2022 Volvo XC60, V90 Cross Country
The XC60 crossover is by far Volvo’s most popular model worldwide, and for the 2022 model year the Swedish company makes some significant updates to keep this SUV’s popularity strong. The new model gets styling tweaks, new powertrains and a major change to the vehicle’s infotainment system. These updates also apply to the brand’s sexy V90 Cross Country wagon. We spent some time with both revised models and came away impressed — for the most part.
While the overall shape of the vehicle remains unchanged, the XC60 gets a fresh face for the 2022 model year. The grille has a new centrally located Volvo Ironmark logo. Forward-looking sensors are now housed in the logo, which is heated to prevent snow or ice buildup. The lower front fascia also has updates that give it a more aggressive look — especially on the sportier R-Line trim.
At the rear of the XC60 sit familiar, large LED taillights that flow into the tailgate and also incorporate vertical elements along both sides of the rear window. The restyled rear fascia now hides the exhaust outlets completely. Interestingly, Volvo designers explained this was done to remove “design elements that celebrate CO2 emissions.” (Perhaps a premeditative styling tweak that foreshadows Volvo’s intention to be climate neutral by 2040.) New Diamond Cut alloy wheels complete the revised look.
Styling Update — V90 Cross Country
Volvo’s flagship wagon also receives styling updates similar to the XC60, including the new front fascia and reworked grille with large Ironmark logo in the center.
V90 Rear View
Like the XC60, the V90 no longer displays its exhaust outlets — a design/styling move that puts the V90 closer to the eventual zero-emission electric version. The wagon also incorporates the updated taillights, and a new spoiler sits above the rear window. The V90 gets new wheel designs as well.
Although exterior changes to the XC60 and V90 Cross Country for the new model year could be called evolutionary, the interior updates are more profound — not revolutionary, but significant nonetheless. The driver faces a new 12.3 inch digital display that adjusts depending on the drive mode. The large display can also integrate navigation for improved driver engagement. The large 9-inch vertical display at the center of the dash looks the same as it did before; however, behind the screen resides a completely new Android operating system.
Perhaps the biggest change to these models for 2022 is Android integration with Volvo’s infotainment system. In both the XC60 and V90, the new system acts much like an Android phone, using the popular Google Maps app for navigation as well as Google Assistant to answer natural voice queries. Google Play allows the driver to download apps specifically designed for Google Automotive. The system even connects to Google Home when parked at the driver’s house.
Missing a Few Items
The Android / Google integration with Volvo’s system is a commendable step toward a seamless interplay of personal and vehicular information; however, it seems the system isn’t quite ready for prime time. Logging into a personal Google account allows some customization, including loading map search history, although it would be great to access mail and other Google account features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not yet available — wired or wirelessly — and XM Satellite radio is still to come. At the press event we inquired about a timeline to make these common features available, and were told it would be “soon.” When they are available, updates to the system will be done over the air, with no need to visit a dealership. (Note that music apps such as Spotify and iHeartRadio are available via the Google Play Store, specifically for Android Automotive.)
Riding in a Volvo XC60 or V90 goes beyond advanced technology into the realm of intuitive luxury. Front seats are available in the finest Nappa leather and also offer heating, cooling and massage functions. Features such as 4-zone climate control and an 1100-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system are also available.
The 2022 Volvo XC60 and V90 Cross Country have an available wireless phone charger located conveniently in the center console. However, some newer phones might be a bit too large to fit without overlapping into the cupholders.
Through the years we’ve been big fans of Volvo seat design, and that hasn’t changed with these updated models. The front seats in both the XC60 and V90 offer superlative support. Even though the head restraints look angled uncomfortably forward, they actually function well for both comfort and safety. An added bonus: the seats are also quite attractive.
The 2022 Volvo XC60 sits a bit higher off the ground than the V90 Cross Country, which makes ingress and egress slightly easier, although the rear-seat areas of both models are spacious and have great headroom and legroom. Climate controls and USB ports for rear-seat passengers add to the premium experience.
Even though these luxurious vehicles offer high levels of comfort inside, both the XC60 and V90 also have plenty of utility thanks to large cargo areas. Both can handle multiple pieces of luggage, and folding the rear seats flat creates an impressive amount of space for large items. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly to wagon aficionados), the V90 Cross Country has slightly more cargo space than the XC60.
In addition to working toward significant emissions reductions outside the car, Volvo has also designed an Air Quality system to clean air inside the cabin. The system features an advanced air cleaner that charges incoming particles and traps them in a filter. The level of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) is constantly monitored, reducing or eliminating harmful levels of pollution to keep the cabin air clean.
Volvo is also introducing two new mild hybrid powertrains for the 2022 model year — the B5 and B6. Both these engines feature a new 48-volt system with an integrated starter generator that provides better performance at low speeds, as well as a smoother and more linear power delivery.
B5 and B6
Replacing the T5, the B5 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 258 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful B6 is also a 2.0-liter unit, although it features an electric supercharger and a turbocharger boosting potency to 310 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The B5 is the standard engine on the XC60; the B6 is optional on XC60 and standard on the V90 Cross Country.
According to the U.S. EPA, the 2022 Volvo XC60 AWD with the new B5 engine earns fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy / 24 mpg combined. Surprisingly the more powerful B6 is rated almost the same, losing only one mpg in city and highway ratings, while the combined rating remains at 24 mpg. Although we anticipated better fuel economy with the mild hybrid system, the numbers are respectable given the engine’s performance. The V90 Cross Country comes in slightly better, rated at 22 / 29 / 25, respectively.
Standard with the B6 powertrain and optional with the B5, Volvo’s all-wheel-drive system uses a lightweight, compact coupling to distribute power between the front and rear wheels. Operating in front-wheel drive under normal conditions, the system can also direct up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels as needed. With the vehicle at a standstill, full all-wheel drive is engaged to maximize traction when accelerating from a stop. For those who wish to head off pavement, ground clearance is 8.5 inches in the XC60 and 8.3 inches in the V90 Cross Country — more than enough for a casual jaunt down a forest service road.
Volvo built its entire well-deserved reputation on safety — from 3-point safety belts to crumple zones to airbags and many other innovations. Carrying on that tradition, the XC60 and V90 Cross Country are available with the latest advanced driver-assist features. At the heart of this system is a new scalable sensor platform that easily enables new innovation. The XC60 and V90 come with collision warning and avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, oncoming lane mitigation, lane departure warning with lane-keeping aid, run-off road mitigation, a blind-spot information system with steering assist and cross-traffic alert with autobrake.
On the Road
We had the opportunity to spend a few hours behind the wheel of the 2022 Volvo XC60, as well as the 2022 V90 Cross Country — both powered by the new B6 mild hybrid powertrain. With decent torque available at low rpm, both models are responsive with quick acceleration from a standstill. We also appreciate the seamlessness of the start/stop function, which is barely noticeable thanks to the integrated starter generator.
While driving the XC60 on winding roads north of Los Angeles, we were pleasantly surprised at how well this vehicle handles. The powertrain and chassis feel solid, stable and secure, contributing to excellent grip with commendable yet manageable power that instills driver confidence. The XC60 has decent steering feedback that also underscores the vehicle’s solid, comfortable ride — overall, a thoroughly enjoyable drive.
V90 Cross Country
We have to admit we’ve always been big fans of wagons for multipurpose motoring, and the V90 Cross Country exists as one of the last true wagons available in America. In addition to looking great, the V90 handles well thanks to a center of gravity and ride height that are slightly lower than the XC60. This wagon’s ride is smooth and comfortable, and either model would be a great choice for a long road trip.
Right for You?
There are plenty of midsize crossovers available in America, although the 2022 Volvo XC60 manages to stand out not only with unique styling but also thanks to high levels of safety in both practice and reputation. Both the XC60 and V90 bring all-weather or off-pavement capability, and the new powertrains are extremely satisfying. Both vehicle interiors have a premium vibe, and even though there are some hiccups with the new infotainment system, once all features are in place these Volvos become some of the better options on the market.
Pros: Nice styling updates; solid performance; great versatility.
Cons: Infotainment missing key elements; fuel economy not stellar.
Bottom Line: Both Volvos continue to be great options in their classes, with excellent performance and comfortable interiors; although the new infotainment system has promise, it is not optimized yet.
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