Review: The 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge Could Be Your Perfect Sleeper SUV, and Here’s Why!

It looks completely understated, but it packs a surprising punch

2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge
Images: Volvo

The 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge makes 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque!

Sure, it’s efficient, but it’s ridiculously fast too.

When you add electric motors to a forced-inducted 2.0-liter engine, like the powerplant in the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge, magic can happen. Volvo has never been shy about performance, and they like to keep it somewhat subdued, and they managed to pull it off with the XC60. This vehicle is remarkably well put together and checks almost every box for a vehicle in this class. Still, like the larger XC90, it’s not totally perfect.

The XC60 Recharge has a base price of $58,495. Our tester, which is the Ultimate trim, runs about $70,000. If you look at the 2022 Lexus NX, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and the (non-M) BMW X3, few can compare with that level of power for the price. In fact, only a handful of competitors have a PHEV option at all. Once such competitor, the Lexus NX 450h+, isn’t even close on power and performance.

Efficiency: After all, the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge IS a plug-in hybrid – right?

Volvo raised the battery capacity from 11.6 to 18.8 kWh, and you can actually use up to 14.9 kWh. The lithium-ion battery pack is connected to a 3.7-kW onboard charger. This setup gives the XC60 Recharge an eighth hour charge time with 110V, and between three to five hours on 220V. There is no fast charge option. It can go up to 35 miles using battery power alone. That range is great, but it’s not “best-in-class.”

What I absolutely adore, is the torque-monster tug this thing produces. That’s despite having a maximum range of well over 500 miles. I mean, for something that looks sophisticated and sedate to zoom 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds and return 63 MPGe (28 mpg combined on gas alone) is outstanding.

Front interior of Volvo XC60 Recharge with driver door open.

The not-so “outstanding” parts

I only have a few gripes, but they are compelling enough for me to look at the competition closer. My main issue has to do with the wat the interior is designed. No, I have no issues with the look – which is quite nice. I even like the quintessentially Swedish wool-lined seats, which will please the anti-leather crowd. Overall comfort and design quality is impeccable.

My issue is the height of the seats versus the roofline. It slopes at an odd and radical angle. I am a big guy, with a large frame and I’m about 6’1″ – and I slammed the side of my head every time I got into the XC60. Sure, I have a tall torso and a huge head, but even when I duck, clipping the back of my head was inevitable.

I do the tush-first sitting style, which is part of my Kung-Fu. It is usually effective when sitting in everything from sportscars to huge pickup trucks. For some reason, the seat sits just a hair too high and “BLAMMO!”. My head hits the sill.

My other issue is the infotainment system. While it has improved, it’s still slow and cumbersome to use. Oddly, the digital instrument cluster is excellent and provides better graphics than the infotainment screen.

So how is the XC60 overall?

I love the 8-speed transmission, which is far more responsive to throttle input than others’ CVTs. Slam your foot down on any mode, and the nose lifts, and the afterburners kick in. It’s a fun sensation. To get even more out of it, the all-wheel drive system is somewhat configurable. It has a real off-road setting, which lifts everything up, and changes the throttle algorithm for optimum response in the rough. It worked well in past experiences, though this time around we kept this car on the pavement.

Oh, speaking of modes, you do have to use the settings icon in the lower right corner of the infotainment screen to get to the drive modes, for better or worse. On top of all that, you can tell the Volvo (through the same menu) if you want to drive in all-electric mode, recharge the battery as you drive, or simply drive it as a hybrid. It’s always quiet and serene, even if the engine is always running in “recharge” mode.

Another important point to make: This XC60 can tow up to 3,500 lbs. Very few hybrids in this class have a usable tow rating, so keep that in mind when cross-shopping for your next crossover.

Summing up the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge, it’s one of the best in class, but some more tweaks could make it the perfect sleeper SUV.