+ Looks great inside and out
+ Much improved infotainment
+ Great plug-in hybrid options
- There are more agile SUVs
- Diesel engine is quite noisy
- Alternatives have bigger boots
Verdict: The Volvo XC60 didn't have a lot wrong with it before this facelift, but what was a poor infotainment system has been hugely improved. There remain more agile SUVs with slightly bigger boots for similar money, but the XC60 simply has to be on your list of options.
You've probably seen quite a few Volvos out and about and you've might be wondering when they started to look so good. Well, the days of old boring boxes are over and the Volvo XC60 has been spearheading the Swedish firm's reinvention.
The XC60 is a five-seat premium family SUV that is Volvo's best-selling model in the UK. This generation was launched in 2017, but for 2022 it's getting a facelift that brings a new look and upgraded tech inside.
The XC60 continues to do battle with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, but still looks (to our eyes) better than any of them. A new grille, revised front and rear bumpers and updated paint and alloy wheel options only improve things.
Volvo hasn't gone crazy with the updates to the XC60's interior, but it was always a very attractive and high-quality place to sit, rivalling the Germans for quality but with a cleaner Scandinavian design that continues to win many fans.
The bigger news is the XC60's new infotainment, which was starting to feel its age in the old car. It's still a 9-inch portrait screen, but is now powered by Google's Android system. As such, the menus are far easier to use, plus the system is quicker and the screen more responsive. Happily, wireless smartphone charging is now standard and the digital driver's dials have been made crisper too.
The XC60's dimensions haven't changed for 2022, so it continues to seat four tall adults with ease, or even five, if those in the rear don't mind rubbing shoulders. Its boot isn't quite as big as the Germans' but will still accommodate a family's needs. Just bear in mind XC60 plug-in hybrid models get slightly less.
Volvo continues to offer a broad range of engines for the XC60. There's one diesel option that's still best for those doing lots of miles, but also a couple of petrol engines which are smoother and quieter, but also thirstier in all situations.
Company car drivers and those with home charging will want to consider one of the plug-in hybrid models, though. A new larger battery (from early 2022) means an improved 48-miles electric range, plus range-best CO2 emissions. Charge often and very good fuel economy is possible, yet big performance is on tap from both when you want it.
Whichever engine you choose, the XC60 remains a comfort-first family SUV. If you want more agility, a BMW X3 is a better bet, but although an Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC are slightly quieter at speed, the XC60 is nevertheless a wonderfully comfortable way to do lots of miles – especially cars with air suspension fitted.
So, the Volvo XC60 was already a strong contender with its style, comfort and practicality, but now has improved infotainment to go with it. It needs to be on your list of test drives if you're after a premium family SUV.
The Volvo XC60 never had an issue with its interior, so not much has changed for 2022.
You get the same wonderfully Scandinavian design with clean lines, chrome, metal and wood accents plus upmarket real and man-made leathers. Everything feels well screwed together too.
The bigger news is the XC60's new infotainment, which was starting to feel its age in the old car. It's still a 9-inch portrait screen, but is now powered by Google's Android system.
As such, the menus are far easier to use, plus the system is quicker and the screen more responsive. Sign in to your Google account, and Google's app store is available too. Happily, wireless smartphone charging is now standard and the digital driver's dials have also been made crisper.
Volvo's standard sound system is good, and so is its mid-range optional Harmon-Kardon system. However, if you have more to spend and love your music, its range-topping Bowers and Wilkins system is one of the best we've ever heard in a car full stop.
The Volvo XC60 is a five-seat family SUV that seats four tall adults with ease, or even five, if those in the rear don't mind rubbing shoulders.
If you have small children the XC60 is a great choice too. Its rear doors open nice and wide, there are Isofix points on the outside seats that are easy to find and you won't need to shove the front seats too far forwards to get a bulky child seat in behind.
And although the XC60's boot isn't quite a big as a Q5's, X3's or GLC's, at 483 litres it'll do the job for a family. Just remember that the plug-in hybrid versions get slightly less because of their battery.
Volvo continues to offer a broad range of engines for the XC60. There's one diesel option, the 197hp B4, that's still best for those doing lots of miles but also a couple of petrols engines which are smoother and quieter, but also thirstier in all situations. Those are the 250hp B5 and 300hp B6.
Company car drivers and those with home charging will want to consider one of the plug-in hybrid models, the 340hp T6 and 405hp T8. Charge often and very good fuel economy is possible, yet big performance is on tap from both when you want it. Think 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds from the T8.
However, from early 2022 the new XC60 plug-in hybrids will get a larger 18.8kWh battery (vs 11.6kWh now) that'll mean an increase 48-mile electric range (vs 32 miles) and a more powerful 145hp electric motor on the rear axles, compared with the current 87hp unit. Think even more performance, too.
In PHEV models, it's possible to choose between a hybrid driving mode or stick to just electricity if you have enough spare. You can also hold your battery for later in the drive or also charge it on the go using the engine as a generator.
Charging the 11.6kWh battery takes three hours via a wall box at home or four hours via a standard three-pin socket. Times for the newer battery will naturally be slightly longer.
Every XC60 comes and will come with a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox, but only the B5 petrol gets with the choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All other engines are all-wheel drive only.
The Volvo XC60 is unashamedly comfort-before-agilty, but there's nothing wrong with that.
If you like the feeling of agiity from your SUV, a BMW X3 will do that better, but in truth not many people buy an SUV for their ability to lap a track quickly.
More importantly, the XC60 is easy to see out of and has light steering in town, plus all the cameras and sensors you need as standard to park easily.
Of course, on a country road, the XC60's steering isn't as precise and weighty as something like an X3's but you always have confidence in what it's doing and there's bags of grip – especially from all-wheel drive models.
Pro models come with air suspension as standard, which helps at low speeds with comfort and improves further at motorway speeds. Even the standard suspension is good, though, and Volvo no longer stiffens the sporty R-Design model so there's no longer an uncomfy XC60.
Volvo is big on safety and has most of the latest systems as standard, but it's perhaps disappointing that it charges extra for its great adaptive cruise control system across the range, despite including lane keep tech standard.