The Volvo V60 actually provided a little bit of a shock to the system when it was launched, back in 2010.

Why? Well, hitherto, Volvo estate cars had been seemingly designed by somebody with only a ruler to hand, so they were large, square-sided and practical. But the new V60 featured unusual styling quirks commonly known as ‘curves’.

However, caravanners buy estate cars for their usability and as we’ll see, the sleek V60 demands compromises, which could be a consideration for those looking for the best used cars for towing caravans.

What’s a used Volvo V60 like inside?

It’s fair to say that the Volvo V60 is very much of its era when it comes to interior styling. The company apparently placed a bulk order with its buttons supplier and put most of them into the V60’s dashboard – there are quite a few.

The upside, however, is that they work with a single press, rather than the multiple taps required to operate touchscreens.

And those buttons control a whole lot of equipment. Even entry-level models are fitted with cruise control, climate control and a Performance Audio sound system.

Cabin area
There’s plenty of room up front, but the cabin is decidedly smaller than before

SE adds a self-dimming interior mirror, electrically folding door mirrors, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. SE Lux adds a power-operated driver’s seat, leather trim, active headlights that swivel as you steer, and headlamp washers. Don’t forget the best caravan sat nav either, if you’re looking for a towing aid to help get you and your tourer safely from A to B.

Although there’s no denying the V60 is smaller than Volvo estates of old, there’s still plenty of space for two adults sitting up front. The compromise in the design of the car’s interior can be found in the rear seats, which feel decidedly snug.

In addition, the Volvo’s 430-litre boot is definitely smaller than the capacity that is provided in several rivals, such as the BMW 3-Series Touring of similar vintage.

The boot of the V60
The boot offers 430 litres of capacity, less than that provided by some rivals

How does a used Volvo V60 drive?

There’s a bewildering array of engines available, but tow car buyers would be best to search out the D4 diesel, which appeared from 2013. It comes with a range of power outputs, from 163bhp to 187bhp, on top of which, it provides an official average economy figure of 70mpg.

Stability is a trait of the best tow cars for caravans. In the case of the V60, it remains resolutely stable when towing, with side-winds, buffeting and even rapid lane changes having no appreciable effect on progress. In addition, hill starts are no problem at all, because the electric parking brake keeps everything still until you need it to release.

When being driven solo, the V60 is far happier on straight roads than twisty ones, because it’s comfortable and steady. But twisty roads merely expose the numbness of its controls. Fun it is not.

What will a Volvo V60 tow?

  • Kerbweight: 1589kg
  • Towing limit: 1600kg
  • Noseweight limit: 90kg
  • 85% match: 1351kg

Running costs of Volvo V60

  • Insurance group: 26
  • Annual VED: £20 for cars registered before 1 April 2017; £180 for cars registered after that date
  • Average economy: 70.6mpg
  • Interim/full service: £90/£134

Servicing prices by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262

What to pay for a Volvo V60

  • High: Price: £20,000; Model: 2018 D4 SE Lux; Miles: 57,000
  • Sweet spot: Price: £9500; Model: 2016 D4 SE Nav; Miles: 58,300
  • Low: Price: £2000; Model: 2011 1.6 D ES; Miles: 155,000

Trouble spots

The V60 Mk1 has had quite a few recalls, so it’s worth ensuring that all relevant work has been carried out on any car you’re looking at.

These included an auxiliary belt tensioner that could wear prematurely, high-pressure fuel lines that hadn’t been tightened enough, a parking brake that could suddenly release itself and a brake servo vacuum line that could become chafed, reducing braking performance.

All of the recalls can be found at


If you want to tow a caravan from here to there with the minimum of fuss and expense, and you don’t have fully grown teenagers travelling with you, the V60 could be just the car for you.

However, the cramped cabin, relatively small boot and numb driving experience might prove to be deal-breakers for many.

Wondering whether you should buy a diesel tow car? Here’s why our expert says there’s still a place for them.

Alternatives to consider

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate
A Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate

Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2014-2021)

This generation of C-Class Estate is a car you’ll enjoy towing and living with. The C220 d is the sweet spot, because it provides plenty of power and torque, and all without gulping down loads of diesel. The boot can carry 485 litres of stuff and there’s lots of space for five adults. It’s a car you’ll emerge from feeling fresh at journey’s end.

A Peugeot 508 SW

Used Peugeot 508 SW

This stylish car stands out from the crowd, providing caravanners with a stable and well-equipped towing option for those with a medium-sized caravan, although it could be roomier for people.

BMW 3-Series Touring

BMW 3-Series Touring (2012-2019)

When BMW began building the 3-Series Touring, it was classed as a ‘lifestyle’ estate (not very roomy). Not so this version, which has space for five adults and a 495-litre boot for their stuff. The 320d with its 2.0-litre diesel is smooth and economical, but we’d recommend an automatic, because the manual can be notchy and awkward.

We think modern V60s make good options for caravanners too, with the plug-in hybrid Volvo V60 Recharge T6 AWD Plus making it into our best estate tow car guide.

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