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Automotive Review: 2022 Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Car Review

Volvo has set aggressive goals to electrify their entire lineup within just a few years with a serious step towards a full electric vehicle (EV) future, vehicles like the new Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid are perfect gateways to their EV future.

Performance and Driving Character

The new 2022 Volvo XC60 comes in a variety of trim levels with different power trains, all being all-wheel-drive. While the new primary power trains of the revised trim levels replacing the T5 and T6 trims with B5 and B6 now feature mild-hybrid technology, the top-level XC60 T8 Recharge takes things to another level with a new extended-range vehicle that touts additional power over the outgoing recharge plug-in hybrid now having 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque.

The new robust electric motor is now more powerful touting 143 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the outgoing plug-in hybrid’s 87 horsepower. That extra power is enjoyed when you are utilizing the pure electric drive mode or Hybrid mode where the sophisticated hybrid system will utilize the battery power first and fire up the gas engine only when extra power is demanded.

When in purely electric mode, the vehicle will not use the gas engine unless you stomp on the gas through the kick-down. Using the electric motor around town is sufficient for power and surprisingly zippy with the substantial instant torque of the electric motor.

The gas engine is no longer both supercharged and turbocharged. It’s now a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which by itself produces 312 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Electric Range and Fuel Consumption

The battery power is estimated to provide 35 miles of pure electric range. That figure is pretty spot-on as I saw in the real world a solid 34 miles of electric range without enacting the gas engine whatsoever. Using the hybrid system with a depleted battery I saw a decent 31 mpg but using the battery’s full charge and 34 miles of electric range you’ll expect to have the equivalent of 63 MPGe. Using the gas engine alone the EPA estimate is 28 mpg.

Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge

There’s a conscious effort for driving a plug-in hybrid where you may make it a point to charge overnight from your standard 110-volt outlet and get the full charge by morning for your daily commute that may never require a drop of fuel.

 Overall, the new Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge is quite efficient and the hybrid system does well for power management and displays a clear indication of how much throttle you can give the vehicle without using gas. There’s also a clever B drive that virtually enables one-pedal driving where letting off the gas adds a substantial amount of regenerative braking that recharges the battery at a good clip. Also, one thing to note when driving in Pure electric is there is no noticeable deceleration from the power train. There is a mild bit of regenerative braking in the Hybrid drive mode as there is in the Power, Constant AWD, and Off-road modes.

Speaking of air suspension, the Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge’s ride is among the smoothest and most compliant in its class. In fact, the suspension system manages to mitigate road imperfections better than many luxury vehicles currently on the market, which is a nice surprise for the compact size classification of the XC60. The Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge is able to tow 3,500 pounds.

Interior and Tech

Volvo does things a little different from most and it pays off well for a unique cabin that has a unique attention to detail. There is a minimalistic approach to things inside the XC60 T8 Recharge. The portrait orientation of the center 9-inch touch screen is special in the operation of such a screen that doesn’t quite use its real estate as clever as I would hope for things like the backup camera and its 360-degree function.

Safety

As you would expect, there’s a massive safety blanket of active safety features for the new Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge. There’s also ease of enabling features like the adaptive cruise control with Pilot Assist. Apart from the many other typical active safety features (blind-spot information with steer assist, lane departure warning/lane-keeping aid, etc), Volvo bundles up a little extra in the form of the collision avoidance system detecting pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals. Additionally, there’s a road run-off protection and run-off road mitigation system.

Pricing

Volvo hasn’t been shy about entering into the luxury space with their recent vehicles, and the Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge Inscription does well to elevate the premium aspects with some luxury, forward-thinking tech and safety, decent style, and innovative plug-in hybrid tech that’s truly efficient.

For such a package, you’ll expect to pay at least the base price for the new XC60 T8 Recharge at $62,250.

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