SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm trying to decide on a used 2017 or 2018 (more likely 2018) XC60 T6 for my retired parents who are looking for a more comfortable, higher cabin car, and maybe a little luxury now.

Alternatives I've considered/test driven are Lexus RX450h, BMW X3, and I might go try the Q3. Maybe look at a high end RAV4 just to satisfy myself that that is not the same class of vehicle. I don't think they'll go the electric route -- to many changes to get used to.

Did any of you consider these other cars, and what made you choose the Volvo? And/or have you come across any insightful reviews or sources online to help make such a decision? I am willing to be convinced to go with an alternative too by people who have owned an XC60 and found a different car better.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
I was originally interested in the RX450h, BMW X3 and X5, Mercedes GLC and GLE, and Audi Q5.

The RX450h was easy to eliminate from consideration. The main "positive" is the Lexus badge. There's a reputation for reliability, and that's certainly desirable. Everything else about the vehicle, however, is disappointing. Interior isn't that great. Lexus has really pulled back from using leather and their vinyl alternative looks/feels/smells terrible. The exterior styling is not great, in my book. I know that's subjective, but I think my feelings are shared by most on that topic. The other problem is it's an OLD platform with an OLD engine and is desperately wanting for a redesign. Maybe thats' a positive for an older couple who doesn't want change? For me it was a major negative. The Lexus dealer experience is supposedly amazing, so that would be a positive. I do get the impression most Lexus drivers are older people, so I guess if you don't care about looks, material quality, driving feel, or the latest features and instead just want a "badge" and good dealer experience, then Lexus is worth looking at.

The BMW X3 was also easy to eliminate from consideration. Ventilated seats were not available at all, and that's a must-have feature for me.

The BMW X5 has ventilated seats available so I took one for a test drive. It was okay. Not the "ultimate driving experience" that they want you to think, but it was good. I checked several BMW dealers, however, and I noticed that none of them had well-equipped models. They all had really stripped-out models without the 360 camera and safety tech and no leather seats. I asked and they all said they would order one if I signed a contract, but that they don't stock those configurations because most BMW drivers just want to lease the most expensive model they can afford, for the cheapest monthly payment and to do that they keep the options and trim as basic as possible. I call them "badge bunnies" or "posers". Those people would be genuinely better off in a high-trim Mazda, but they feel necessary to present a false image to the world, so they max out their budget just for a badge. Anyway, I have been burned on dealer orders, before, so it's not something I like to do. Also, it's been my experience that dealers don't negotiate much on orders (they don't have to since you're admitting you can't find what you want, elsewhere, so they have all the power). Ultimately, the BMW was already more expensive than the competition, and I didn't love it any more than others, so it didn't make sense to pay more for it. And that's before taking into account the absolutely abysmal reliability. I went through the service department and asked everybody how they felt about BMW and they all praised the brand; then I asked if they'd buy a new one. They all shook their head "no" and one of them said "only ever lease a new BMW".

The Mercedes GLC was pretty good other than I didn't fit in it. Plenty of headroom and legroom, but the transmission tunnel was shaped such that it cut into my right knee. I drove it a couple miles and decided to cut the test drive short. There is no way I could drive that thing on a long trip. If you're a small person then the GLC is worth looking at, imo. The Mercedes dealer experience is also well regarded, and the vehicles are much more up-to-date and better looking compared to Lexus. I'd definitely go Mercedes over Lexus, personally.

The Mercedes GLE was excellent. It had everything I liked about the GLC but was also a bit bigger and more comfortable. Available features were excellent. It drives well. Dealer experience is excellent. The two downsides were it's a bit pricey, and the Mercedes dealer had several high-trim units on their lot, but they didn't have one that had all the features I was looking for. They could show me one feature on this car, then another on a different one, but they'd have to do a dealer trade or factory order to get me everything I want on one vehicle. I seriously considered doing that, since the GLE was so good, but ultimately I didn't want to pay THAT much.

The Audi Q5 was interesting. Size-wise I wish it was a little bigger, but it was acceptable. The transmission felt excellent. I do like a good wet-clutch DCT. The biggest problem with the Q5 is the lack of power. It's not unsafe, but it's nothing more than adequate. At the salespersons suggestion, I test drove a SQ5 and the engine power was excellent, but you lose the DCT in favor of a traditional slush box automatic, and surprisingly it was one of the worst transmissions I've driven. I've seen GM 4L60E transmission with 200k miles on them that shift better than what Audi is stuffing behind using the SQ5. I also wasn't keen on the lowered stance of the SQ5. On the plus side, it was easy to find a Q5 on a dealer lot configured exactly how I wanted it... But ultimately, I didn't pull the trigger. Reliability reports are mixed. Some say Audi is okay, some say it's not. Everyone agrees it's ultra-expensive to maintain. The biggest factor, for me, was I knew I'd regret the under-powered engine.

I didn't look at the Q3 -- way too small. If you want something that size then look at the Volvo XC40.

Ultimately it came down to Volvo. It was the right mix of "nice" with decent engine power (not excessive, but not underpowered) and an acceptable price. Other than safety, Volvo probably isn't the best in any single category... But as a whole, it's an excellent value for the segment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
It's very hard to shop for someone else, and even harder to give advice for someone else shopping for someone else! There aren't really good and bad choices so much as good and bad choices for an individual. I think the 2018 Volvo infotainment system is very easy to use, while the older generation is a little more clumsy. However, if ALL they want to do is program radio presets and see what time it is, then the old system might feel more comfortable with the climate still be physical buttons. The seats are very different between the two generations, which some preferring old and some new. on new, you can get ones with thigh extension or without. Those things make a difference and what feels good on my butt may be different for them. Backup camera is cleaner on the new ones which might be a big factor too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
We shopped crossovers and I really liked how the Acura MDX drove. It’s a great value, used, because there are so many of them off lease that the market is or at least was flooded with used examples, many of which are clean, loaded, and low miles. Pricing is all over the place so shop carefully because it’s easy to spend more for less content at the wrong dealership. The two things I didn’t like about it were: I didn’t find the seats comfortable, and the button layout was confusing and distracting. I could learn my way around the buttons but the seats were a dealbreaker, but plenty of other people don’t seem to mind them so YMMV. It was super nice to drive though, and had the best ride/ handling balance and powetrain of any other CUV I’ve driven. It had a supple ride yet was remarkably composed and legit felt like a tall sport sedan.

We ended up in a CPO 2014 Lincoln MKX, which was only 3 years old and priced like a Ford Focus thanks to rapid depreciation. Used Lincolns are a great value when you can find almost-new ones with plenty of warranty coverage, loaded to the hilt, for thousands less than competitors that hold their value better, and I like their emphasis on luxury, comfort, and quietness, along with good power. It doesn’t drive as well as competitors in some respects but the extra comfort and luxury content at a low price (used) makes these very appealing. They look and feel very upscale and the family will appreciate that experience especially if it’s thousands of dollars cheaper than some base, bland, slow RAV4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
I never cross-shopped other “comparable” models. I loved my first gen XC60 so much I knew the send gen with PHEV would not disappoint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,915 Posts
I like the dash on XC60 so much and don't want to see other alternatives. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for all these thoughts, especially @p07r0457 who took the time to write so extensively! And I agree it's hard to exactly know what they will like. I think I will be doing a lot of right hand seat testing over the next week.... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
With the mention of Mazda, I think it's totally fair to throw in the CX5 or CX9. A little smaller, a little less 'premium' but the higher trims are genuinely great. Definitely extremely strong value. I've been really impressed by the brand in recent years. Their updated power trains really are a cherry on top. That being said, I think Volvo wins on styling every time, but totally subjective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I would also short list a Porsche Macan, I owned one before my XC60 and loved it.

Comfortable, luxurious and great to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I crossed shopped basically all the competitors around the same price range, except for Mercedes, before ultimately going with the Volvo. The one that was neck and neck with the XC60 was the BMW X3 M40i.

I test drove the Audi SQ5 and thought that although the performance of it was adequate, the interior design just did nothing for me. It felt like a dressed up Volkswagen, which is what it really is. The Virtual Cockpit on the Audis are absolutely amazing though and if there was something I could take from that and put on my Volvo, that would probably be it. Also drove the Q3, and it was way too small. The updated interior was great though, a step up from the SQ5 with the integrated touchscreen, but it was small and slow.

I drove the RX350 and like the poster above said, Lexus has the brand prestige along with the reliability, but that's about it. They have been lagging behind on interior tech and design, and even if the exterior looked amazing (subjective), the interior space is what we sit in for hours on end, and that was it's biggest downfall for me.

Next up was the Acura RDX. It drove great and has the Honda reliability behind it's name but, like the Lexus, it's interior felt dated and would not age well. It has a more understated design versus the Lexus, but the surround camera was terrible. There's literally no point in buying a $40k+ car if you're not happy with the tech in it as well, at least in my opinion.

Not a big fan of Mercedes so I didn't test drive any, as aforementioned.

The X3 M40i was the one I would've potentially went with, if I hadn't found my XC60. It had a solid interior with amazing tech inside, with arguably BMW's most reliable engine they've made in a long time. It also had burbles and cracks when letting off the gas, which would've gotten old for me now that I think about it. The big plus with BMW is that they "include" 4 years of warranty with maintenance, so you don't have to worry about it for the first several years of ownership. But they also use RFTs on their factory setup, which IMO, don't run as well as regular tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
The Audi Q5 was interesting. Size-wise I wish it was a little bigger, but it was acceptable. The transmission felt excellent. I do like a good wet-clutch DCT. The biggest problem with the Q5 is the lack of power. It's not unsafe, but it's nothing more than adequate. At the salespersons suggestion, I test drove a SQ5 and the engine power was excellent, but you lose the DCT in favor of a traditional slush box automatic, and surprisingly it was one of the worst transmissions I've driven. I've seen GM 4L60E transmission with 200k miles on them that shift better than what Audi is stuffing behind using the SQ5. I also wasn't keen on the lowered stance of the SQ5. On the plus side, it was easy to find a Q5 on a dealer lot configured exactly how I wanted it... But ultimately, I didn't pull the trigger. Reliability reports are mixed. Some say Audi is okay, some say it's not. Everyone agrees it's ultra-expensive to maintain. The biggest factor, for me, was I knew I'd regret the under-powered engine.
Did you test drive a 2020 SQ5 or a '21? Apparently they've significantly changed the transmission in the 2021 to address performance issues. Also keep in mind the tiptronic transmissions are adaptive, so if it's just going on test drives, it may have "learned" some bad behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
Did you test drive a 2020 SQ5 or a '21? Apparently they've significantly changed the transmission in the 2021 to address performance issues. Also keep in mind the tiptronic transmissions are adaptive, so if it's just going on test drives, it may have "learned" some bad behavior.
This would have been in October 2018. I believe it was a MY19. I can't speak for any possible changes.

FWIW, I did drive more than one SQ5 and the experience was similar. I understand transmissions are "adaptive" and can make minor adjustments, but the only other transmission that was THAT bad on a test drive was the 10-speed in the Acura RDX. I have driven probably a dozen RDX and they were ALL awful (even had one for a couple weeks and it did not improve). Since test driving other vehicles -- including Volvo -- and not experiencing any transmission concerns, I do not think it will significantly improve, over time. If that were the case, it would be a wide-spread problem, rather than isolated to one or two models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I have always researched the heck out of possible choices for my next car-both online and hands on. I was fairly sure I would be getting an X3 when it was time to retire my 2003 XC90. That day came fast with major problems with the xc90 that would cost more than the car was worth. I went over to the sales department to wait for paperwork and absolutely fell in love with the XC60 they had on the floor! I didn’t want another Volvo after issues with my XC90, but this looked and felt better than anything thing else I had short listed. After extensive test drives I took it to the BMW dealer and test drove the X3 again to make sure. The X3 handled better, but not by too much-but the rest of the car did nothing for me in comparison to the Volvo. I went with the car that wasn’t really the best handling, had the best ride, or with the best reliability- but in my opinion it was the best overall combination of looks, features, amazing seats and safety. The X3 felt like a car I would like, the Xc60 felt like a car I would love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I asked and they all said they would order one if I signed a contract, but that they don't stock those configurations because most BMW drivers just want to lease the most expensive model they can afford, for the cheapest monthly payment and to do that they keep the options and trim as basic as possible. I call them "badge bunnies" or "posers". Those people would be genuinely better off in a high-trim Mazda, but they feel necessary to present a false image to the world, so they max out their budget just for a badge.
I had the exact same experience when I cross shopped the GLC. None of my local dealers (within 100-200 miles) have a vehicle even remotely close to how I would want it spec'd. That said, I really liked the GLC, especially the AR navigation, the integrated dash cam, and ability to operate both the driver display and the multi media display from the steering wheel trackpads.

My independent Volvo mechanic (I own a 2010 XC60 that my teen drives) has warned me away from BMW at all costs. He obviously loves Volvo and is loyal to the brand. He and his wife both drive Volvos and after she was uninjured in a serious accident years ago in a Volvo will never drive anything else. He is happy to entertain all my stupid questions and has told me if I don't buy a Volvo then MB would be his second choice.

I am very excited for the new Android UI on the 2022 XC60's and the mild hybrid transition. I am looking forward to test driving them when they come out this summer/fall.

I have never driven the RDX/MDX but can't get past all the large, protruding buttons on the center console, it's just plain ugly to me.

I actually love the tech in the Nissan Rogue redesign (HUD is really good and in color) but am looking for a more upscale interior. I looked at the RAV4 and the Outback as well (hated the multimedia display) but keep coming back to MB and Volvo.

I'll be purchasing something later this year and I will certainly give MB a chance to win me over on a special order. In all likelihood I will probably end up doing an OSD on the XC60 if I can't get a decent price from dealer stock.

I'd consider a good deal on a CPO Volvo as well but with the way used car prices are trending that doesn't seem likely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
724 Posts
Neither 2017 or 2018 would be the model year I'd recommend for the XC60. 17 was the last year before the modal change and 18 was the first year with some bugs to be worked out (like slow booting Infotainment).

Pluses and minuses (and this all is my opinion): Volvo has the nicest interior, fantastic seats, and decent handling. Ride quality is quite poor - at the bottom of the class, in all honesty. Reliability is so so. Some people don't like the buttonless interface on SENSUS - I'm ok with it though and have found it a mostly easy system to use.

X3 - best ride and handling tradeoff in the class. Like Volvo, reliability is a tossup - cost to own and maintain is ridiculous. I did not care for the seats at all and the interior quality is just ok. If not for those seats, I'd have likely owned the X3.

Lexus RX - ridiculous styling and horrendous visibility, clumsy and ungainly handling, worst infotainment in the class (by far). Seats are super comfy, interior materials are good, ride is serene. Most reliable vehicle in this class.

My opinion is that the best bang for the buck in used SUV is probably Mazda or Subarau. If you wanted to go upscale, the depreciation on Lincolns is so high that they tend to be good used buys.

With the upscale Euro brands - Audi, Volvo, X3 all really nice and fun but all have their downsides and can be costly to own.

I will say that I've really enjoyed my XC60 with all of it's quirky attributes and will get another when the lease is up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hi all, I'm trying to decide on a used 2017 or 2018 (more likely 2018) XC60 T6 for my retired parents who are looking for a more comfortable, higher cabin car, and maybe a little luxury now.
Try for 2019 used instead.

Alternatives I've considered/test driven are Lexus RX450h, BMW X3, and I might go try the Q3. Maybe look at a high end RAV4 just to satisfy myself that that is not the same class of vehicle. I don't think they'll go the electric route -- to many changes to get used to.
I have owned a lot of Toyotas for my work place. If you want reliability they are the way to go.
Lexus is not a comfortable for long rides, and the interior is meh. For me it feels like a Toyota with the Lexus name on it and a few changes to make it feel more luxurious.
BMW never got my attention after a friend of mine was into BMW. He always swapped his BMW because it had multiple issues every once in a while. He tried to like the brand soo much he kept going for years until he gave up and went with Porsche.
Audi never got my attention, so I skipped shopping them.
Merc are ok for me but I don't see myself driving one.
Acura was an option, but I never looked into them. I just skipped straight to European brands.

Did any of you consider these other cars, and what made you choose the Volvo? And/or have you come across any insightful reviews or sources online to help make such a decision? I am willing to be convinced to go with an alternative too by people who have owned an XC60 and found a different car better.
I considered Porsche Macan or Cayenne. I had it a while back when I always had to drive up and down mountain roads full of curves. If you have to drive those types of roads, Porsche is the way to go for solid handling and performance.
I went with Volvo because it's my first one, I always eyed them when I was a kid. For me it's a luxury brand without much attention drawing like the other European brands. The interior is nice, the seats are comfortable. I know I got the SUV, so it does have it's drawbacks on handling and performance. But since I live in a place when I need high clearance it's the perfect sacrifice. The roads are straight so I don't need any extra handling and performance on curves like the Porsche. I would of gone sedan if it wasn't for the high clearance.
 

·
Registered
2021 XC60 T8/Recharge
Joined
·
231 Posts
Remarkably similar thought process to mine as well. I'll definitely +1 that I could just not fit comfortably in Mercedes GLB/GLC. I'm only 6'1" 185lb but no matter what I just couldn't fit "right". It was either the transmission tunnel, or the seat height, or the seat depth. It was really frustratnig because it was a beautiful drive.

At the time I opted out of the X3 and X5 because BMW were charging a monthly fee for CarPlay and I said **** that. That's not happening anymore so I'd probably look closer at the brand. There's rumour Audi is going to start charging $70/m for navigation and that would probably be enough to push me away from the brand right now as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
724 Posts
$70 a month? I wouldn't put much stock in that at all. I can see monthly data charges for systems that need online connectivity but Audi is not going to implement monthly charges with charges being absent from their main competitors.
 

·
Registered
2021 XC60 T8/Recharge
Joined
·
231 Posts
$70 a month? I wouldn't put much stock in that at all. I can see monthly data charges for systems that need online connectivity but Audi is not going to implement monthly charges with charges being absent from their main competitors.

$85, I guess.

Looks official to me: https://media.audiusa.com/assets/do...-AudiFunctiononDemandNavPressReleaseFINAL.pdf

Looks to be for vehicles not optioned from factory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Neither 2017 or 2018 would be the model year I'd recommend for the XC60. 17 was the last year before the modal change and 18 was the first year with some bugs to be worked out (like slow booting Infotainment).
...
Try for 2019 used instead.
...
Oh thanks, these thoughts are very helpful to know more. I was looking at the Consumer Reports just to see what they say, and that's why I thought 2017/2018 were the way to go. (see photo attached)
126559
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top