The 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 came as a last-minute and unexpected addition to my Top Ten Drives of 2021. I wasn’t expecting to love this one so much. Like, SO much. And as they say, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The XC60 B6 had me going for drives for no reason whatsoever after we’d had major snowfalls and there was literally nobody else on the road.
The exterior styling of the 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 is a large reason why this mid-size SUV is so popular. It also explains why the XC60 B6 had updates but not a lot of exterior changes for the 2022. That said, the powertrain and interior were nicely refreshed. Volvo gave the car a mild hybrid for 2022, providing better acceleration, better fuel economy (21 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway) and a quieter ride.
Something I’ve noticed with all Volvos, and the XC60 is no exception, the brand’s all-wheel drive system and wide and capable tires plus impeccable handling in rough road conditions make them ideal for inclement weather. Not unlike here on the West Coast of Canada, where we go from a foot of snow to torrential downpours within days in the winter months. The drive was more and more surprising to me every day.
1. The new B6 means ‘Battery’ with a New Mild Hybrid for 2022
Volvo adds a mild hybrid for 2022 in several models including the XC60. This means it gets an electric motor and supercharger, plus it’s still turbocharged, so it’s not only incredibly quiet, it’s powerful and has excellent get-up-and-go. The B6 replaces the T6 designation, a gas-powered turbo engine. I drove the XC60 on the freeway a handful of times and was surprised every single time I had to merge or pass traffic as it was instantaneous, and incredibly smooth.
@xoconniepeters 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 Inscription AWD with the premium Bowers & Wilkins audio system is straight 🔥🔥🔥. Song: Promises by Cleo Sol #volvo #xc60 #stereo ♬ original sound – Connie Peters
2. This Sound System will Give You Goosebumps
Listening to music, quite loud, while driving is a big part of my me-time. I want to feel it, either physically or emotionally, like goosebumps. Some cars vibrate or even shake too much, others not at all and some just the right amount. Same with volume: in some cars, when you turn it right up it just sounds loud. I don’t want it to just sound loud, that just hurts my ears.
I always have a playlist of favorite driving songs in my Apple Music which can be anything from soul to dance, current hits, throwbacks and even the odd sad love ballad. Sometimes I’ll go for a drive simply to get out of the house and listen to music. It helps that I enjoy driving, and I like to take all of my test drives on a specific route, testing various driving speeds and road conditions as well.
The XC60 test model I had was equipped with the premium Bowers & Wilkins stereo system which is a $3,200 USD/$3,750 CAD option. The first time I turned up my favorite song in the XC60, I was simply blown away. I started to go through my playlist and choose all different styles of music to see what they’d sound like. They all sounded sublime, every last one of them. I discovered then that I could also adjust the way the music sounded with different settings; I could set it to focus the driver’s position or the entire car, and set it to Room (concert hall or jazz club), Stage, or Studio. Nothing in the XC60 vibrated or rattled and the sound was so pure and crisp. I could turn it way up and it was just like being in a concert hall, getting the chills from listening to the best song by my favorite artist.
Related: A Refreshed Volvo XC60 SUV Adds Something You Didn’t Know You Could Have (or How Much You Needed It)
3. Fantastic high quality interior
The interior of each and every Volvo I have been inside is like a superbly crafted European outfit suitable for the most exclusive fashion week runway. Volvo has a knack for creating shapes, patterns and lines that scream high-end designer. In the XC60 I had the Nappa blonde leather interior as part of the Inscription trim package, and that also came with the crystal shift knob. The color palette included light toned leather and blond wood trim, and even a light headliner. Adding to the thoughtful design was soft touch surfaces everywhere, and Swedish flags hidden throughout. This car was simply a serene escape for me.
The gear selector is literally a piece of crystal that feels like a piece of jewelry you get to wear when you drive the XC60. I especially enjoyed the joystick functionality of the gear selector, but admit I don’t like that it needs to be tapped forward twice to get into Reverse, and twice back again to go back into Drive.
4. Air Suspension that You Don’t Have to Touch
Air suspension gives you an ultra smooth ride, and also more ride height for added comfort in an SUV, and in the XC60, it just adjusts itself. When you get in and start the car, it lifts and drives impeccably smoothly. As you park and exit the car, the suspension lowers automatically making for an easy step out of this mid-size SUV. This 4-corner suspension is a $1,800 USD/$2,350 CAD option.
5. Google Auto, your in-Car Personal Assistant
The XC60 utilizes Volvo’s new-for-2022 Google Auto system for both the new 12.3 inch, fully digital gauge cluster and for the infotainment, which is a tablet-like vertical touchscreen. I do hear rumblings of Apple CarPlay functionality coming in over-air updates sometime this year, and that is something I would really want if I were to purchase this car. Apple CarPlay simply makes my life easier with maps, Apple Music, and voice-to-text as my girls tend to text me random, ‘urgent’ requests when I happen to be driving.
You can login with your Gmail account and the entire system becomes your personal assistant. Your calendar, appointments and everything you expect from Google connectivity is now right here in your car. This, I have to say, is pretty amazing. You can even say ‘Hey Google’ like you do at home to your Google Home.
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6. Amazingly Fast Bluetooth Connection with no Sound Quality Deterioration
I always use a USB or USB-C cord for music, even if there is Wireless Apple CarPlay or a wireless charging pad, because the sound quality is just better. Or I should say, has always been better for me, in every other car I’ve driven. Not so in the Volvo XC60. Without Apple CarPlay and just using Bluetooth Audio, the sound quality was without question, the best I’ve heard. And the connection was very quick; a pet peeve of mine is when the audio and personal device tech and connection in a brand new car is bad or glitchy. No such glitches or delays in the two weeks I enjoyed driving and rocking out in the XC60.
The 2022 Volvo XC60 starts at $42,650 USD/$50,750 CAD and comes in three trims, of which we had the top trim, the Inscription with B6 all-wheel drive option. Our test model also had the premium sound system, 4-corner suspension, climate and advanced packages topping out at $64,740 USD/$75,650 CAD as shown.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the 2022 XC60 B6 Inscription. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a mild hybrid mid-size crossover or SUV that needs to handle anything the roads or weather might throw at them. The XC60 B6 will handle it all with a supreme amount of comfort, luxury and great music.
Disclosure: The XC60 B6 was provided by Volvo for this test drive. All opinions are my own.