Volvo updates XC60 and adds Android-based infotainment to more models

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The 2022 Volvo XC60 will receive a number of minor updates, and Volvo is rolling out its Android-based infotainment system to a wider part of its range.

Starting with the XC60 news, Volvo is subtly tweaking the front and rear bumper styling. It gets new front intakes and a massaged lower bumper opening. None of these imperceptible changes have much to do with our opinion of the car. However, the new rear bumper design features a slight character change. As with other recently updated Volvos, the exhaust vent has been made invisible under the car – there are no more tailpipes coming out of the rear. The dual exhaust from the regular XC60 was a nice touch, but this is just more from Volvo preparing us for the electric future to come.

In terms of engineering, Volvo says the XC60 will be one of the models with Android-based infotainment for 2022. The 2022 S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country will also add this infotainment system. It comes with something that Volvo calls the “Digital Services Package” for free for four years. This package includes the Google Assistant, Google Maps, access to Google Play apps, the Volvo On Call app, a data / internet connection and access to the wireless phone charger. After four years, Volvo says that “customers can continue to use the package by choosing an extension.”

The “extension” certainly means that Volvo will have to be paid for continued access to the programs (although Volvo has not yet said how much), similar to BMW and the proposed subscription vehicle model. When you see what you get with the package, it is made so that you need the package to make the infotainment system useful. Losing access to Google services with a Google-based infotainment system seems crippling on the surface, and Volvo’s pairing of the wireless phone charger with this subscription service is annoying too.

Volvo is just introducing this package, and we’re sure it will change over time as it gets older, so this probably won’t be the last we’ll hear about the story of the “Digital Services Package”.

Finally, Volvo is adding a new ChargePoint app to its Android infotainment system to simplify the charging process. You no longer need to take out your phone or credit card when driving to a charging station, assuming you are using a ChargePoint charger. The app will automatically search for ChargePoint stations when the battery reaches a preset level and prompt you for a number of available stations to navigate to. Once there, you need to select the correct charger from the list on the screen and then press “start charging” on the screen. Once you have done this, you can leave the vehicle and connect.

The electric car XC40 Recharge is the first model that you can charge in this way. Other PHEV Volvos using the old Sensus infotainment system are not compatible for now, but as more vehicles are updated to the Android-based system, this charging method should also become more widely available.

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