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TOPIC: Volvo V50 DRIVe

Volvo V50 DRIVe 3 months 1 day ago #425600

  • Sasha94
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Hi guys :D

I currently have a 2012 Volvo V50 1.6D 115 DRIVe which I have developed an unusual fondness for and after a while sharing a large caravan with my Dad (now sold) and towing with either his Discovery or my old XC70 D5 (did my B+E a few years ago) I'm looking at a van to go behind the Volvo as I do 40,000 miles a year and it's so cheap to run I can't justify a more expensive to run car and as I say I do quite like it. It has a legal towing limit of 1300 kgs and we are looking at something like an Xplore 304, sub 1100 kg MTPLM and quite small as we haven't the room to store a big van.

So, does anyone tow with a V50, especially a 1.6 diesel? If so I'd love to hear what you think of it. If the general consensus is not good I may have to rethink the plan! The car has 115,000 miles on it now but that will rise quickly and it's due a clutch soon (bites high so will be changed before the van comes along which would be middle of next year at the earliest) but otherwise a sound car.

Thanks in advance :D
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 3 months 16 hours ago #425625

  • bertieboy1
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The question on everyones lips - how much did you get for your father ?
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 3 months 10 hours ago #425631

  • EH52ARH
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Thats true Bertie boy, fancy doing that at Xmas,

Sasha, depending on how many miles you will tow with your car, as always as the miles pile on, the power will decrease, but if it is enough for you to tow your desired caravan, be happy with it. We have toured an average of about 4k a year for the last 3 years , this next year I expect less than 2k. So all depends on you usage. :)
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 3 months 54 minutes ago #425640

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Haha, no Dad's still around! Handy as I can store the van with him instead of perching it outside my house if it didn't fit. Van criteria is fairly straightforward, has to be a 4 berth minimum for my wife and son and if I'm keeping the V50 under 1300kgs. Budget new up to £18k.

I'm not sure if 115 bhp is enough to haul the car and caravan around tbh, the XC70 was 205 and it was adequate albeit pulling a 1550kg van. Touring miles likely to be about 3-4k miles per year taking the cars annual mileage up to 44k a year which is a lot! Option 2 is a different, heavier 2.0 diesel estate (but what? I can't find one that doesn't bore me or isn't silly expensive) and option 3 is an older 4x4 to use as a tow car but the extra expense and hassle puts me off.

Would have a £10k budget to replace the car and need something able to pull 50 MPG plus to help my purse cope with 40k plus miles a year!
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 2 months 3 weeks ago #425652

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I had Generation 2 Mondeo estate with the 1.8tddi engine rated at 90bhp. I towed a two berth ABI which was around 1300kg all up weight and the Ford towed it really well, albeit with a plume of smoke when accelerating hard. Its torque came in at low revs so its relatively low power output didn't actually affect its ability as a tow car at that weight. So being a turbo diesel I think your V50 will be okay at 1300kg too. Re another caravan and your budget have you thought of the Bailey Pursuit 430/4. 4 berth, end washroom, 6.47m shipping length, MRO 1036kg, MTPLM 1229kg. In recent discussions with Bailey the 430/4 can have payload upgrade to 1300kg with only a paperwork change and a transfer of money! Bailey allow two gas bottles, full water heater and some toilet fluids at a total of around 28kg in the MRO, so taking an ex works figure the full user payload could be 292kg if the 430/3 were upgraded. Now that is what I call a useful payload, even if you didn't require the full 1300kg it gives the flexibility that so many UK caravans lack.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013, and Vango 300 Icarus tent too.
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 2 months 3 weeks ago #425653

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We have looked at the Orion 430/4 and even the Orion 450/5 as they both come in under the weight limit, also looked at a Sprite Alpine 4 and a couple of others. The Volvo has 113 bhp and 199 lb/ft torque as standard but I have done some investigation into a remap just in case. I had an older 16 valve DV6 remapped easily to 145 bhp from 110 and it was great however I'm not sure how much of a gain one could achieve from the newer 2 valve per cylinder head and I'd rather not play with it, it's been the most reliable car I've ever had!

There is a big death lurch at the bottom of the rev range which I'd love to eradicate with the remap but longevity and reliability are key to the formula right now.

My secondary concern is the Efficiency Chassis set up of the DRIVe V50, although the towball sits at the correct height I am aware it is set up differently to the standard V50's and the last C1 platform car I towed with was my S40 with the Dynamic Chassis which was stiff enough but the DRIVe is less stiff and 10mm lower. Reviews mention it is actually better to drive than a standard one (I concur) but I wonder would it tow as well? Expensive mistake to make if it doesn't tow well as the van we have both fallen in love with is a Sprite Freedom 6 even though we don't need all the space all the time it's just such a nice van even though it's a basic van we both really really like it! 1360 kg MTPLM though which is just too much sadly.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by Sasha94.
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 2 months 3 weeks ago #425655

  • ProfJohnL
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Hello Sasha,

I have dome most of my recent t towing using an aged but stately Turbo Diesel 2001 Renault Grande Espace with only 115bhp on paper. It won't set any performance records, but it tugs honestly and even with a full 1700kg behind it it will still keep up with the majority of traffic.

Have you considered MPV's? Offerings from Ford and VW and Seat provide adequate power, enough weight to cope with larger caravans, They provide great internal space on a par or bigger than many large 4x4's, yet they have the simplicity of 2WD and generally better fuel consumption and servicing costs. And they're not too bad to drive.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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Volvo V50 DRIVe 2 months 3 weeks ago #425669

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Thanks, I am starting to feel better about the power output at this stage; I wonder what the rest of the car would be like as a towing car?

I wouldn't have an MPV at all, sadly I cannot stand them and their large body size impacts on fuel economy almost as badly as a midsize 4x4, also I don't need the space. Although the interiors are usually very clever they aren't as luxurious as the interiors in the cars I've had before neither would any of them be a patch on the V50 inside. I'd rather stick to a 2WD version of a mid side 4x4 like an XC60 DRIVe or a Freelander eD4 as the rest of the car other than the 4WD system is a sound and stable tow car. I'm planning to attend the Caravan show in Manchester in a few weeks to have another nosey and really hammer a decision on what to do van wise as that will impact a decision on the replacement car.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by Sasha94.
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