Volvo XC60 D5 AWD Geartronic as a towcar

Mar 31, 2016
9
5
10,515
Visit site
Hi

Im considering changing my existing towcar to a Volvo XC60 D5 AWD Geartronic and would be grateful for advice from forum members in terms of advanatges / disadvantages of this as a towcar. I have been caravanning for 20 plus years and have alway gone for manual gearboxes in the past. My caravan is an Elddis Chatsworth weighting in at a maximum of 1500kg. I know the weight ratios are accepatble just want view on towing with an automatic over a manual. Many Thanks.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,734
3,043
40,935
Visit site
I have found towing with an Auto , much nicer, having used Two Vectras and two Sante Fe's, more relaxed, also if yoo need to revert back to "manual " gearbox you can.
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,853
3,225
50,935
Visit site
I can't comment about your specific preferred choice of vehicle, but as one of my jobs I have towed with a variety of both manual and auto gear boxes, from Sierra's to Range Rovers, it was a question of what vehicle was available for the job at the time, but my preference is auto, as its one less thing to be involved with allowing greater concentration on what's going on with other road users.

Fluid fly wheel autos are fantastic for manoeuvring, though I've personally never actually had a problem with a DSG but some people have reported problems.
 
May 24, 2014
3,687
765
20,935
Visit site
A couple of cars back, we had the XC70 D5 Auto and it honestly towed like a dream. Havent driven the XC60 but I have no reason to think it wont be an assured tug.
 
Mar 11, 2019
6
0
0
Visit site
We have an XC60, automatic but not AWD. I bought it specifically because we were intending to buy a caravan and it had won towcar awards in the past (although I now can’t remember which ones). The auto box is a dream, far more intelligent that that in my Merc C Class, I never feel that it is over revving or changing ratios too soon, even when towing. The only slight bugbear is that the auto start/stop can be a smidge laggy, but you learn to anticipate and let the brake up a couple of milliseconds early just to bring the engine back to life before pulling away.
I would say go for it, we are replacing ours later this year and are seriously considering getting another (If I can’t persuade the wife to splash out on the XC90).
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,807
216
19,935
Visit site
For me, it is an extremely easy decision to make.

I have towed with both and at various power outputs on the vehicles.

Auto wins hands-down.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,809
6,485
50,935
Visit site
I had a 2010 XC70 AWD Geartronic. The auto gearbox is torque converter so you can manoeuvre all you want without any concern over damaging clutches as some twin clutch gearboxes have been prone to do. (Powershift and DSG some variants).

Geartronic is an excellent box well matched to the engine. Don’t know what year car you are looking at as mine and some latter years had several recalls as during DPF regeneration the system would inject too much fuel some of which led to an increase in sump oil level hence diluting the oil. Volvos fix (fudge) was to advise running the car with a reduced oil level and tovset the software to read full at that level. Hence any additional increase in sump level wouldn’t cause an alarm even though it was fuel. The engine doesn’t have a normal dipstick it’s all electronic measuring. There’s a technicians dipstick down near the front of the engine but it’s unusable if the engine is warm. That’s XC 70.
 
Oct 17, 2008
60
12
18,585
Visit site
I agree with previous regarding auto as a good choice. However, some years ago, we had a XC90 as a courtesy car and had to do a 'u' turn an put the front left wheel on a grassy verge where it stayed - wheel spinning.The sort of action we could do on site. Not a good 4 wheel drive.
Cliff
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,809
6,485
50,935
Visit site
Clifford_374377114 said:
I agree with previous regarding auto as a good choice. However, some years ago, we had a XC90 as a courtesy car and had to do a 'u' turn an put the front left wheel on a grassy verge where it stayed - wheel spinning.The sort of action we could do on site. Not a good 4 wheel drive.
Cliff

The XC 60 has the same Haldex 4wd as the Freelander and my Superb less a few bells and whistles. I’ve been stuck on wet grass and muddy with 4Wd which had AT tyres. I suspect the problem with the XC 90 was either it had road oriented tyres or you didn’t give it sufficient wellie to allow the 4wd traction control to start locking the spinning wheel such that drive then went to the other wheels. 4WD isn’t an automatic cure all it will still require driver knowledge of what to do.
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,853
3,225
50,935
Visit site
I think Clive make a very valid point. Don't believe that you need a 4x4 to tow. You don't unless you are constantly using soft sites when sometimes even 4x4s don't have all the answers. It is of course down to personal choice, but I do suggest you look at what else might fit the bill, not forgetting that 4x4's invariable cost more to buy and run compared to other equally road capable tow vehicles.

If you look at the continent, where caravans are just as popular, relatively few owners have or use 4x4's to tow.
 
Feb 23, 2018
889
66
10,935
Visit site
I have a 2014 (facelift) XC60 D4 AWD Auto (Geartronic). You don't mention what year you're looking at as the current models are all new, compared to the Mk1 and have 2.0l 4cyl engines, just badged as D4/D5 which now refers to power output.

As mine is AWD, it has the same 2.4 5cyl engine as a classic D5, just detuned to 181bhp, with different turbo. 2WD versions have 4cyl engines.

I tow a 1450kg MTPLM 7.5m Sprite with a ratio of 76%. It is a great car to tow with, never had any issues in the 2000 miles or so I've towed this caravan except for one slight wobble by a stray cross-wind. No gearbox issues when towing, but I test drove another 2014 D4 2WD, with a manual box, (solo only) and it was unpleasant; the box had a huge throw and ruined the experience for me. I had only ever owned manual cars prior.

I can't really say what the All Wheel Drive (Haldex) is capable of, as I've not really been a situation that would highlight it's performance.

I opted for a Volvo detachable towball as the SE version bumper needs to be cut for a towbar. The detachable has a cover which hides the hole. This was a purely aesthetic choice.
 
Mar 31, 2016
9
5
10,515
Visit site
All Thank you for all the helpful and quick advice, looks like the automatic for me. Regarding the 4wd Im not purchasing it as an aide for towing on site I prefer not to get into a sitaution on site where I would need it. The reason for the 4wd is that I live on a steep hill and our village is high up. We often struggle getting off the drive and out and about in bad wether.

Once agin many thank to you all for your quick responses.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,809
6,485
50,935
Visit site
Good decision but there will undoubtably be situations on site where it can be tricky to exit but I did okay with 2WD. And all of my 4WDs have at some time or other had traction problems getting off a site. Mainly in Cumbria after very heavy wet periods or where the farmer kindly cuts the wet grass.
 
Jun 24, 2005
704
1
18,885
Visit site
Clifford_374377114 said:
I agree with previous regarding auto as a good choice. However, some years ago, we had a XC90 as a courtesy car and had to do a 'u' turn an put the front left wheel on a grassy verge where it stayed - wheel spinning.The sort of action we could do on site. Not a good 4 wheel drive.
Cliff

I have an XC90 and have never had any problems with the AWD. On the rare times that I lose traction in a muddy field I turn off the DSTC and just drive out - works every time.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,734
3,043
40,935
Visit site
PaulT said:
Clifford_374377114 said:
I agree with previous regarding auto as a good choice. However, some years ago, we had a XC90 as a courtesy car and had to do a 'u' turn an put the front left wheel on a grassy verge where it stayed - wheel spinning.The sort of action we could do on site. Not a good 4 wheel drive.
Cliff

I have an XC90 and have never had any problems with the AWD. On the rare times that I lose traction in a muddy field I turn off the DSTC and just drive out - works every time.

As Paul states, switch off Traction control, but it's all about tyres for traction on mud and snow. Wet Grass is a different thing.
 
Oct 12, 2013
3,037
4
0
Visit site
EH52ARH said:
PaulT said:
Clifford_374377114 said:
I agree with previous regarding auto as a good choice. However, some years ago, we had a XC90 as a courtesy car and had to do a 'u' turn an put the front left wheel on a grassy verge where it stayed - wheel spinning.The sort of action we could do on site. Not a good 4 wheel drive.
Cliff

I have an XC90 and have never had any problems with the AWD. On the rare times that I lose traction in a muddy field I turn off the DSTC and just drive out - works every time.

As Paul states, switch off Traction control, but it's all about tyres for traction on mud and snow. Wet Grass is a different thing.

As i recently found out :p
 
Feb 23, 2018
889
66
10,935
Visit site
To add to my other post, some quirks of the XC60. The AWD does not like mis matched tyres; i changed the end-of-life rear tyres but left the part worn fronts. The car would judder accelerating, this only got worse as the fronts got to 3mm. New tyres solved the issue.

The auto box also has a quirk: occasionally, sometimes after towing, others randomly... the box will 'forget' how to smoothly engage Drive. When you move the selector to D the car will 'lurch'. It seems to only effect Drive, gear changes when moving are normal.

I found a post on a Volvo forum which identified the same issue. The fix was to start the car and select Neutral. Then move between N and D five times. Then between N and R five times. Select park and turn off the engine. This should stop the lurching.

The car also has no user accessible dipstick. There is a gauge in the instrument cluster. For the longest time I could not get this to work. Turns out the manual is wrong; one has to insert the key and then press and hold the engine start/stop button (feet off pedals) until it beeps. The Oil menu option is then avaliable to select.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,809
6,485
50,935
Visit site
CustardAvenger said:
To add to my other post, some quirks of the XC60. The AWD does not like mis matched tyres; i changed the end-of-life rear tyres but left the part worn fronts. The car would judder accelerating, this only got worse as the fronts got to 3mm. New tyres solved the issue.

The auto box also has a quirk: occasionally, sometimes after towing, others randomly... the box will 'forget' how to smoothly engage Drive. When you move the selector to D the car will 'lurch'. It seems to only effect Drive, gear changes when moving are normal.

I found a post on a Volvo forum which identified the same issue. The fix was to start the car and select Neutral. Then move between N and D five times. Then between N and R five times. Select park and turn off the engine. This should stop the lurching.

The car also has no user accessible dipstick. There is a gauge in the instrument cluster. For the longest time I could not get this to work. Turns out the manual is wrong; one has to insert the key and then press and hold the engine start/stop button (feet off pedals) until it beeps. The Oil menu option is then avaliable to select.

Are you sure there is no dipstick as I said in my post above (D5 5 cylinder) there is a technicians dipstick low down on the front of the engine which they use when filling with oil. But it cannot be used when the engine has been running as you burn your hands. But you can use it when cold.
 
Feb 23, 2018
889
66
10,935
Visit site
otherclive said:
CustardAvenger said:
To add to my other post, some quirks of the XC60. The AWD does not like mis matched tyres; i changed the end-of-life rear tyres but left the part worn fronts. The car would judder accelerating, this only got worse as the fronts got to 3mm. New tyres solved the issue.

The auto box also has a quirk: occasionally, sometimes after towing, others randomly... the box will 'forget' how to smoothly engage Drive. When you move the selector to D the car will 'lurch'. It seems to only effect Drive, gear changes when moving are normal.

I found a post on a Volvo forum which identified the same issue. The fix was to start the car and select Neutral. Then move between N and D five times. Then between N and R five times. Select park and turn off the engine. This should stop the lurching.

The car also has no user accessible dipstick. There is a gauge in the instrument cluster. For the longest time I could not get this to work. Turns out the manual is wrong; one has to insert the key and then press and hold the engine start/stop button (feet off pedals) until it beeps. The Oil menu option is then avaliable to select.

Are you sure there is no dipstick as I said in my post above (D5 5 cylinder) there is a technicians dipstick low down on the front of the engine which they use when filling with oil. But it cannot be used when the engine has been running as you burn your hands. But you can use it when cold.

Not really "user" accessible... to be honest I've never looked for it but I know there is one. My wife's petrol V40 is the same. Plus I've never had to add oil to my diesel Volvos between servicing.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,809
6,485
50,935
Visit site
CustardAvenger said:
otherclive said:
CustardAvenger said:
To add to my other post, some quirks of the XC60. The AWD does not like mis matched tyres; i changed the end-of-life rear tyres but left the part worn fronts. The car would judder accelerating, this only got worse as the fronts got to 3mm. New tyres solved the issue.

The auto box also has a quirk: occasionally, sometimes after towing, others randomly... the box will 'forget' how to smoothly engage Drive. When you move the selector to D the car will 'lurch'. It seems to only effect Drive, gear changes when moving are normal.

I found a post on a Volvo forum which identified the same issue. The fix was to start the car and select Neutral. Then move between N and D five times. Then between N and R five times. Select park and turn off the engine. This should stop the lurching.

The car also has no user accessible dipstick. There is a gauge in the instrument cluster. For the longest time I could not get this to work. Turns out the manual is wrong; one has to insert the key and then press and hold the engine start/stop button (feet off pedals) until it beeps. The Oil menu option is then avaliable to select.

Are you sure there is no dipstick as I said in my post above (D5 5 cylinder) there is a technicians dipstick low down on the front of the engine which they use when filling with oil. But it cannot be used when the engine has been running as you burn your hands. But you can use it when cold.

Not really "user" accessible... to be honest I've never looked for it but I know there is one. My wife's petrol V40 is the same. Plus I've never had to add oil to my diesel Volvos between servicing.

Like you I did not need to put oil in the D5 engine as it was quite capable of increasing its own sump level due to excess fuelling during regeneration cycles. The Volvo recalls eventually sorted that out including reducing recommended maximum oil quantity to the half way mark on the Technicians dipstick and tweaking the oil sensor software to then show “full”. I sold it shortly afterwards.
 
Feb 23, 2018
889
66
10,935
Visit site
otherclive said:
Like you I did not need to put oil in the D5 engine as it was quite capable of increasing its own sump level due to excess fuelling during regeneration cycles. The Volvo recalls eventually sorted that out including reducing recommended maximum oil quantity to the half way mark on the Technicians dipstick and tweaking the oil sensor software to then show “full”. I sold it shortly afterwards.

My V50 had the Peugeot/Citroen (PSA) sourced 2.0L 4cyl diesel; you could find the same engine in loads of Fords and Volvos of the Ford era, Usually badged as "2.0D" on Volvo. It was the weak link in a great car... The Euro3 had no DPF, but the retro fitted DPF of the Euro4 had a replacement interval of 75k miles. I went through 2 (£1k a time) + about 6 refills of the "Eolys" fluid module (£250). a pre-adblue additive which lowered the combustion temp as the engine ran too cool for the regeneration. The Ford engine variant also lacked the fuel priming pump for servicing, requiring its own workshop tool. The 407 for example had this hand-pump bolted onto the engine. All of this is to say, the same advice was present for this engine... Fill to 90% capacity to allow for the increasing oil level.
 
Jan 8, 2009
57
0
0
Visit site
Hi all
I have the XC 60 r-design 213bhp 2014 had it for 4yrs now previous car the XC 90 I think its a great tow car towing my Coachman all over europe.The weight of my caravan is 1650kg but by the time my wife has loaded it for our 3 months away over winter it must weigh 2 tons ha ha.If I were to change I think I would look at the new XC 60 or the Mercedes GLC 250.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts