with fan and temperature controls, seat-heater switches, and a USB. Overhead grab handles include a hook for dry cleaning.
Cargo space is wide and square, with 17.1 cubic feet of space behind the second row or up to 29.4 cu.ft. with the back seat folded. The 60/40 split rear seat has release tabs in the cargo that drop easily. A handy hook and strap are provided to hold up the cargo floor when looking for the jack and flat-tire inflator. There also are dual side lights and a 12-volt plug. A side storage space has about a cubic foot of stash space, separated by a net.
Road Sign Information
How often do we drive and see no or very few speed-limit signs? Enter the eye-in-the-sky Road Sign Information. It might be one of those extras that the uninitiated might see as unnecessary. And Volvo pays for the subscription for the length of the warranty. The system alerts to speed limits, “no passing,” “do not enter,” and various types of supplementary signs.
The road sign is displayed on the speedometer or in the head-up display. It can also inform you about speed cameras. And if you drive in the wrong direction on a one-way street, you’ll be alerted with a no-entry sign icon.
The dark-tinted laminated glass roof has a front section that opens or tilts and a power-operated fabric sunshade. When the vehicle is parked outside in hot weather, the sunshade closes automatically when the outside temperature reaches 77 degrees. And the roof can be closed from outside the vehicle with the remote key.
What’s not to like?
- For the as-tested price of nearly $67,000, savvy luxury-segment drivers might expect ventilated seats to go with the optional heated front seats.
- A cargo area roller cover is a $295 option.
- Modest fuel economy.
- The sun visors are inadequate on driver’s left. The lower left edge is contoured to fit neatly into the headliner, which leaves a wide margin of the windshield where the sun invariably shines through.
- Volvo’s distinctive head restraints, somewhat forward-leaning, can bother some taller occupants.
Why Buy the Volvo XC60 B6 R-Design?
A statement of style is important to this owner, and there is a genuine resonance to the gentleness of Volvo design and engineering.
While the Inscription trim level is luxurious, I prefer the sportier tone of the R-Design. I’d fret less about children scuffing the interior and I’d feel less guilt using it as a utility vehicle, as the Norse god Thor intended.
At nearly $67,000, the tester was fully priced, but it also has unique pleasures to relieve the price-point pain.
Volvo XC60 B6 AWD R-Design Specifications
Body style: midsize, 5-seat AWD
Engine: 295-hp, direct Injected and turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with idle stop-start; 310 lb.-ft. torque from 2,100-4,800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Geartronic
Fuel economy: 21/27/24 mpg city/hwy/combined; premium required
0-60 mph acceleration: 5.9 seconds
Coefficient of drag: 0.32
BY THE NUMBERS
Fuel tank: 18.8 gallons
Cargo space: 17.1-29.4 cubic feet
Front head/leg room: 38/41.5 in.
Rear head/leg room: 38*/38 in. *w/panoramic roof
Length/wheelbase: 185.4/112.8 inches
Curb weight: 4,238 lbs.
Turning circle: 37.4 ft.
Tow capacity: 3,500 lbs. braked trailer; 1,600 lbs. unbraked
Standard equipment includes: keyless locking with push-button ignition, 12.3-inch configurable driver gauge array, surround-view camera with front parking assist, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, heated steering wheel, illuminated door handles, laminated panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, heated grille emblem (to help optimize front camera visibility in all conditions), head-up display, headlight washers, front cornering fog lights, park assist (front, rear, and sides), spray-arm wipers
R-Design Features: Front park assist, power-folding rear head restraints, HomeLink garage door transmitter, tailored dashboard, high-level interior illumination, 4-zone climate control with CleanZone, charcoal headliner, 10-way power (heated) front seats with lumbar and memory presets, 19-inch R-Design wheels, Nappa leather front sport seats, and leatherette rear seats, leather gear shift grip and metal-trimmed pedals, sport tailored steering wheel, high gloss black window trim, and mirror caps, high gloss black grille
Safety features include: 6 air bags, blind-spot warning and cross-traffic alert, Pilot assist (to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane and at a set speed), lane-keeping steering assist, oncoming lane mitigation (with steering assist), hill-descent control
B6 AWD R-Design base price: $57,290, including $1,095 freight charge; price as tested $65,890
Options on test vehicle: Climate package, $750, includes headlight washers, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel; Advanced package, $2,050, includes head-up display, Pilot Assist driver-assistance system with adaptive cruise control, 360-degree surround-view camera, a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area, air quality with advanced air cleaner; metallic Crystal White paint $695; 4-corner air suspension $1,800; power tailgate $200; 21-inch double-spoke black diamond-cut alloy wheels $1,000; 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio $3,200
Where assembled: Gothenburg, SwedenRead more