A Refreshed Volvo XC60 SUV Adds Something You Didn’t Know You Could Have (or How Much You Needed It)

A Girls Guide To Cars | A Refreshed Volvo Xc60 Suv Adds Something You Didn’t Know You Could Have (Or How Much You Needed It) - 2022 Volvo Xc60 Featured Image

“Hey, Google? Which car should I buy?” 

If you pose that question from your Google Home device on the kitchen counter, “Volvo XC60 is the best car,” Google may tell you. But, Google might be biased. That’s because Google has teamed up with Volvo to provide a first of its kind branded in-car connectivity system to operate media, entertainment and hard-wired functions like climate control and radio station settings. 

Experts and futurists have been telling us for a few years now that our cars will eventually be the ultimate mobility device, connecting us to our friends, colleagues and social networks as well as getting us where we need to go. Well, that day may finally be here. 

Related: Volvo XC90 Review: The Luxury SUV That Makes the Carpool Less Painful

The Front Cabin In The 2022 Volvo Xc60

The front cabin in the 2022 Volvo XC60. Photo: Scotty Reiss

This Can Get Addictive — But Maybe It’s Just a Good Habit Behind the Wheel

The addition of the Google media system is probably the biggest addition to the 2022 XC60 SUV update, which includes a few new design and engineering details (not that the current multimedia system isn’t just fine in not-yet-updated Volvo models). 

Hop into the Volvo XC60, and as you put the car in gear, just say, “Hey, Google” and the assistant will ask how she can help you. This mid-size 2 row 5 passenger SUV is in dealerships now and is priced from $42,650 for the B5 Momentum trim to $55,100 for the B6 R-Design, before options. As you pull out into traffic, ask for directions to your destination. Google will connect to the cloud, retrieve your destination and set up turn by turn directions. All without lifting a finger or touching a screen. I could get used to just saying what I want and never touching a screen. Especially in the car. 

From there, the benefits are seemingly endless—and in fact, might be, with over the air updates that will continue to improve the offerings and functions of the Google system, and someday may even include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

Wait. Whaaaaat???

For now. These connected phone apps are not yet offered on Volvo’s Google multimedia system, though they are expected to be added soon. Even without your phone connected, the Volvo media screen looks and feels like a familiar blend of phone functions and car functions. The entire system is easy to navigate by tapping the different settings, but really, just ask for what you want. Google is happy to oblige. And it will be for some time, it appears; going forward, all Volvo models will get the new Google interface. 

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The Command Center With A Wireless Charge Pad, Gear Shifter And The Dial Starter In The 2022 Volvo Xc60

The command center with a wireless charge pad, gear shifter and the dial starter in the 2022 Volvo XC60. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Hybrid is the New Turbo, and XC60’s New Name Tells the Story

Google isn’t the only big news for the 2022 XC60. A look at the rear of the XC60 shows a model designation for this mid size SUV: B 5 or B6, which replace the T5 to T6 designations. This is a nod to Volvo’s journey electrification. Think of B as “battery” replacing T for “turbo,” which may be a little confusing because battery does’t replace turbo, it enhances it; the XC60 still has a 4 cylinder turbo charged engine, though now it has a mild hybrid battery assist system, too. 

Volvo’s hybrid system, while not EPA rated to save fuel (it’s rated for a 1MPG improvement in city driving) may actually do that. Not only does the system have regenerative braking to store unused energy for later use, but it has a seamless stop-start system that will also save fuel when idling. Drive it without taking advantage of the instant torque and turbo charged engine and you may do better than the EPA estimates, as hybrid drivers are often known to do. 

The new system is confidently powered for an SUV this size: the B5 generates 247 horsepower and 258 torque, and the B6 generates 295 horsepower and 310 torque. 

I found the XC60 B6 to be easy and fun to drive on winding highways and hilly roads; it’s exactly what you expect from Volvo: effortless and confident, fun when you want but mostly, just lovely. I would expect the B5, despite the smaller amount of power, to also be confident and capable  for the size of this SUV.

Related: The Luxury Hybrid That Has It All: The 3-Row Volvo XC90 R-Design

The Front End Of The 2022 Volvo Xc60 Has An Updates Lower Grille And Air Vents; The Badge Is Heated To Keep Sensors Working In Messy Winter Weather

The front end of the 2022 Volvo XC60 has an updates lower grille and air vents; the badge is heated to keep sensors working in messy winter weather. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What Else is New in the XC60? 

As with any good facelift, it can be hard to tell at first glance, but once you see the details, you know. For 2022, it starts with a refined front face that features a mesh grille—slashed by the Volvo badge and crossbar— and a refined lower front bumper with prominent air intake grilles for a sportier, more assertive look.

While the badge (and crossbar) may look familiar, it has a new function: it’s heated, and that’s a huge advantage. The badge actually houses many of the sensors that Volvo uses to regulate driver assist and safety systems; in some instances these functions can become inoperable when covered by snow or ice. No longer; since the badge is heated, it can melt away any frozen build up (though dirt, mud or other impediments may need to be removed manually). 

The Rear End Of The 2022 Volvo Xc60 Is A Bit Sportier But Still Has The Signature Tail Lights

The rear end of the 2022 Volvo XC60 is a bit sportier but still has the signature tail lights. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The rear end takes the sporty look of the front lower bumper and mimics it the look as exhaust pipes (which are actually not exhaust pipes), for an updated look. For the rear, though, that’s about it. The classic Volvo tail lights, which look like a split, inverted sextant navigation tool (which sailors used for gauging location based on the stars) remain, framing the rear of the XC60 and maintaining its unmistakable look. 

The Front Cabin Of The 2022 Volvo Xc60

The front cabin of the 2022 Volvo XC60. Photo: Scotty Reiss

More New Technology, Same Beautiful Interior

Also new in the 2022 model are a 12.3” driver information screen; this allows drivers to scroll through settings to set up the screen how they’d like, including adding a map, which is great for having navigation (Google turn by turn!) right in front of you and not on the screen to the right. Other premium features that are standard include a wireless phone charge pad, which has a flat open design that will fit almost any phone but I found mine easily slid off the pad; smart key, rain sensing wipers, a 9″ media screen, the heated front badge and driver assist and safety systems which have been updated to add rear auto braking, collision avoidance, pedestrian avoidance and emergency stop assist. 

Rear Leg Room Is Comfortable But Not Huge In The 2022 Volvo Xc60; Rear Seat Passengers Do Get An Outlet And Climate Vents, Though

Rear leg room is comfortable but not huge in the 2022 Volvo XC60; rear seat passengers do get an outlet and climate vents, though. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Our test drive model, the Volvo XC 60 all wheel drive R-Design is the top of the line, which includes R-Design details including Nappa leather sport front seats (leatherette in the rear), 19” wheels, heated seats and Harman Kardon premium sound. Our test model also had heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel ($750), head up display, Pilot Assist adaptive cruise control and a 360 degree surround view camera ($2,050) and Bowers and Wilkins premium sound ($3,200), for a total price of $65,890 with $1,095 destination.

All this new technology isn’t immediately apparent when you first get into the XC60. The integration is subtle; the driver information screen is where it’s always been and the Google system is incorporated into the same familiar 9” media screen. From there, the rest of the interior feels familiar and elegant, with leather, wood and chrome details. Everything you expect from Volvo and then, a lot more once you ask for what you want. Google won’t answer if you say “thank you,” but you will want to.

Disclosure: I was Volvo’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

The Interior In Blonde Nappa (Seen Here In The V90 Wagon) Is An Option In The Mid-Level Inscription Trim Of The 2022 Volvo Xc60

The interior in Blonde Nappa (seen here in the V90 wagon) is an option in the mid-level Inscription trim of the 2022 Volvo XC60. Photo: Scotty Reiss

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss