Help a Dad out ... XC60 for Young Drivers
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    1. #1

      Lightbulb Help a Dad out ... XC60 for Young Drivers

      Hello Forum ...

      I am considering getting a used XC60 for my son - who is a new driver. I am considering the XC60 because of the following:

      1 - Safety / accident ratings

      2 - Safety / Assistive braking - blind spot detection - etc

      3 - Rear cargo storage

      4 - AWD

      5 - Styling & Features


      My questions for you forum world are:


      1 - Would you recommend the XC60 for a young driver? Why or why not?

      2 - I have primarily been looking at 2010 - 2013 models - due to cost / market value. Is there a year or mileage point that you would avoid for a young driver?

      3 - One 2010 model I test drove with 100k miles had the following issues ... have you seen either?

      a - Deeply grooved front rotors - actually more rippled than grooved ... smooth rolling ripples.

      b - Broken engine mount --- or so I was told --- strange sound, primarily at idle and when rolling to a stop.

      4 - Are there any inherent / common problems on the XC60 - suspension? electrical systems? engines? I've yet to find the perfect car ... ever ... they are complex machines ... just looking for cautionary things that I should be checking.

      5 - In the Volvo world ... what qualifies for 'high miles' on a properly maintained car?

      Any other words of wisdom?

      Thanks!

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    3. #2
      City Safety (low speed automatic braking) is standard on all XC60s. You'd have to find a loaded model to score the adaptive cruise and forward collision warning stuff.

      I'd recommend looking for a 2011.5+ model. There was a .5 model that year and the difference is significant. Among other things, Volvo did some updates to the engines that increased fuel economy and also reworked the infotainment system.

      I don't think that XC60 is all that easy to see out of but that's the price you pay for a strong passenger compartment and a stylish exterior. I'd definitely recommend finding one with a rear camera (they aren't standard during the model years you mentioned). Mine did not come with the rear camera but I was able to have my dealer retrofit the rear camera (works just like OEM) for $1,200. Try to get it thrown in as part of the sale if you purchase from a Volvo dealer. The parking sensors (front and rear) might be another good option to seek out.

      FWIW, the BLIS used on the 2010-2013 models was camera-based and is generally regarded as inferior to the radar-based system that replaced it for MY 2014. BLIS is a great helper for a new driver in a vehicle with not-the-best sight lines, but it's just that: a helper. No matter what the BLIS indicator says, (I believe that) a new driver still needs to learn to use their mirrors. From that POV, an XC60 without BLIS would be a better "teaching-instrument" for a new driver. Just my $0.02 on that option but I certainly can see the other side of the argument. :-)

      If I were you, I'd skip on options that are only going to cost you $$ when they break: for example, the power lift gate. The lift gate is fiberglass and very light; I don't think a teenager would benefit much from that option and I'd bet you would like to avoid the possibility of replacing a failed power lift gate motor.

      If you want high-mileage service from an XC60 (or any Volvo), follow the maintenance schedule to the letter.

      Finally, safety first! An XC60 saved my friend's life in a rollover accident 3 years ago. My future children will have Volvos as their first cars too.
      Last edited by Thomas.brian23; 04-02-2017 at 08:45 AM.
      2013 XC60 T6 AWD

    4. #3
      Junior Member Spyder999's Avatar
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      One other thing to be aware of is that the XC60 is surprisingly fast and well powered, depending on the model you end up getting (R design has 325hp) . So your 'new driver' son will have a fair bit of power available to get into trouble with. Other than that, you can check out the crash tests on YouTube to see how they fair in an accident.

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    6. #4
      Thank you @Thomas.brian23 & @Spyder999 - those are great points.

      I've been told by more than one person to look for something manufactured in late 11 or after without a sunroof ... and that the blindspot system is flaky until you hit the 14's ... thanks for that @Thomas.brian23

      My son plays keys - so we've been lugging a big 88 keyboard and case - along with its stand etc - which is how I wound up down the SC60 path. Its sporty for sure - but relatively heavy and I like the room in the back.

      I'm open to other options too ---

      btw - I guess I found enough items on the 2010 model that the dealer told me they pulled it from the lot and are sending it to auction.

      Thanks in advance!
      Last edited by NewSwedeRide; 04-02-2017 at 09:32 PM.

    7. #5
      Does it have to be an XC60? A newer V70N would have the necessities such as a bunch of airbags, ABS brakes and anti-skid (became standard around 2004-2005 but if there's a DSTC button you're fine).

      Statistics don't lie in this case: young drivers are terrible and overrepresented in accidents. I don't mean to say to cheap out on buying a safe car, but I am saying it seems excessive to buy an XC60 for a young and inexperienced driver. A V70 is also a safe car and should something happen it wont be that big of a deal.
      "Just change all 4 tires at the same time when needed and it feels always like a flying carpet"
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    8. #6
      Global Moderator R-Pow3R3d's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Schmoyoho View Post
      Does it have to be an XC60? A newer V70N would have the necessities such as a bunch of airbags, ABS brakes and anti-skid (became standard around 2004-2005 but if there's a DSTC button you're fine).

      Statistics don't lie in this case: young drivers are terrible and overrepresented in accidents. I don't mean to say to cheap out on buying a safe car, but I am saying it seems excessive to buy an XC60 for a young and inexperienced driver. A V70 is also a safe car and should something happen it wont be that big of a deal.
      My initial reaction was that if you want to stick with the newer cars, but get an even safer one (for the occupants), with more cargo space, but less power, go with an XC90 with the 3.2L AWD.
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    9. #7
      Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      My kids learned to drive on Volvos too. The XC60 is a great choice - another model you might consider is the XC70 - still provides plenty of room for the keyboard and may be a bit more maneuverable than the XC60. My son is currently driving my V70R but if I was to get something just for him it would be an XC70 from '06 or '07. I prefer the 5 cylinder in the XC70 to the naturally aspirated six in the base XC60.
      Past Volvos: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60RM, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD
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    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Pow3R3d View Post
      My initial reaction was that if you want to stick with the newer cars, but get an even safer one (for the occupants), with more cargo space, but less power, go with an XC90 with the 3.2L AWD.
      I actually think the XC90 is less spacious in the boot than a V70 but I'm not sure if that's measured in volume or in width/depth. It's not like a V70 is in any way small, especially with the rear seats folded. Either way, a V70 should be equally safe but also more economic to maintain (no AWD to fail and better mileage by being a lighter/smaller car).
      "Just change all 4 tires at the same time when needed and it feels always like a flying carpet"
      "Car was dusty and dirty yet he cleaned it without using any water. It scared me and I am afraid of nothing "
      - CrossingCountries

    11. #9
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      By the time I am ready to trade my Xc60, my son would be just about ready for his first car. And after having my xc60 for a few weeks, I wouldn't think of giving it to him, mostly bc, I have the RD with P* and it would just be way more power than I would want him to have. Also, I feel it is a bit big/heavy to maneuver. I am also on the fence about how much tech you want vs. learning good driver skills. Personally, I would lean towards a wagon. I played in bands in high school (long time ago) and loved my VW rabbit. In fact, I have never owned a sedan, because of the need to haul all the stuff. I would go v50 v60, v70 (though it is kind of long), or even a Jetta wagon.
      2013 XC60 Passion Red R-Design Platinum w/ P*

    12. #10
      I believe an XC60 or 70 would be a great choice.

      Thomas summed it up well.

      The only thing I could offer is the 2014 BLIS would be nice to have on either since the reliable radar gives accurate information which he can learn from. If you can find one with parking sensors, that will also help him learn how do judge distance as well since they're generally pretty accurate.

      Dynamic cruise probably not needed and possibly even distracting for younger drivers.

      As far as maintenance, I can't speak as I'm in my first Volvo and still under warranty, but so far so good!

      Another option is a CPO from a reliable Volvo dealer.
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    13. #11
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      Pricing aside, I'd look for a 2014 T5 with at least BLIS on the options sheet. 2014 BLIS is a REALLY valuable tool, 2007 BLIS on my xc90 is a gimmick at best (by comparison). 2014 also brought a facelift and some other nice changes that should hopefully help the car keep its value for longer.

      T6 or R-Design are great cars, but probably too much power for a young driver.
      2014 XC60 T6 - P* Tune, K-Pax Exhaust, DO88 FMIC, Ferrita DP, TSW Bathurst w/ Conti DWS06, R-Design Suspension, IPD Rear Sway, Morimoto D2S 4.0 HID Projectors, Skeletonized Airbox, Intake Resonator Delete, Powerflex Bushings, Colder NGK Plugs
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    14. #12
      Member partridge's Avatar
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      My only words of wisdom regarding a wagon for a young driver:

      I remember what I may or may have not done with rear seats that folded into a completely flat cargo compartment.

      Just saying. If my parents had thought of it that way I would have gotten a two seater with a manual transmission.


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    15. #13
      Thank you all - great info - very helpful.

      So - maybe I need to rethink things and drop out items like AWD - and look for a normally aspirated engine and no sun roof (I've never been a fan of sunroofs).

      I'm a fan of safety tech - if it works. So I'll keep in mind everything you all have said about the pre 2014 BLIS.

      The big question for me as a Volvo newbie is in general on a XC60 what do you feel qualifies as high miles --- provided the car has been maintained.

      The XC60s I find that are 'low priced' are generally pre 2013 with >120,000 miles. The ones I find that are '14s seem to take a big price jump.

      @Wayne T5 --- I'll cast my net wider and also look at the XC70s from '06 or '07.

      I've always preferred the look of a SUV or Crossover type to sedans and wagons ... I stared my quest a couple months back looking at Subarus for many of the reasons mentioned above. Both sisters have Volvos ... and I guess I've kinda fallen for them too ...

      Guess I'll spend another evening on cars dot com and other spots looking for FWD regularly aspirated XC-anythings ;-)

      Thank you all again!

    16. #14
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      I bought an 08 C30 T5 version 2.0 when I was 24. Loved the car and it was very reliable. I tuned it, added performance parts, and sold it at 211,xxx miles a couple of months ago. I wish I hadn't sold it! They are relatively cheap now and are pretty easy to work on. Look into one if you can.

    17. #15
      Global Moderator R-Pow3R3d's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NewSwedeRide View Post
      Thank you all - great info - very helpful.

      So - maybe I need to rethink things and drop out items like AWD - and look for a normally aspirated engine and no sun roof (I've never been a fan of sunroofs).

      I'm a fan of safety tech - if it works. So I'll keep in mind everything you all have said about the pre 2014 BLIS.

      The big question for me as a Volvo newbie is in general on a XC60 what do you feel qualifies as high miles --- provided the car has been maintained.

      The XC60s I find that are 'low priced' are generally pre 2013 with >120,000 miles. The ones I find that are '14s seem to take a big price jump.

      @Wayne T5 --- I'll cast my net wider and also look at the XC70s from '06 or '07.

      I've always preferred the look of a SUV or Crossover type to sedans and wagons ... I stared my quest a couple months back looking at Subarus for many of the reasons mentioned above. Both sisters have Volvos ... and I guess I've kinda fallen for them too ...

      Guess I'll spend another evening on cars dot com and other spots looking for FWD regularly aspirated XC-anythings ;-)

      Thank you all again!
      All XC70's of all generations will be AWD. Some XC90's and (I think!) XC60's can be had in FWD with the 3.2L.
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    18. #16
      Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NewSwedeRide View Post
      Thank you all - great info - very helpful.

      So - maybe I need to rethink things and drop out items like AWD - and look for a normally aspirated engine and no sun roof (I've never been a fan of sunroofs).

      I'm a fan of safety tech - if it works. So I'll keep in mind everything you all have said about the pre 2014 BLIS.

      The big question for me as a Volvo newbie is in general on a XC60 what do you feel qualifies as high miles --- provided the car has been maintained.

      The XC60s I find that are 'low priced' are generally pre 2013 with >120,000 miles. The ones I find that are '14s seem to take a big price jump.

      @Wayne T5 --- I'll cast my net wider and also look at the XC70s from '06 or '07.

      I've always preferred the look of a SUV or Crossover type to sedans and wagons ... I stared my quest a couple months back looking at Subarus for many of the reasons mentioned above. Both sisters have Volvos ... and I guess I've kinda fallen for them too ...

      Guess I'll spend another evening on cars dot com and other spots looking for FWD regularly aspirated XC-anythings ;-)

      Thank you all again!
      What is your budget?

      Depending on where you live, it will be really hard to find one of these cars with FWD only if they can even be configured that way. The XC60 came in FWD but the XC70 of that vintage did not.
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      I have had my '13 with BLIS for a few weeks, and I find it good enough that it is really helpful, but doesn't replace a quick bend forward to look in the side mirror, or a quick glance over the shoulder. Based on the other comments, I am not treating it as TOO good though, as to rely on it. So I wouldn't rule out the '13s, just for that. As to mileage, I went with a 50K and CPO which will last almost 4 years. I figure to keep it 3, drive it 20K and trade it in with ~75K miles and a year left on the CPO. How much will your son drive it and for how long? I would think a 12-14 with CPO and 75K mileage might be a sweet spot in terms of price, duration, mileage. Seems like there are ~70 12-14s (and 1 15) on cars.com with FWD,
      2013 XC60 Passion Red R-Design Platinum w/ P*

    20. #18
      Ok - can't say thank you enough ... I might have found a few options thanks to you all.

      Question - if I know a Volvo VIN is there a reliable place to go that will decode the VIN and give me the factory sticker / option list?

    21. #19
      Quote Originally Posted by NewSwedeRide View Post
      Ok - can't say thank you enough ... I might have found a few options thanks to you all.

      Question - if I know a Volvo VIN is there a reliable place to go that will decode the VIN and give me the factory sticker / option list?
      Unless you have VIDA, the only place I've found that can completely decode the VIN is a dealer.

    22. #20
      Quote Originally Posted by KennyE View Post
      Unless you have VIDA, the only place I've found that can completely decode the VIN is a dealer.
      You need a subscription, otherwise VIDA will only tell you the model year and drive-train, no more. Dealers can, at least in sweden, find the exact spec of the car from when it was ordered as well as a list of all changes e.g services, repairs and such.
      "Just change all 4 tires at the same time when needed and it feels always like a flying carpet"
      "Car was dusty and dirty yet he cleaned it without using any water. It scared me and I am afraid of nothing "
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    23. #21
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NewSwedeRide View Post
      Hello Forum ...

      I am considering getting a used XC60 for my son - who is a new driver. I am considering the XC60 because of the following:

      1 - Safety / accident ratings

      2 - Safety / Assistive braking - blind spot detection - etc

      3 - Rear cargo storage

      4 - AWD

      5 - Styling & Features


      My questions for you forum world are:


      1 - Would you recommend the XC60 for a young driver? Why or why not?

      2 - I have primarily been looking at 2010 - 2013 models - due to cost / market value. Is there a year or mileage point that you would avoid for a young driver?

      3 - One 2010 model I test drove with 100k miles had the following issues ... have you seen either?

      a - Deeply grooved front rotors - actually more rippled than grooved ... smooth rolling ripples.

      b - Broken engine mount --- or so I was told --- strange sound, primarily at idle and when rolling to a stop.

      4 - Are there any inherent / common problems on the XC60 - suspension? electrical systems? engines? I've yet to find the perfect car ... ever ... they are complex machines ... just looking for cautionary things that I should be checking.

      5 - In the Volvo world ... what qualifies for 'high miles' on a properly maintained car?

      Any other words of wisdom?

      Thanks!
      I would forgo the XC60 and try to find a nice XC70. Keep him lower to the ground until he becomes a more experienced driver.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
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    24. #22
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      I would forgo the XC60 and try to find a nice XC70. Keep him lower to the ground until he becomes a more experienced driver.
      I totally agree, and with the 3.2L NA. The unpainted plastic cladding will shrug-off most minor parallel parking fails or curb scrapes. Dad may prefer the SUV look, but what young dude wouldn't want the rough and ready XC70 to crash about in? Add a rack for the surf board, kayak or mtn bike, then take it right on the beach or out on unpaved roads for a fun excursion.

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    25. #23
      Global Moderator R-Pow3R3d's Avatar
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      I don't know, I took my first car (a 91 Lumina) up a pipeline right of way with some friends. Luckily for me it wasn't that capable off-road or I'd have probably got it all the way up the hill in the rain and ended up stuck back in the woods somewhere. LOL
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    26. #24
      Thanks again.

      My sister has an XC70 and loves it - it looks likes it might have more room for gear in the back.

      Any years on the XC60 or XC70 to avoid?

    27. #25
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by NewSwedeRide View Post
      Thanks again.

      My sister has an XC70 and loves it - it looks likes it might have more room for gear in the back.

      Any years on the XC60 or XC70 to avoid?
      The XC70 has a little longer cargo area, the XC60 a little taller. I think the P3 XC70 3.2's (2008-2016) are relatively trouble free; nothing systemic in any year that I'm aware of. It goes without saying, get the newest model year with the lowest mileage within your budget. My father-in-law has had his 2008 S80 3.2 since new (same basic car and engine though only FWD), and now over 100K miles, without any major mechanical issues. I'd shy away from older turbo cars unless you find one with really low miles kept in pristine condition.
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    28. #26

    29. #27
      I would recommend a 3.2 XC60. The T6 has a lot of power and low end torque for a first time driver. I have a 2010 T6 approaching 100k. No issues, it drives like the day I bought it. BLIS works great and I have never had any issues or complaints. Volvos are very reliable and I would not let high mileage deter you. I would have no reservations about buying one with 150k. That being said, make sure that the car has consistent service records (carfax). And, as with buying any used car, certainly have it checked out by a mechanic or dealer service department. Best wishes.

    30. #28
      Also, you may want to look into 2007+ XC90s. They will probably be a little less expensive than the XC60, and certainly just as reliable and safe.
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