Commitment. That’s what it takes when moving from fossil fuel cars to all-electric vehicles. Especially when thinking about the hours connected to a charger instead of minutes at a gas pump. But there’s an in-between. Enter the 2022 Volvo XC60 T8.
For the timid, a plug-in hybrid is a viable option for those who aren’t ready for a total commitment to the EV lifestyle. It combines the best of both worlds: emissions-free short-range jaunts easily accomplished under all-electric power. Longer trips cover greater distances and can happen without the planning and range anxiety associated with searching for EV chargers that a full battery electric vehicle requires.
2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Review
What’s New for 2022
This year, Volvo applied some significant updates to its second-generation midsize crossover plug-in hybrid model. In addition to many other updates, the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 revised electrified system consists of a more potent battery pack and a more powerful electric motor, adding more punch and range.
We borrowed the updated T8 Extended Range plug-in EV for this review, which now has a combined power rating of 455 horsepower courtesy of a new battery, in conjunction with a modified 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In addition, 2022 Recharge T8 Extended Range models now qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.
Moreover, Volvo executes some significant updates for the 2022 model year. The restyled front bumper and the revised grille now feature the updated Volvo Iron Mark with integrated sensors. The rear fascia benefits from a styling refresh that hides the exhaust tips.
The 2022 Volvo XC60 gets a Google Android-based operating system, replacing the Sensus interface. More changes include advanced driver-assist features, an improved hands-free tailgate function, USB-C ports placed in the front and rear, and tailored wool blend upholstery. Also, Volvo created the option for ventilated seats available only with Nappa leather seat coverings, as cloth upholstery seats are cooler.
Under the hood, mild-hybrid B5 and B6 powertrains replace the T5 and T6 options offered in the 2018-2021 model years.
More Power, More Range
For 2022, the revamped electrified system shifts from 64 kW (87 horsepower) to 105 kW (143 horsepower) and a new battery with 18.8 kWh, which used to be 11.6 kWh. As a result, the EPA all-electric range nearly doubles to 35 miles compared to the previous 18-mile range. Subsequently, the high-voltage battery supplies low-end torque and replaces the supercharger found in earlier models.
If the day calls for motoring more miles beyond the lithium-ion battery range, the XC60’s 2.0L turbocharged four will carry on approximately another 400 miles.
Overnight charging or left connected while working at the office, I suspect, will be the norm. The modest 3.6 kW onboard AC charger will help extend the life of the battery pack but takes hours to recharge to max capacity.
The 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates up to 312 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque for the front wheels. Combined with the rear electric motor, available output grows to a gallant 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet.
Phenomenally Calm and Captivating Interior
- 12.3-in. digital driver display with navigation
- Bowers & Wilkins sound system: 1,100 watts, 15 speakers (exquisite detail, impeccable delivery)
- Clean zone: Advanced Air Cleaner works brilliantly in polluted areas
- 10-way power front comfort seats with driver memory
- Available four-zone electronic climate control
- Available massaging and ventilated Nappa leather seats
- Natural and recycled materials used throughout the cabin
The 2022 Volvo XC60 boasts one of the best interior designs on the market today, which appears well-built and insulated from the outside world. The feel of the materials and touchpoints are first-class, and the overall layout meshes well. Imagine a blissful and calming ambiance, inviting atmosphere, and marvelous seats to sink into each time you slip into the cabin.
In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital driver display that shows the instruments and navigation readout.
A minimalist approach avoids unnecessary clutter of the controls and is quite pleasing to the eye. Everything, from comfort settings to the steering wheel controls, is easy to navigate and operate. The crystal gearshift knob may look downsized, but it fits the shape of your hand just right.
Alas, a limited number of pockets and bins to stash your accessories makes it challenging to contain small items. For example, it may have a nice resting place for wireless charging of your smartphone, but missing was a place to tuck away my sunglasses, bottle of sanitizer, and spare change.
Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of Volvo’s Advanced Cleaner, which uses an ionizer to charge the particles of incoming air to trap them in a filter that has the opposite charge, thereby preventing the bad stuff from entering the cabin. If you’ve ever driven by a large cattle ranch, you’ll be amazed by how well the system works.
Continuous monitoring of tiny, harmful particles by an optical sensor in the cabin ensures the environment is as clean and healthy as possible. The driver can check the air quality by accessing the monitor in the center stack display. What’s more, you can pre-clean the cabin air before taking off by activating the Air Quality system using the Volvo On Call app.
A Google-based operating system is the heart of the next-generation infotainment center, which natively uses Google Maps and Google Assistant. Google users or anyone who has used previous iterations of Volvo’s infotainment system will appreciate the revised user interface, the fast startup and response times, and the uncluttered design of the graphical UI.
In addition, Google Assistant and voice commands make it almost effortless when it comes to fine-tuning the comfort settings, planning destinations, finding an available charging station, or hunting down the best coffee shop near you without tapping instructions on the centrally mounted 9-inch touchscreen.
If you have to manually input directions, it works even when wearing gloves due to the screen’s infrared technology. Otherwise, simply say, “Hey Google,” to get started. With YouTube integrated into the software, it’s now possible to pass the time watching YT videos while parked and waiting for the battery to recharge.
Over-the-air (OTA) software update capability will eventually include Apple CarPlay. Sadly, the implementation hadn’t occurred when we had the vehicle for review.
You don’t have to be an audiophile with golden ears to appreciate the Bowers & Wilkins 1,100-watt, a 15-speaker sound system featuring Continuum composite drivers and Nautilus technology that reduces noise resonance. It all adds up to a phenomenal stereophonic package that has impeccable detail.
The soundstage has an immersive and focused presence. The resolution of depth and width is extraordinary — voices sound natural and have precisely the right size and volume; instruments sound true, crisp, and detailed but never strained. The system’s warmth, musicality, and responsiveness will pleasantly surprise you.
Seats 5, Cargo Space for More
Our test XC60 Recharge came in the Inscription trim with the superbly comfortable front sport seats wrapped in a tailored wool blend that will not feel itchy or scratchy one bit. These heated 10-way powered front seats, with two memory settings for the driver, feature power lumbar support and cushion extension for passengers with longer thighs. The available Nappa leather is the only way to get the vented seats and massage function.
Space in the second row is about average for a midsize SUV. Its 38 inches of legroom is comparable to an Audi Q5 or a few inches more than a Jaguar I-Pace and Lincoln Corsair. However, it will work for people 6 feet tall or shorter, but don’t expect first-class executive-level comfort.
The door pockets don’t hold much, and the battery takes away most of the legroom for the middle seating position. Sadly, the rear seats won’t slide fore or aft when space adjustments are needed.
One of my favorite features is the hands-free power tailgate. Kick your foot underneath the rear bumper, and the tailgate will automatically open. It proved itself more than a gimmick when I was loading the doggy crate and holding onto the little pupster’s leash at the same time.
Crash-test results are uniformly outstanding. IIHS voted the Volvo XC60 Recharge as its 2022 Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA awarded it a 5-Star overall safety rating. Thankfully, Volvo fits each crossover with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors. Available are more driver-assist features and a surround-view camera system.
The 143-horsepower electric motor powers the rear wheels. Once the four-cylinder engine kicks into drive and the front wheels turn, a little growl from the engine bay signals when the power requires an assist.
If a battery is exhausted, the integrated 34 kW starter generator mounted to the crankshaft ensures a seamless and imperceptible transition between the gas engine and electric motor. Its secondary function works with the turbocharger to provide 30 pound-feet of added torque.
Ride quality is polished and adept. Twist and turns won’t upset the suspension, but not on the level of a BMW X3 — nor was it designed that way. The crossover is unfazed by most road imperfections, at the same time feeling smooth without the floatiness. Overall, the XC60 tested with the optional air ride suspension is an excellent blend of comfort and sportiness.
Given its luxury status, the tranquil and blissful cabin makes Volvo’s midsize crossover an excellent sleigh for a road trip, especially after experiencing the Swedish automaker’s hallmark plush and supportive seats. The wool blend seat coverings are a winner because they breathe nicely and don’t warm up to the degree of leather seats.
I discovered that the 35-mile range of the battery is the real deal after a week of short drives, long drives, slow and fast accelerations, and numerous recharging sessions. My real-world driving and informal test results come close to the all-electric range of the Lexus NX 450h+ PHEV, which can travel up to 37 miles on a single charge.
If you think the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 is a weenie, note that it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Pros & Cons
- Lavish cabin
- Large cargo hold
- Robust powertrain
- Silky ride
- Distracting infotainment system
- Not as agile as rivals
XC60 Recharge T8: Sum of All Parts
A plug-in hybrid can substantially save you money on gas, especially if most of your trips are relatively short and a charger is readily available. For longer trips, the limited range of the battery pack isn’t an overriding concern, as the turbocharged four will always have your back and is pretty efficient on its own.
Factor in federal and state tax incentives, and Volvo XC60 becomes more attractive and affordable than a Tesla Model X or BMW iX.
Find your local Volvo dealer and virtually build out your own XC60.
2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge: Specs
- Base price: $62,250
- Price as tested: $72,840
- Engine: 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder direct injection
- Power: 312 hp
- Torque: 295 lb.-ft.
- Combined power and torque: 455 hp and 523 lb.-ft. of torque
- Battery: 18.8 kWh (nominal) | 14.9 kWh (usable)
- Electric motor: 143 hp/107 kW
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- EPA combined w/AWD: 28 mpg
- Drivetrain layout: Longitudinally mounted front-engine all-wheel drive
- Suspension: Air suspension with CCD
- Dimensions (length x width x height): 185.4 x 74.9 x 65.3 in.
- Wheelbase: 112.8 in.
- Ground clearance: 8.2 in.
- Approach/departure/breakover angles (degrees): 21.2/23.4/19.1
- Passengers: 5
- Cargo capacity behind second row: 28.9 cu. ft.
- Max cargo capacity, rear seat folded: 49.3 cu. ft.
- Curb weight: 4,960 lbs.
- Towing capacity: 3,500 lbs.