|✓ Handsome styling||☓ Touchscreen can still be distracting|
|✓ Upscale, roomy||☓ Tight rear legroom|
|✓ Quick; Solid ride & handling||☓ Marginal city fuel economy, even with the|
B6 mild hybrid powertrain
|✓ Safety features|
2022 Volvo XC60 B6: Overview
Volvos have changed a lot since the legendary TV newsman Walter Cronkite successfully raced a Volvo PV444 sedan in the 1950s —until CBS made him quit, that is. As the years passed, Volvos progressively became more upscale. These days, we have the 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 AWD R-Design, a $55,100 mid-size SUV that compares most directly to the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3 SUVs, as well as the Genesis GV70 and Acura RDX, among many others.
The handsome Volvo XC60 B6 AWD R-Design is a surprisingly sporty SUV. My test model had an R-Design grille, new front bumper, special high gloss black windows and black trim, modified suspension and 19-inch R-Design alloy wheels.
Performance: Surprisingly quick, if not especially efficient
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and also packs an electric supercharger, like before. This time, though, the “B6” Volvo XC60 supplants the old “T6”, with a mild-hybrid system. It produces 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The on-paper 0-60 mph time is just under 6 seconds — certainly respectable for a small luxury crossover. Acceleration is linear, thanks partly to the efficient 8-speed automatic transmission of this 4,222-pound vehicle.
There are no gleaming chrome exhaust tips found on other sporty SUVs, but Volvo is heavily emphasizing its electric-vehicle future. And, silly as it seems, it didn’t add the tips to the gas-engine XC60 because they wouldn’t look “electrical.”
Estimated fuel economy isn’t particularly great in the city: just 21 miles per gallon. (I got 9 mpg during a city stop-and-go 6-mile trip…) However, the estimated EPA highway figure is a more tolerable 27 mpg. The fuel holds 18.8 gallons, so the estimated cruising range, using Volvo figures, is 507.6 miles on highways and 394.8 miles in the city.
It’s unusual and surprising that the engine makes absolutely no noise at idle. It thus seems as if you’ve started an electric vehicle. Also, while the engine shuts off to save fuel when you’re sitting for awhile, the XC60 imperceptibly starts the engine when you have to get moving, without the usual shudder or sound found with many other such start/stop systems I’ve experienced.
The electric-assisted power steering is firm but quick and accurate. Overall, handling is quite good, thanks to electronic stability control, as well as a stiff, refined chassis and all-wheel drive. The ride with my test vehicle’s optional 4-corner air suspension ($1,800) was supple and comfortable. The brake pedal has a high, firm engagement, so it’s easy to modulate.
Comfort, features and safety: Where the XC60 shines
In this 2022 Volvo XC60, the headline interior feature is a new infotainment system. This time, it’s powered by an Android operating system, tying in Google applications to the 9-inch display. The native software is included through a “Digital Services” package, and is included for four years. At this time, there is no Apple CarPlay support for the 2022 Volvo XC60. I still found the infotainment touchscreen rather convoluted, although the 12.3-inch digital driver display was nicely designed.
The updated car’s stylish interior has attractive stitching, super-supportive and power-adjustable R-Design front Nappa leather heated seats, leatherette rear seats, soft leather sport steering wheel, four-zone climate control and the usual upscale interior stuff such as a premium sound system and a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade. A wireless charger is at the front of the large console area, and there are power points throughout the vehicle.
The 2022 Volvo XC60 comfortably seats four, or five in a pinch in the quiet interior, although a tall passenger behind a tall driver who has his seat moved way back will want more legroom. Front doors open wide, but rear doorways are rather narrow. At least the heated rear seats offer pretty good side and thigh support, and the middle of the rear seat has a large fold down-armrest with two cupholders. Front console cupholders are easily reached, but there are only a fair amount of cabin storage areas. The covered console bin, which serves as an armrest, isn’t very spacious.
There’s a power tailgate and the cargo area provides plenty of room for, say, a week’s groceries. The rear seat backs easily flip forward to reveal an impressively spacious cargo area. A special Climate package, which I appreciated during a bitterly cold, snowy Chicago January, contained heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel for an extra $750.
This is a Volvo, so there are a good number of safety features. They include a blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, low and high speed collision mitigation, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, lots of air bags, rear park-assist camera and also front/rear park assist.
Bottom line: The 2022 Volvo XC60 compares favorably in many respects to the top luxury crossovers, and absolutely deserves your attention.
Volvo has come so far up in the world since its origin nearly 80 years ago, the XC60 B6 AWD R-Design can be favorably compared to so many other upscale SUVs in the segment from Europe, Asia and the United States. Take another look at Volvo’s updated SUV below: