Most buyers wandering the SUV segment are looking for two things, practicality and a competitive price point. We found something better; the 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 R-Design, an SUV that not only does it all, but goes above and beyond.
Mildly facelifted for its latest iteration, the range topping B6 R-Design is the benchmark-setter for the midsize SUV market, unless you’re an Apple user, but more on that later. First, lets talk about its absolute killer looks and sporty body kit.
The aggressive look makes the car, but don’t let that distract you like it did us, because we stared and wandered around our tester, just appreciating its quality engineering and design, for what would have been an eternity to a third party observer.
Unlike the previous generation XC60 or the other three current trim levels, the R-Design is stylish, from the low-slung LED fog lights embedded in the sharp front facia to the tall rear tail lights and low profile tyres wrapped around the 21-inch alloys.
At its heart is a mild-hybrid assisted turbocharged 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder motor. Part of Volvo’s move towards a greener future, it pumps out a beefy 220kW of power to all four wheels, along with 420Nm of torque.
With an eight-speed conventional automatic transmission, the B6 R-Design will take you from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds. It does however weigh in at 1886kg, so the best fuel economy we saw was 9.7-litres/100km (Volvo claims 8.0-litres/100km).
Regardless, the 71-litre fuel tank will last you at least 600-700km, assuming you’re not using it as a race car. The B6 R-Design drives quite well for a heavy car, and although the motor can be quite noisy at full throttle, it’s calm and quiet when cruising.
Despite being a sporty model variant, the XC60 B6 R-Design also comes with no driving modes, just Comfort and Off Road. Our test vehicle did come with the optional active air suspension though, which made the ride quite comfortable and soft.
That doesn’t mean it feels boaty through corners, rather it’s planted when driven spiritedly, and holds the road well. The big wheels and high-performing Pirelli P Zero tyres make some noise over bumps and potholes, but achieve excellent grip, in both wet and dry conditions.
Inside, the cabin feels high-class thanks to the dark fabric on the pillars and the headlining trimmed with aluminium mesh. Comfortable Nappa leather seats have some bucketing to them as well, adding to the sporty feel, with plenty of adjustment options.
Wireless phone charging, four-zone climate control (with the rear controlled with a brilliant independent touch-screen behind the centre console), and a Harman/Kardon 10-speaker sound system are among some of the included goodies.
There’s plenty of legroom and headroom in both rows so you’ll have no problem accommodating taller people either. That air suspension add-on also lowers the car down to help passengers get in, and lifts once you take off.
It can be manually adjusted in the boot compartment too, should you need to lower the rear more for, when you’re loading or unloading those unwieldy goods. There’s also a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which is clear and concise.
It’s joined by a 9.0-inch portrait infotainment unit, which comes with Volvo’s latest update in the form of a full Google integration. In a nutshell, this means if your Android phone can do it, so can the XC60.
The now Google-focused infotainment unit will do it all, whether by pressing the voice command button on the steering wheel or saying “Hey Google”. Google Assistant can adjust Google Maps navigation, change a playlist on Spotify, or alter the climate settings.
It can even open your garage door as you roll up the drive way, if you have it all connected. For those searching for practicality, the XC60 won’t let you down either. There’s 505-litres of boot space, which can be accessed via the electronic tailgate.
This can be expanded to 1,432-litres with the second row folded down. ISOFIX points on each outboard second row seat, as well as three top-tether points, are available for those lugging infants or toddlers.
As an added bonus, Volvo have included a fantastic height-adjustable integrated booster seat on the rear outboard seats, completely nullifying the need for an external booster seat.
It took us a while to figure out that the XC60 had this feature, but we were elated when we finally did, it’s just neat. Volvo have always been the epitome of safety too, and the second generation XC60 sports an array of safety tech, helping achieve a 5-star ANCAP rating.
Forward and rear collision with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, sign recognition, surround camera system and lane-keep assist are just some of the standard features.
Our all-wheel drive B6 R-Design, with its opulent list of additional features, including the Climate Pack and Lifestyle Pack, is priced at $91,840 as tested, but starts at $82,490 excluding on-road costs. A 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty is included.
Overall, the 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 R-Design is a fantastic piece of kit.
You get a lot of car for your money, and sure, there are tiny annoyances like throttle lag, a lack of drive modes, and the need to repeatedly deactivate some annoying features, once you drive it, you won’t want to drive anything else.
Our 2022 Volvo XC60 B6 R-Design was supplied by Volvo Australia. To find out more, contact your local Volvo dealer. Pictures courtesy of Brakefast Media.