Volvo is a company that was destined to make SUVs. All the people who drive SUVs today would have been in station wagons in decades gone by, and Volvo was extra famous for making wagons that inspired unparalleled loyalty.
So why should Volvo’s midsize XC60 be any different? As an added bonus, it’s a plug-in hybrid, enabling its owners to save on fuel costs while enjoying freedom from range anxiety.
With modern Volvos, the oddly coded names tell you a lot about the vehicle. Volvo’s SUV names start with XC, and then the number tells you what size it is. In this case the XC60 indicates a midsize vehicle, while the XC90 is the full-size offering, and the XC40 is the compact.
Volvo’s XC60 has been around since 2009 and it’s one of the most successful vehicles in Volvo history. The XC60 has been the brand’s best seller in America since it launched, with steadily growing sales numbers.
The company sold 41,582 XC60 models in 2021, its biggest year ever. The appeal is easy to understand: the XC60 offers practical Scandinavian luxury paired with Volvo’s legendary safety record and unexpected performance.
The XC60 hasn’t changed much since it first arrived on the market. Volvo’s design is conservative but elegant, taking the standard two-box SUV format and softening its edges. The XC60 simply looks like an SUV, but the more you look at it, the more it reveals itself as well-balanced and carefully crafted. The current generation also features Volvo’s distinctive “Thor’s Hammer” running lights, which look a lot like a capital T on its side.
The XC60 offers seating for five adults. Most owners never actually use third row seats, and if they do they purchase a larger SUV. So there’s no sense in paying for that feature, or trading away your second-row leg room and cargo capacity to have a seat you never use.
Consequently, the XC60 is comfortable and spacious in front and in back. Plus, you get 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, or 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. When the rear seats are folded, the cargo floor is flat, making the XC60 really good for car camping.
In the front seats where you’ll actually spend most of your time, Volvo seats are deliciously comfortable. The layout of the driver compartment is all Scandinavian cleanliness and simplicity. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle, the XC60 is a great option.
The XC60 Recharge is the plug-in hybrid version of the model. There’s also a gas-powered mild hybrid XC60. With the Recharge, you get more than just electric driving capacity. Volvo’s T8 drivetrain pairs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with a hybrid system capable of delivering 455 combined system horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to get the XC60 Recharge from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The battery for the plug-in hybrid offers 18.8 kWh of capacity, which is enough to drive the XC60 about 35 miles on electricity alone. The average American drives about 29 miles per day, so this vehicle can do the vast majority of daily driving as an EV.
Because of the comparatively small battery, recharging is easy. Every XC60 Recharge comes with a TurboCord, which is a dual voltage (120-volt and 240-volt) charging cable. This allows owners to charge at home using a standard wall outlet. Also, the flexibility of the vehicle’s industry standard connectors means XC60 owners can recharge their vehicle at any Level 2 public charging station. It takes about 5 hours to recharge on a standard 20-amp household 240-volt circuit.
The XC60 Recharge also offers 3,500 pounds of towing capacity, handling most small trailers and boats.
Safety and Technology
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the XC60 Recharge as a “Top Safety Pick+,” its highest designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the standard 2022 XC60 with five stars for crash safety, and four stars for rollover safety. The agency hasn’t tested the plug-in hybrid variant, but the results would likely be similar.
Volvo is always a leader in safety, and the XC60 Recharge includes forward collision warning with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping, turning warnings and autobraking with oncoming traffic, and a 360-degree birds-eye camera system for maneuvering. Additional features like adaptive cruise control and a head-up display are included on higher trim levels.
A 12-inch digital instrument cluster is standard, as is a 9-inch center display infotainment touchscreen. Volvo allows you to customize the center display, and it uses standard tablet swipe gestures to cycle through its screens. There’s a standard stereo audio system, or you can upgrade to Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins options.
On the road, the XC60 Recharge is simply delightful. The gas/electric powertrain delivers impressive power using either fuel source. The weight of the vehicle is distributed and low, so the road-holding characteristics are excellent for an SUV of its size.
Finally, Volvo has implemented one-pedal driving. What this means is that lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal will bring the XC60 Recharge to a smooth stop. It takes about 10 minutes to learn the deceleration speed and re-train your foot, but after half an hour in the XC60, you’ll have it down. Once you learn to use it, you’ll rarely have to touch the brake pedal.
2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge Specifications
|Dimension||L: 185.4 inches/W: 78.7 inches/H: 65.3 inches/Wheelbase: 112.8 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder w/ two electric motors; 8-speed automatic transmission and AWD|
|Fuel Economy||63 mpg-e/28 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $59,590; As tested: $59,590 including $1,095 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The basic XC60 Recharge retails at $58,495 for a very nice vehicle. Volvo calls its base trim “Core.” Upgrading to the mid-level “Plus” trim costs an extra $4,250, but you get pilot assist with adaptive cruise, the 360-degree camera system and more. The top “Ultimate” trim adds $9,750 to the Core price, but delivers the Harman Kardon stereo, ventilated front seats and head-up display. There’s also a “Polestar Engineered” performance trim that gives you a performance suspension, different wheels, and more, and that’s a $16,950 premium over Core.
If we were buying for ourselves, either the Core or Plus trim represents the best value while keeping the cost under control. But we’d be lying if we said we didn’t like the Polestar option. All trims carry a mandatory $1,095 destination fee, which is quite reasonable these days.
2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge — Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Volvo XC60 Recharge handle one-pedal driving?
Yes, with a little practice you can drive the XC60 Recharge without touching the brake pedal.
Does the Volvo XC60 Recharge get good gas mileage?
After the 35 miles of electric driving, the XC60 Recharge returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
What is B mode?
When the gear shifter is in the B position, the XC60 Recharge enables one-pedal driving, which brakes the vehicle with the electric motor/generator to charge the battery.