Used Volvo XC60 long-term test review

The latest XC60 is one of the finest cars in the hotly contested premium SUV sector, but how does a used example stack up? We've got four months to find out...

Used Volvo XC60

The car 2018 Volvo XC60 D4 AWD R-Design auto
Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor
Why it’s here To find out if buying a year-old premium SUV like the XC60 makes good sense, and to see if it’s a viable alternative to a new car with a less premium badge for the same money
Needs to Inject a bit of Scandi-cool into the suburbs as well as cope with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life

Price when new £41,570 Price when new with all options £47,395 Value on arrival £36,200 Miles on arrival 2855 Miles now 6172 Official economy 50.4mpg Test economy 36.6mpg CO2 emissions 148g/km 0-62mph 8.4sec Top speed 127mph Power 188bhp Insurance group 31E Options Intellisafe Pro Pack (£1500); Sensus Connect with premium sound by Harman Kardon (£825); Fusion Red metallic paint (£650); powered driver seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors (£600); Winter Pack (£525); keyless entry and start with hands-free tailgate (£500); powered passenger seat with memory (£400); Convenience Pack (£375); Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (£300); and Tempa spare wheel and jack (£150)

24th May 2019 – Finally facing my Waterloo. It's farewell to our XC60

We get to drive a lot of cars in this trade of temptations, but it’s rare to find one you actually start to grow fond of. Sure, there are fast cars by the dozen that appeal to the inner reptile, but the sensible family cars and SUVs that more often come our way can all sometimes - whisper this - blend into one.

Volvo XC60

Not so the Volvo XC60 I’ve been running for the past few months. Such was its immense practicality, its genuinely pleasurable driving experience and its grown-up sophistication that I surprised myself by becoming really attached to it. It started off with the distinct advantage of being a rather expensive and handsomely equipped car, of course, and ours came with nearly £7000 worth of options. Our R-Design model thus equipped would have set you back £47,000 new, but we took delivery of ours at six months old and with 3000 miles on the clock and it would have carried a forecourt sticker price of a more modest £36,000.

It was certainly plush, with more safety equipment and playthings than I actually have room here to list. If I had to single out one of the safety options, the Intellisafe Pro Pack I thought potentially the most useful, especially the BLIS blind spot information system. Like quite a few similar systems these days, this can warn you if you’re about to stray into the path of a car overtaking you on your right via an alert on the wing mirror, but the Volvo system goes further and can then steer you away from the danger. This pack also included the Pilot Assist function, which has some mild semi-autonomous steering capabilities.

Volvo XC60

Not surprisingly, in our time with the XC60 nothing went wrong, fell off or stopped working. It all felt as well screwed together on its last day with us as it did on its first, and that feel was one of exceptional quality. Indeed that air of suavity was one of the reasons it proved itself to be such a very pleasant car to look at or to sit in or to drive. It looks Scandi-chic on the outside, for sure, especially in our (optional) metallic Fusion Red paint, and on the inside there’s the undeniable style and comfort of its nappa leather and nubuck sports seats, not to mention the layout and finish of the uncluttered dashboard and its surrounding areas. Even my more discerning passengers commented on the roominess and the general rightness of the interior design.

On top of that, it was surprisingly good to drive, and very easy to manoeuvre too, especially so considering the size of the car. The steering was light and reasonably direct, and all the controls had a pleasing linearity to them. There are varying driving modes on the XC, too, to suit your different moods: Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, Off-Road and an Individual setting, but for most of my purposes the Normal setting proved more than adequate. Thanks to an intelligent eight-speed auto ‘box it could be driven smoothly in traffic, with only the merest rumble of diesel gravelliness from under the bonnet. Motorway work was, on the whole, a quiet, stable and unfussed affair.  

Volvo XC60

Downsides? Well this is a heavy four-wheel-drive car so it wasn’t the most agile thing I’ve ever driven through the bends, although it gets along at least as well as its main competitors. Likewise its avoirdupois might have been responsible for an overall fuel consumption figure of 36.6mpg – good but not outstanding. In fact, on longer journeys it could hit 40mpg, according to the digital readout, but my daily traffic-laden commute inevitably took its toll on that overall figure. Accessing the climate control and audio settings via the large touchscreen could be occasionally frustrating, too, especially when on the move, but in many cases one could overcome this by using the voice controls instead.

Overall, though, even these small niggles couldn’t take away from the daily pleasure of running this XC60. It fulfilled all the functions you would have expected it to, and did them all with exceptional flair. It’s no wonder I’ll miss it.   

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