Driving with a trailer

When driving with a trailer, there are a number of points that are important to think about regarding the towbar, the trailer and how the load is positioned in the trailer.

Payload depends on the car's kerb weight. The total of the weight of the passengers and all accessories, e.g. towbar, reduces the car's payload by a corresponding weight.

The car is supplied with the necessary equipment for towing a trailer.

  • The car's towbar must be of an approved type.
  • Distribute the load on the trailer so that the weight on the towbar complies with the specified maximum towball load. Towball load is calculated as part of the car's payload.
  • Increase the tyre pressure to the recommended pressure for a full load.
  • The engine is loaded more heavily than usual when driving with a trailer.
  • Do not tow a heavy trailer when the car is brand new. Wait until it has been driven at least 1000 km (620 miles).
  • The brakes are loaded much more than usual on long and steep downhill slopes. Downshift to a lower gear when shifting manually and adjust your speed.
  • Follow the regulations in force for the permitted speeds and weights.
  • Maintain a low speed when driving with a trailer up long, steep ascents.
  • The maximum indicated trailer weight only applies to heights up to 1000 metres above sea level (3280 ft). At higher elevations, the engine output and the vehicle's climbing ability are reduced due to the reduced air density, and the maximum trailer load must therefore be reduced. The weight of the car and trailer must be decreased by 10% for each additional 1000 m (3280 ft) or part thereof.
  • Avoid driving with a trailer on inclines of more than 12%.


Extreme weather conditions, driving with a trailer or driving at high altitudes, in combination with poorer fuel quality than recommended, are factors that considerably increase the car's fuel consumption.

Trailer connector

An adapter is required if the car's towbar has a 13 pin connector and the trailer has a 7 pin connector. Use an adapter approved by Volvo. Make sure the cable does not drag on the ground.


When the engine is switched off, the constant battery voltage to the trailer connector can be switched off automatically so as not to drain the starter battery.

Trailer weights


Follow the stated recommendations for trailer weights. Otherwise, the car and trailer may be difficult to control in the event of sudden movement and braking.


The stated maximum permitted trailer weights are those permitted by Volvo. National vehicle regulations can further limit trailer weights and speeds. Towbars can be certified for higher towing weights than the car can actually tow.

Level control*

The car's system for level control endeavours to maintain a constant height regardless of load (up to the maximum permissible weight). When the car is stationary the rear of the car lowers slightly, which is normal.

When driving in hilly terrain and hot climates

Under certain circumstances, there may be a risk of overheating when towing a trailer. If the engine and drive system overheats, a warning symbol comes on in the driver display and a message is displayed.

The automatic gearbox selects the optimum gear depending on load and engine speed.

Steep inclines

Do not lock the automatic gearbox in a higher gear than the engine "can cope with" - it is not always a good idea to drive at a high gear with low engine speed.

Parking on a hill

Depress the brake pedal fully.
Activate the parking brake.
Select gear position P.
Release the brake pedal.

Block the wheels with chocks when parking a car with hitched trailer on a hill.

Starting on a hill

Depress the brake pedal fully.
Select gear position D.
Releasing the parking brake.
Release the brake pedal and start driving off.
  1. * Option/accessory.