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...

Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review
  • The car 2017 Volvo XC60 D4 SE Nav
  • Run by Mark Pearson, used cars deputy 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 13,995 Official economy 62.8mpg Test economy 39.6mpg Emissions 117g/km CO2 0-62mph 8.1sec Top speed 130mph Power 187bhp Insurance group 28E

4 July 2018 – quibbles

Although you can have your XC60 in four-wheel drive form, ours is front-wheel drive only. However, I have to say it performs admirably most of the time, even in snow, where its low-speed stability is as welcome a boon as its heated seats. Traction is good in most conditions, wet or dry, even if its handling is a tad uninspiring overall.

One thing I really don’t get on with, though, is the steering; it’s surprisingly heavy. It actually makes the XC60 feel very old-fashioned – and, since it was launched way back in 2008, I suppose it is. Moving off from a standstill and negotiating multi-storey car parks is hard work, whereas in most modern rivals – and, indeed, most modern Volvos – the steering is usually so light that you barely need more than fingertips to manoeuvre even the largest of vehicles.

Most modern cars of this size and class tend to be automatic, too, and even this generation of XC60 was mostly bought in that form, with only 10% of sales being for manual gearboxes. Having driven XC60s with an auto box, I have to say it suits the car’s character rather better than the six-speed manual, combining well with the driving characteristics of the diesel engine to produce what is a reasonably suave powertrain.

The manual box of our car has a short but rather clunky throw, and this highlights the engine’s relative torpidity and limited powerband. The clutch is rather heavy to operate, too, and because you need to push it right to the floor, I find myself shifting my driving seat a notch or two further forward than I’d ideally like, leaving the gearlever to my left rather too close for comfort.

However, these are small niggles, and for the most part driving the XC60 is a pleasure – it certainly cruises nicely at higher speeds. On that note, our overall average fuel economy is presently just below 40mpg, which I suppose is good considering the car’s size and solidity and the fact that it’s either been used in traffic for commuting or for belting down a motorway.

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