PALM SPRINGS, Calif — It could not seem like it on the surface, however the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge is a considerably up to date plug-in hybrid SUV. In reality, your complete XC60 line is refreshed for the 2022 mannequin 12 months, however we’re going to zero in on the Recharge PHEV.
Volvo allow us to spend a day behind the wheel of the newly-announced “prolonged vary” Recharge mannequin in sunny California, and we got here away with much more emotions than anticipated from this Swedish crossover. Simply so all people is on the identical web page, the “prolonged vary” Recharge represents a mid-model-year refresh of the XC60 Recharge. There have been 2022 mannequin 12 months XC60 Recharge fashions bought previous to right now that featured the identical electrical as prior mannequin years, and due to this fact featured the outdated EPA-estimated electrical vary of 19 miles on a full cost. The “prolonged vary” mannequin that we drove bumps that each one the way in which as much as 36 miles, almost doubling the earlier vary. Volvo says that these new “prolonged vary” fashions are those delivery to sellers now, not the older mannequin. That is positively one thing to pay attention to in later years must you discover a used 2022 XC60.
So, how has Volvo discovered this a lot additional vary? The large distinction is within the battery pack, going from an 11.6-kilowatt-hour pack to an 18.Eight-kWh pack. Volvo managed to package deal a 3rd layer of cells into the pack that it didn’t have earlier than, and it did so in the identical area as earlier than — it continues to run alongside the automotive’s backbone within the middle tunnel space. Volvo claims that this extra energy-dense battery pack will take 5-Eight hours to cost when hooked as much as a 240V energy supply, so you need to simply get a full cost by leaving it plugged in in a single day, assuming you may have the relevant charging .
This new battery pack is paired with a completely revamped powertrain setup. The format is similar as earlier than. Meaning there may be an electrical motor positioned on the rear axle that drives the rear wheels and a gasoline engine in entrance that completely powers the entrance wheels, thereby giving the XC60 Recharge all-wheel drive. To our delight, each the electrical motor and the gasoline engine are new this 12 months.
The brand new rear electrical motor represents a giant energy increase, with 143 horsepower drastically surpassing the outdated motor’s 87 horsepower. Finally, which means the XC60 Recharge is now considerably extra pleasing to drive in its purely electrical mode (aptly named “Pure”). Energy is greater than adequate to maintain up with exuberant visitors off the road, and it’ll even comfortably get you as much as freeway speeds earlier than maxing out at 78 mph. So, not solely are you able to go a lot additional than earlier than utilizing battery energy, nevertheless it’s additionally a way more nice expertise that gained’t have you ever stressed concerning the automotive’s lack of acceleration. Alternatively, it limits the necessity for the gasoline engine to kick in underneath heavy throttle.
These nice surprises maintain rolling once we get to the gasoline engine a part of this hybrid XC60. The two.Zero-liter four-cylinder engine that was each supercharged and turbocharged earlier than is now solely turbocharged. Sure, Volvo dropped the supercharger, however just for the Recharge (the XC60 Polestar Engineered continues to make the most of one in its plug-in hybrid powertrain). To maintain this powertrain feeling perky on the low-end, Volvo as an alternative makes use of a crankshaft-mounted built-in starter motor that each eases the transitions between electrical and gasoline energy, and provides a torque increase when the supercharger was beforehand serving to issues. To quantify that shove, Volvo says the brand new helper motor is able to offering 111 pound-feet of further torque on takeoffs. The now-turbo-only engine makes 312 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. All programs mixed, the brand new Recharge powertrain gives 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque.
That could be a heaping pile of energy, and the quoted Zero-60 mph time of simply four.5 seconds feels spot-on. It’s a half second faster to 60 mph than the pre-refresh mannequin, and we’ll attribute a lot of that to the additional leap it has off the road from the extra highly effective electrical motor. You’ll need to use the “Energy” mode to make the most of this added thrust, because it retains the engine working always, permitting each the engine and electrical motor to work in parallel to at least one one other.
What’s much more spectacular than the sheer acceleration from this new powertrain is its added refinement. The outdated T8 powertrain with the supercharger was one of many rougher and extra unrefined boosted 2.Zero-liter engines on the market. Now, it’s an incredibly easy operator with not one of the vibration harshness or gruff noises we’ve complained about prior to now. Volvo’s declare of the built-in starter motor smoothing transitions out couldn’t be more true.
One other space of smoothness we respect issues Volvo’s newly-added one-pedal driving mode for the XC60 Recharge. Plug-in hybrids usually don’t have a one-pedal drive mode — you’ll see choices for numerous ranges of computerized regenerative braking, however to have true one-pedal driving in a PHEV is taking the comfort issue to the extent of a full EV. The system is robust sufficient to offer adequate deceleration in nearly all circumstances outdoors of heavy brake purposes, however should you don’t need it, Volvo means that you can change it off for a conventional braking expertise. This one-pedal mode can be out there on the S90 Recharge for 2022, and Volvo says it’s coming to the remainder of its PHEV lineup sooner or later.
Within the realm of issues that aren’t very completely different between this XC60 Recharge and the one earlier than it’s dealing with. Regardless of the rear motor being much more highly effective, the XC60 nonetheless drives like a front-drive-biased SUV. Torque steer is current while you attempt to get the ability down out of corners, and whereas it isn’t debilitating, the sensation is omnipresent when traversing up and down a mountain highway with tight switchbacks. Stiffen the adaptive dampers up; slide the toggle over to a mode actually known as “stiffen steering really feel,” and the XC60 is a keen sufficient accomplice. Nonetheless, it’s simply not going to hold toe-to-toe with any of the performance-focused SUVs in its class which are all much more enjoyable to drive.
You’re significantly better off settling again into the Wool Mix upholstered seats (seen in our check automotive) that feel and look like pure luxurious. The brand new-for-2022, 9-inch infotainment system working Android Automotive OS is similar as what’s discovered within the electrical C40 and can quickly be the infotainment system in each Volvo mannequin. It’s inside right here you can swap between drive modes (the outdated curler wheel on the middle console is gone), flip the up to date Drive Pilot driver help programs on and off, and work together with the default Google apps like Google Assistant and Google Maps. Apple CarPlay isn’t but supported on this Google-based infotainment system, however Volvo says it’s coming as an over-the-air replace sooner or later.
Those that shall be utilizing the up to date XC60 Recharge to tote their household round shall be glad to know the upgraded battery capability hasn’t come on the expense of inside area. Rear legroom is precisely the identical as earlier than, and cargo capability hasn’t modified both, that means the XC60 stays one of many extra household pleasant choices within the class.
When you had been considering of upgrading for the aesthetics — don’t — this XC60 Recharge is essentially about what’s beneath, not what’s on the surface. That mentioned, Volvo gave the XC60 a brand new grille, together with a brand new Iron Mark brand that integrates the radar programs that can be heated to withstand ice and snow buildup on the sensors. It will get a barely completely different entrance fascia and in addition integrates the exhaust pipes underneath the rear bumper and out of sight. Past new wheel and coloration choices, the brand new XC60 is troublesome to differentiate from the pre-refresh model.
The sunshine aesthetic modifications aren’t precisely detrimental to us, although, because the XC60 Recharge appeared good earlier than, and now it drives even higher. In its most simple kind, the XC60 Recharge Prolonged Vary stickers at simply $55,345. That is similar to the Lexus NX 450h+, and some grand greater than the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring – the one different plug-in hybrid compact luxurious SUVs. Just like the Lexus, the XC60 is now eligible to make the most of the total $7,500 tax credit score because of the bigger battery pack measurement, making it an much more reasonably priced choice. The model we drove crested $70,000 on account of it being a fully-loaded Inscription mannequin, however you don’t must tick each single field to have an outstanding plug-in hybrid driving expertise.
This replace is really one which addresses our largest complaints about Volvo’s previous T8 Recharge fashions, and it turns the XC60 right into a highly-viable PHEV choice for anyone who won’t be able to make the leap right into a full battery electrical automobile. The “Prolonged Vary” powertrain is an replace that’s scheduled to be launched throughout the entire Volvo PHEV lineup, too, modernizing all the Recharge fashions in what appears to be an distinctive manner.