Steer Clear of These Used Volvo SUVs Unless You Want Oil Problems

Volvo is a well-respected luxury automaker, and many of its cars are high-quality and very desirable. That being said, like other auto manufacturers, Volvo isn’t perfect, and a few of its models are known to have some glaring issues. So if you’re in the market for a used Volvo XC60 SUV, here’s a look at the model years you should avoid because of their oil problems.

Many cars burn oil too quickly

A white 2013 Volvo XC60 on display next to a blue V60 at the 38th Geneva Motor Show in March 2013
Avoid the 2011 to 2014 Volvo XC60 (right) for excessive oil consumption | Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

As vehicles grow older, they burn more oil. This is just a fact of life. Of course, routine maintenance should prevent most vehicles from burning too much oil. According to Consumer Reports, most properly maintained cars can last about 10 years before they start burning excessive oil. But the problem is that many cars begin burning too much oil way before that. 

Many automakers go out of their way to fix this oil-burning problem early on, but others don’t. For example, Consumer Reports says some GMC Equinox models had an excessive oil consumption issue. But eventually, GMC gave the affected owners extended warranties to fix those issues. On the other hand, certain BMWs have engines that continue to have oil-burning problems to this day.

That’s why it’s worthwhile to know which cars and model years are known for excessive oil consumption. It’s possible that the car you’re looking at had that problem fixed, but it couldn’t hurt to double-check. Better yet, it might be a good idea to avoid those models and choose something else. 

Avoid the 2011 to 2014 Volvo XC60 for excessive oil consumption

On the outside, it’s easy to see why the Volvo XC60 is so appealing. Like other Volvo models, these SUVs have a good fit and finish, Consumer Reports says. And, of course, like other Volvos, the XC60 is a safe vehicle. Plus, since these model years are about a decade old at this point, they’re relatively affordable. For example, you can find a 2011 Volvo XC60 for under $10,000.

But these used XC60s have two oil-related problems. Models equipped with the 3.2-liter inline-six engine are known to burn oil excessively, CR reports. On top of that, these model years have a pretty average fuel economy. This means these SUVs burn oil in more ways than one.

Plus, Consumer Reports criticizes these XC60 model years for their “tricky controls” and lack of a high-quality driving experience.

Consumer Reports suggests you buy these used Acura RDX models instead of a 2011 to 2014 Volvo XC60

Instead of those used Volvo XC60 models, Consumer Reports suggests buying similar model years of the Acura RDX. To be clear, though, CR recommends buying the 2011 model year and the 2013 to 2014 model years. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2012 RDX.

This is a good idea for many reasons. Off the bat, Acura is owned by Honda, well known for making reliable cars. Unsurprisingly, those RDX model years have excellent reliability. As such, the RDX shouldn’t have the same oil-burning problems the Volvo XC60 has in those model years.

Furthermore, buying a used RDX from those model years should cost about the same as a used XC60 from the same model years. There will be many variations, of course, but a used 2011 RDX can cost under $10,000 as well.

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