2022 Volvo XC60 B6 Review

2022 Volvo XC60 B6 - Volvo XC60 B6 upscale, fast and comfortable

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Price: $55,100

Pros—Handsome. Upscale. Roomy. Quick. Good handling. Supple air suspension ride. AWD. Safety features

Cons—Distracting touchscreen. Tight rear seat behind tall driver. Marginal city fuel economy.

Bottom Line—Compares favorably in many respects to top European mid-size upscale SUVs.

Volvos have changed a lot since the legendary television newsman Walter Cronkite successfully raced a Volvo PV444 sedan in the 1950s—until CBS made him quit. As the years passed, Volvos progressively became more upscale. So now we have the 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 AWD R-Design, a $55,100 upscale mid-size SUV that compares favorably with Mercedes and BMW mid-size SUVs.

The handsome XC60 B6 AWD R-Design is a rather sporty SUV from Volvo’s R Design high performance division. My test model thus had an R-Design grille, new front bumper, special high gloss black windows and black trim, modified suspension and19-inch R-Design alloy wheels.

The 2-liter 4-cylinder engine is turbocharged and also has a new electric supercharger. It produces 295 horsepower and 310 pound/feet of torque. The 0-60 m.p.h. time is about 6 seconds. Acceleration is linear, thanks partly to the efficient 8-speed automatic transmission of this 4,222-pound vehicle.

There are no gleaming chrome exhaust tips found on other sporty SUVs, but Volvo is heavily emphasizing its electric-vehicle future and, silly as it seems, it didn’t add the tips to the gas-engine XC60 because they wouldn’t look “electrical.”  

Estimated fuel economy isn’t great in the city: 21 miles per gallon. (I got 9 miles per gallon during a city stop/go 6-mile trip.) However, the estimated highway figure is 27 m.p.g. The fuel holds 18.8 gallons, so the estimated cruising range, using Volvo figures, is 507.6 miles on highways and 394.8 miles in the city.

It’s unusual and surprising that the engine makes absolutely no noise at idle. It thus seems as if you’ve started an electric vehicle. Also, while the engine shuts off to save fuel when you’re sitting for awhile, the XC60 imperceptibly starts the engine when you have to get moving, without the usual shudder or sound found with many other such start/stop systems I’ve experienced.

The electric-assisted power steering is firm but quick and accurate. And handling of this 112.8-inch wheelbase,4,222-pound vehicle is quite good, thanks to electronic stability control, an advanced sport chassis and AWD (all-wheel drive). The ride with my test vehicle’s optional “4-corner” air suspension was supple and comfortable.The brake pedal has a high, firm engagement, and the anti-lock brakes can be easily modulated.

The XC60 B6 comfortably seats four, or five in a pinch in the quiet interior, although a tall passenger behind a tall driver who has his seat moved way back will want more legroom. Front doors open wide, but rear doorways are rather narrow. At least the heated rear seats offer pretty good side and thigh support, and the middle of the rear seat has a large fold down-armrest with two cupholders. Front console cupholders are easily reached, but there are only a fair amount of cabin  storage areas. The covered console bin, which serves as an armrest, isn’t very spacious.

There’s a power tailgate and the cargo area provides plenty of room for, say, a week’s groceries. The rear seat backs easily flip forward to reveal an  impressively spacious cargo area.    

The stylish interior has attractive stitching, super-supportive R-Design power front Nappa Leather heated seats, leatherette rear seats, soft leather sport steering wheel, 4-zone climate control and the usual upscale interior stuff such as a premium sound system and a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade. A charging tray is at the front of the large front console and there are power points throughout the vehicle. There was no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality, although sources say they are coming.

A special Climate package, which I appreciated during a bitterly cold, snowy Chicago January, contained heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

The distracting 9-inch infotainment touch screen was rather convoluted, although the 12.3-inch digital driver display was nicely designed. However,  Volvo’s console mounted engine start/stop control causes a driver to twist his/her wrist and should be replaced with a simple push-button start.

This is a Volvo, so there are a good number of safety features. They include a blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, low and high speed collision mitigation, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, lots of air bags, rear park-assist camera and also front/rear park assist.

Volvo has come so far up in the world since its 1950s PV444 (I had one and found it indestructible) that the XC60 B6 AWD R-Design can be favorably compared to top European upscale SUVs.





Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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