Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review

Does buying a nearly new example of the old Volvo XC60 make more sense than spending more on the new model, and how does its 10-year-old design stand up now? We've got six months to find out...

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Mark Pearson
29 March 2018

Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review
  • The car 2017 Volvo XC60 D4 SE Nav
  • Run by Mark Pearson, deputy used cars editor
  • Why it’s here To find out if a recently replaced one-year-old used SUV, with a design that's now a few years old, can make a sound alternative to the new model
  • Needs to Cope with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life, as well as proving itself against its younger, fresher rivals

Price when new £32,865 Value on arrival £24,500 Value now £24,500 Miles on arrival 8620 Mileage now 8840 Official economy 62.8mpg Test economy 39.9mpg Emissions 117g/km CO2 0-62mph 8.1sec Top speed 130mph Power 187bhp Insurance group 28E

28 March 2018 – the Volvo XC60 joins our fleet

If you want to be en vogue on the school run, one of the cars to be seen in is a premium SUV and, for years, the most fashionable of these was the Volvo XC60, Europe’s best-seller. In fact, such was its popularity that it actually sold more in its last year of production than in any year before. Now, however, there’s a new one. And with fashion being, as Coco Chanel pointed out, whatever goes out of fashion, naturally everyone wants one of those instead.

The only trouble is that it costs rather a lot of money. But if you do as we have just done and opt instead for a nearly new example of the first-generation car, you can put one on your driveway for the cost of a new Kia Ceed.

Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review

We picked our 2017 model up from the showrooms of Volvo West London, where I was guided through all that the car could do by product and handover specialist Steve Ibbotson. This took some time, because this is a well-equipped car with a lot of safety and security kit and a great number of options. The car also came with a number of comprehensive checks and software upgrades as part of a sales package called Volvo Selekt, a scheme designed to make buying and owning your second-hand car as painless as possible.

Our car is a D4 SE Nav, meaning it has a 187bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine under the bonnet. SE Nav is one step up from entry-level SE in the old Volvo trim level pecking order, the only addition being – you guessed it – satellite navigation. Standard equipment includes 17in alloy wheels, leather seats, two-zone climate control and a 7.0in colour infotainment screen. Added to that, our car has a whole heap of options, included among them front and rear park assist, a rear-view camera and tinted rear windows.

It also features Volvo’s On Call app, which allows you to interact with the car via your smartphone. With this, you can remotely lock or unlock the car or turn on the climate control via the remote start facility if you fancy an already defrosted car on an icy morning. It can also provide roadside assistance should you break down via an operator who can track your exact whereabouts or get emergency help via an SOS button. The system will even contact the main operational centre if it senses you’ve been involved in a major shunt and send an emergency vehicle to your location.

As if that isn't enough, On Call also makes it possible to turn your car into a wi-fi hotspot – a useful feature for those who regularly travel with young children.

We’ve also got three option packs fitted to our car: the Driver Support Pack adds collision warning with automatic braking, among many other warning and detection devices; the Winter Pack adds heated front seats and a heated windscreen; and the Family Pack chucks in two integrated booster seats for young children travelling in the rear.

All told, these options added £4720 to the cost of our car when it was new, meaning an on-the-road price last year of £37,405. And herein lies the crux of our test: this XC60 may no longer be the last word in fashion, but buying it at a year old for an estimated cost of £24,500 could save you £13,000.

With so much kit onboard, it might come as a surprise that our XC60 can move at all, but start it up (remotely or otherwise) and it does. On the road, our Osmium Grey car feels as good as new. The driving position is commanding, the seats are splendidly comfortable and there’s plenty of room inside the high-quality interior.

Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review

In theory, I should feel splendid, too – here I am in a car that is obviously concerned for my welfare, with every journey accompanied by a medley of beeps and flashing lights reminding me to behave myself. In fairness, Ibbotson had shown me how to turn these safety devices off if needed, but I guess that would be rather defeating the point. It drives nicely, too, but I may already be detecting a rather unfashionable lethargy to its steering and gearchange.

Gearchange? Oh yes, because this car has a six-speed manual gearbox, where you’d perhaps expect to find an automatic. There’ll be plenty more to say about this in future reports, but for the time being it’s fair to say our XC60 – haute couture or not – has made a favourable first impression.

Read more – our full Volvo XC60 review

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