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Looking for Scandinavian style? How to buy a Volvo for under €20k - and 3 models to see first

The Swedish car maker has a reputation for safety, comfort and strong design. Here’s what to look for.

Image: DoneDeal

BUYING A NEW Volvo these days isn’t cheap, with its SUVs like the XC40 and XC90 rivalling the like of Audi and BMW on price.

Go back a few years and the choice of Volvo models is wide. And while they might not all have the same chic design as the newer models, they do carry the traits the Swedish car maker is most associated with.

1. XC90 (2002-2015)

Source: DoneDeal

Just like the current model, the old XC90 is one of the cars that Volvo is best-known for. It was made for the best part of thirteen years and was hugely popular among family buyers for its seven seats and solid safety rating. A versatile cabin layout meant that you could utilise all seven places or have up to 1,837 litres of cargo volume depending on your requirements.

Despite all that good stuff, you do need to approach a used XC90 with some caution. There are numerous examples of the all-wheel drive transmission failing, leaving owners with just two-wheel drive, while diesel models (like many other brands) can be prone to DPF issues through insufficient driving resulting in soot buildup. But find the right one, and you’ll have a great family SUV at a fraction of the cost of a new model. Just beware that you’ll have to dig deep each year to renew its motor tax.

2. Volvo C30 (2007-2013)

Source: DoneDeal

The Volvo C30 flies under the radar of a lot of hatchback buyers. Firstly, they didn’t sell in the same significant numbers as an Audi A3, Volkswagen Golf or Opel Astra. It was always a bit of an unusual choice, with styling that was reminiscent of the increasingly cool older Volvo 480.

Underneath, it’s built on a Ford Focus platform, and most versions sold in Ireland got the 1.6-litre diesel which managed reasonably friendly emissions and motor tax rates with decent fuel consumption.

Even though it made good use of the passenger space given its compact dimensions, it did have a smaller-than-average boot, measuring just 251 litres. That might not matter to some, but if you’re doing more than a bit of weekly shopping, it may be an issue to consider. An updated model went on sale in 2010 with updated exterior looks along with some interior tweaks.

3. Volvo V60 (2010-2018)

Source: DoneDeal

If you’re of the belief that an estate car is better at doing all the things that an SUV can, then you may already be a fan of the Volvo V60.

It’s undoubtedly one of the sleeker looking Volvo estates, offering up to 1,241 litres of cargo volume. There’s room for five, though the middle pew does sacrifice foot space due to the transmission tunnel.

The floating centre console is a nice touch, and the quality of the materials throughout are good, though lighter colours do help add to its spacious feeling. R-Design versions bring a sportier look, but if comfort is your thing, then you may want to stick to the SE version with some smaller diameter wheels.

More: How to buy a serious premium SUV on a €30k budget – and 5 models to see first>

More: Want a car that will make your driveway stand out? 4 real head-turners for under €15k>

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About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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