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 deputy 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 3810 Official economy 50.4mpg Test economy 39.0mpg 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)

6th March - Volvo and the art of customer maintenance

A month and 1000 miles into our life together and the XC60 continues to impress: it handles commuting, shopping and motorway journeys with aplomb, and everyone who’s travelled in it has commented favourably on it. That’s not surprising, perhaps, as passengers are well catered for with plenty of space both front and rear, and they can revel in what is a high-quality and well-designed interior.

A cold snap in our first few weeks together showed off the heated steering wheel and front seats, both of which worked promptly and did wonders for restoring a warm glow to the fizzog. It also highlighted the rapidity with which the windscreen and the rear window could be cleared of thick ice on a cold morning via two easily accessible buttons: it’s quicker than standing outside scraping the ice off manually.

Volvo XC60

Having to use the touchscreen to control the climate control is a little more fiddly, I must admit, even though there are three ways of altering the temperature setting: sliding your finger up and down (awkward), pressing the plus and minus signs (slow) or just hitting the number you want (best, but difficult on the move).   

But what’s our car like to drive? Surprisingly good, actually. It all starts with one of the nicest driving positions I’ve encountered in a long time. As I mentioned in my first report, the XC60 sits lower than most similarly sized SUVs, and this being an R-Design model with the sports suspension I wouldn't be surprised if it sits even lower still.

That’s good, as is the visibility, and as is the driver’s perch. Handsomely upholstered in nappa leather and Nubuck, this heated and electrically adjustable seat – Volvo calls it Contour - is firm but extremely supportive and ultimately extremely comfortable. There’s a built-in memory function, too, which is useful when there are a lot of different people jumping in and out of your car, as there are here at What Car? HQ, and the front section of the seat, the part that offers under-thigh support, is extendable, and there’s lumbar support too.  

Used Volvo XC60

There are varying driving modes: eco, comfort, dynamic, off-road and an individual settings option. Of these, eco retards response just a little too much to make it an everyday choice, while dynamic doesn’t seem to offer enough over comfort to make that the mode of choice, even to the keener driver. It’s actually possible via a function within the touchscreen menus to vary the weight of the steering, although to be honest I find the middle setting fine – those of a sportier bent might want to add a bit of heft though. In fact, the XC60 steers and handles reasonably well, through a helm that might not be Stelvio-quick but is responsive enough to make faster driving a fluid affair. There’s the added foul weather security of four-wheel drive, too.

Used Volvo XC60

Dig into the menus and you can also change the style of the dials on the instrument panel, too, although whichever you choose those graphics are always clear and easy to read, as they are on the touchscreen itself. It all compliments the minimalist style of the dashboard and surrounding areas which, being largely button and switch-free, have an exceptionally uncluttered, and therefore achingly modern, feel. It’s like sitting in a modern-day automotive take on the Bauhaus, this car, and a far cry from those confusingly overloaded buttonfests that used to adorn Volvo centre consoles. Bravo for good design – this Volvo’s stuffed with it.  

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