Buying a used Volvo SUV could easily feel a bit like being Goldilocks, because you have three main options.
At the bottom of the range is the XC40, which, while talented, could be a bit light for towing. At the other end is the XC90 – comfortable and capable, but big enough to feel intimidating. Happily, the XC60 combines the best of both in a convenient package. It’s big and heavy enough to tow, but isn’t so large that you’ll feel the need to invest in a convoi exceptionnel sign.
What’s a used Volvo XC60 like inside?
The days when Volvo was quite simply the only brand to turn to if you were looking for a good, practical load space may now be over, but the Volvo XC60 is still a large, well-appointed, highly usable five-seat family vehicle.
Starting at the back, the boot area is a reasonable 505 litres, which is acceptable but nowhere near class-leading. Still, the area is a rectangular shape that’s largely free from intrusions, and the floor isn’t too high, which makes it easier to slide items into and out of the boot.
Rear-seat passengers will feel rather special, because there’s loads of legroom and headroom available. It’s just a shame the central tunnel is so large, forcing any middle occupant to sit with legs splayed.
Up front, the sheer volume of space means driver and passenger will feel very good about life. The fact that everyone will be sitting on leather furniture only enhances the feelgood factor.
The dash manages to feel simplistically modern and very high-tech at the same time, with comparatively few buttons and a large portrait-orientated touchscreen controlling most functions.
However, in reality the screen can be a bit laggy, and the fact that so much (such as the ventilation system) is operated through it is simply far too distracting.
How does a used Volvo XC60 drive?
If you’re after a sporty SUV, move along – there’s nothing for you here. The quiet, comfortable XC60 makes light of most trips, doing little to entertain. But fun is far down the list of priorities when towing, with the best cars to tow a caravan providing stability, strength and economy.
The XC60 is available with a wide range of engines, but the D4 diesel is a great option for towing. This 188bhp 2.0-litre diesel is strong enough to tow a sizeable caravan (the D5 is available if you want even more power), and it has an official average economy figure of more than 55mpg.
Stability is absolute at speed, even in crosswinds, and sudden lane changes can do little to upset the XC60.
The current iteration of the Volvo XC60 makes a great tow car, because it feels as though it’s been designed specifically for the job. It’s also luxuriously appointed and roomy for four people (although a fifth gets the short straw). It’s just a shame that it’s quite so bland to drive, and the interior tech is irritatingly distracting.
If you’re looking for more tow car ideas, be sure to take a look at our best used car to tow a caravan round-up.
Interested in a hybrid Volvo? Then see how the Volvo V60 Recharge T6 AWD Inscription got on when we put it to the test.
What will a used Volvo XC60 tow?
- Kerbweight: 1836kg
- Towing limit: 2400kg
- Noseweight limit: 110kg
- 85% match: 1561kg
- Figures for 2018 XC60 D4
- XC60 D4 Momentum
- Insurance group: 31
- Annual VED: £490
- Average economy: 55.4mpg
- Interim/full service: £103/£163
- (Prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262)
The XC60 has been recalled a few times during its life. One of the biggest was for almost 32,000 cars that had windscreen wipers that were insufficiently tightened.
Then more than 13,000 were recalled because of tailgate lifting arms that could freeze in cold weather. Software issues accounted for a couple of recalls, and 28 cars were recalled for replacement of a hydraulic unit in the brake system.
A full list of recalls can be found at check-vehicle-recalls.service.gov.uk.
What to pay for a used Volvo XC60
- High: Price: £63,000, Model: 2021 XC60 T8 PHEV Polestar Engineered, Miles: 3500
- Sweet spot: Price: £39,500, Model: 2018 XC60 D4 Inscription Pro, Miles: 15,000
- Low: Price: £22,000, Model: 2019 XC60 D4 Momentum, Miles: 105,000
Or you could try:
Jaguar’s first SUV was a really cracking effort, and remains a great car to this day. What’s more, not only is it good to live with day-to-day, but it also makes a very good tow car. It is largely unaffected by a heavy van, coping with lane-change manoeuvres and accelerating briskly. Minus points reside in the cabin quality, no match for German rivals, and only average wet-weather stopping distance.
The Discovery Sport is great to live with and drive each day, and strong when needed to tow. Whether you go for one of the earlier cars, or the later versions with mild-hybrid assistance, you’ll be getting a car that easily deals with the miles and feels confident when towing. And you can be sure it’ll cope when you get to that off-road campsite. Space is good, too, with seven seats.
‘All-rounder’ is a term that fits the Mercedes GLC. It’s roomy for five people and has an interior that feels genuinely high-tech and classy. It also comes with loads of standard kit, including synthetic leather seats, sat nav and a powered tailgate. However, while it excels as a tow car, the engine can be a bit vocal and the ride quality isn’t great unless the first owner shelled out the cash to have the optional adaptive suspension fitted.
- Wondering what licence you need to tow? Find out in our guide to caravan towing licences
- You can also see what we made of the used Toyota C-HR
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