Volvo brought out its first plug-in-hybrid drivetrain in 2017, and the company has continued to electrify its lineup since then. For 2022, Volvo offers two distinct all-electric SUVs, and five enhanced plug-in hybrid cars and SUVs. The 2022 XC60 Recharge is Volvo's freshly updated plug-in hybrid mid-size SUV, and it carries a new extended-range plug-in hybrid driveline.
The Volvo plug-in hybrid driveline starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, paired with an electric motor and an 8-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels. Then an additional electric motor provides direct power to the rear wheels. The 18.8 kWh battery pack is mounted in the center tunnel.
What this means from the driver's seat is that the XC60 Recharge comes with 400 horsepower, or up to 455 in some models, and can travel up to 35 miles on electricity before using a drop of gasoline. The XC60 Recharge can tow up to 3,500 pounds, and seats five adults in two rows.
One of the best reasons to consider a Volvo plug-in hybrid is that the XC60 Recharge is still eligible for the full $7,500 in Federal tax credit, plus $2,500 in Oregon state tax credit. Then, the 35-mile electric range covers most Portland-area commutes. If the XC60 can charge overnight, most people will not have to buy any gasoline on a regular basis. Financial assistance to install a 240-Volt Level 2 charger at home is also available.
There's far more to the XC60 Recharge than just fuel economy, however. Volvo has also updated the technology and interior for this year. Leading the list of significant features is the infotainment system. The center screen is a large nine-inch unit that runs the Google Assistant operating system. If you have a Google Nest or smart speaker at home, you already know how to use the Volvo system. Just say, "Hey Google" in the car and you can tell the system to change the radio or streaming music station, initiate navigation with Google Maps, ask about the weather or news, or even change the climate control settings. The Volvo interface is the most intuitive and easy-to-use voice control system we've ever tested.
The rest of the interior is similarly advanced. Volvo's premium audio is a Bowers & Wilkins setup with 15 speakers and 1,100 watts of power. It sounds great. The driver information display is a super-wide 12.3-inch screen that changes with different drive modes. All the touch surfaces are natural materials, with smooth wool cloth upholstery, or leather, and open-grain wood trim.
Safety is key with any SUV, and Volvo lives up to its reputation in the XC60 Recharge. The optional Pilot Assist system helps the driver with steering, acceleration, and braking. Note that this is a hands-on system, not a self-driving system. The driver is still responsible to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Additionally, Volvo includes a full suite of advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring, collision avoidance and mitigation, lane departure, road sign information, and rear collision mitigation if the XC60 is about to be rear-ended.
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.
The Volvo XC60 Recharge starts at $54,250, plus fees and miscellaneous charges, but you can take $10,000 off that price with tax credits. This puts a luxury Volvo well into attainable territory. If you're looking at a new SUV this year and you want to reduce your spending on gasoline, start your shopping at one of our area Volvo dealers and check out the XC60 Recharge.
2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge Inscription Expression
Base price: $54,250
Price as tested: $54,250
Type: Midsize SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with electric motor (400 hp, 472 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 63 MPGe/28 MPG
Overall length: 185.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,693 pounds
Final assembly: Torslanda, Sweden
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