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Most Reliable Volvo Cars of All Time: A Volvo Reliability Guide

Most Reliable Volvo Cars of All Time: A Volvo Reliability Guide

 When it comes to the automotive industry, one brand that has been synonymous with reliability for many years is Volvo. Volvo, a Swedish car manufacturer, has built a reputation for producing some of the most reliable vehicles on the market.

In this article, we will explore why Volvos are considered reliable cars, discuss the top 7 most reliable Volvo models of all time, and talk about how to assess the reliability of a used Volvo car.

Are Volvos Reliable Cars? Find out

Volvo is a car manufacturer known for its moderate to above-average reliability, varying by the information source. While it may not be the top pick for the most reliable brand, opting for a Volvo means you can have confidence in owning a reasonably dependable vehicle.

Similar to many other automotive brands, Volvo’s dependability is diverse, with certain models exhibiting better reliability than others. Additionally, it’s important to highlight that Volvo performs more favorably in other aspects of reliability.

As per RepairPal, Volvo boasts a commendable reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5, earning it an Above Average classification. The annual cost for Volvo repairs and maintenance is approximately $769, surpassing the overall average of $652 for all car models. On average, Volvo owners make 0.5 visits to repair shops annually, slightly exceeding the general average of 0.4 visits per year.

Merely 9% of Volvo repairs are classified as severe, contrasting with the general average of 12% for all car models.

The reliability of Volvos varies based on the specific models you’re considering. Consumer Reports indicates that the Volvo XC90 is projected to have a reliability rating of 2 out of 5, whereas the Volvo S60 sedan receives a more favorable rating of 4 out of 5.

While many individuals don’t typically prioritize reliability when purchasing a Volvo, if it is a significant concern for you, we strongly recommend examining the reliability rating for each specific model before making a purchase.

Top 7 Reliable Volvo Cars

While Volvo may not lead in overall vehicle reliability, there are several models within their lineup that can provide you with a sense of assurance. Find out the top 7 reliable Volvos below:

1. Volvo XC40: Find Confidence with a Compact SUV

The compact SUV, 2022 Volvo XC40, is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine coupled with an 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission. This engine is available in two versions: the T4, producing 187hp, and the T5, delivering 248hp.

The T4 model features front-wheel drive, while the T5 model provides the security of all-wheel drive. Despite its size, this SUV demonstrates impressive cornering capabilities with minimal body roll, instilling confidence in the driver.

The electric power steering ensures excellent feel and feedback, and the well-tuned suspension minimizes understeer. Opting for the all-wheel-drive (AWD) variant further improves traction.

According to J.D. Power, the Volvo XC40 achieves an average reliability rating of 70 out of 100, positioning it as one of the most dependable small SUVs on the market.

2. Volvo S60: Enjoy a Classic Sedan Ride

The Volvo S60, a longstanding sedan in production since 2000, continues to be one of the favored Volvo cars available.

Yet, its popularity is marred by a considerable number of grievances from owners. In the case of the 2021 model, it attains an overall score of 75% and a predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5 according to Consumer Reports. Despite its appealing and visually striking exterior, as well as its luxurious interior quality, specific model years are noteworthy for being less desirable.

Particularly, the 2001 and 2012 models have accumulated a significant number of complaints, and potential buyers should take note of these issues before finalizing a decision.

3. Volvo V60: Your Reliable Station Wagon

For individuals with an inclination toward the traditional station wagon, the Volvo V60 stands out as a robust choice in terms of dependability.

The 2021 V60 is offered in both gas engine and plug-in hybrid variations, catering to a diverse audience. Volvo’s commitment to safety, a characteristic feature of their vehicles, is evident in the V60 as well.

It performs exceptionally well in crash and safety assessments, featuring a comprehensive set of standard safety elements like parking sensors, rearview cameras, forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

Functioning as a reliable station wagon, the V60 demonstrates minimal reliability issues, providing a sense of assurance for its owners.

4. Volvo V70: A Wagon for the love of the Family

The Volvo V70, a pragmatic wagon that has retained its status as one of the most cherished models on the road, was eventually succeeded by the V90 in 2016.

Featuring ample interior space, an array of safety features, and respectable towing capacity, the V70 proves to be an excellent choice for families on extended road trips.

Opting for the third-generation models brings the advantage of newer features and a refreshed appearance. However, similar to any vehicle, the V70 is not immune to issues.

Owners should remain attentive to the wheel suspension, which exhibits a relatively high defect rate, and also keep an eye on the electronic components, particularly the sensors and alarm systems.

5. Volvo C70: Luxury Meets Safety

The initial iteration of the Volvo C70 Convertible, originating in 1997, was a two-door luxury GT vehicle renowned for its outstanding safety features.

Equipped with a high-performing engine and spacious seating for four adults, it provided a comfortable ride for all occupants.

The second-generation C70, introduced in 2005, introduced a blend of style and adaptability with its retractable hardtop, seamlessly combining the advantages of both a coupe and a convertible.

J.D. Power assigns the C70 a reliability rating of 77 out of 100, positioning it as a trustworthy and dependable option.

6. Volvo XC60: Safety-guaranteed SUV

The inaugural model of the Volvo XC60, unveiled in 2012, featured an assortment of cutting-edge safety features, further emphasizing Volvo’s dedication to safety.

This SUV offered various options, such as collision warning with active braking, driver attention warning, and lane departure alerts.

Despite its commendable safety attributes, the XC60 might not have been the most stylish Volvo available. J.D. Power assigns a below-average reliability rating of 72 out of 100 to the 2012 XC60.

7. Volvo XC90: A Reliable V8 Powerhouse

The initial iteration of the Volvo XC90 distinguishes itself with its dependable V8 engine, a robust 4.4-liter powerhouse capable of producing 311 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque.

Some Common Volvo Problems: What You Need to Know

Here, we will discuss some issues faced by Volvo owners, offering valuable information to enhance your understanding of potential challenges with Volvo vehicles.

1.High Oil Consumption: According to, the primary issue commonly reported in Volvo vehicles is excessive oil consumption.

Numerous complaints describe instances where Volvos used up oil well before the scheduled change, indicating potential problems like damaged head gaskets or dirty oil filters.In severe cases, this can lead to engine damage, incurring high replacement costs. This concern is notably prevalent in the Volvo S60 model.

2.Transmission Issue: Another frequently mentioned problem among Volvo users is the complete breakdown of the transmission. Numerous reports indicate instances where the transmission exhibited erratic behavior before ultimately failing.

This issue was notably widespread in the 2001 V70 classic station wagon and the 2005 XC90. Unfortunately, transmissions from those specific years were uncommon and came with a hefty price tag.

However, the more recent models from 2010 onwards do not exhibit significant transmission issues.

3.Cooling Fan Problems: Frequent occurrences of engine overheating pose a common challenge for Volvo vehicles, often attributed to complications with the engine cooling fan ( radiator fan).

The proper functioning of this fan is crucial to maintaining optimal engine temperatures. Without it, the engine becomes susceptible to overheating, potentially resulting in severe consequences and requiring expensive engine replacement.

Several factors may contribute to a malfunctioning cooling fan, including a dirty air filter, clutch assembly failure, malfunctioning temperature sensor, and electrical problems.

Reports of cooling fan issues are primarily lodged by owners of the XC60 model.

4.False Positive Dashboard Lights Illumination: Numerous Volvo owners have expressed dissatisfaction with the occurrence of illuminated dashboard lights, encompassing indicators like the check engine light and other warning signals. 

While sporadic illumination of these lights is expected in operational vehicles, Volvo’s warning lights tend to activate even when there is no evident mechanical or physical issue with the car. 

Many of these incidents involve what were identified as false positives, causing frustration as dashboard lights typically should not be disregarded.

5.Headlamp Burnout: Some Volvo owners assert that Volvo headlights have a briefer lifespan compared to those of other manufacturers.

They report premature failure, particularly in specific models. Fortunately, changing Volvo headlights can be a straightforward DIY task or a swift job for a mechanic.

Nonetheless, there is a possibility that the problem may stem from the electrical system, necessitating a visit to the mechanic.

6.Untimely Tire Wear: XC90 owners have cited instances of excessive tire wear. Uneven tread patterns may develop, adversely affecting fuel efficiency and steering, thereby increasing the risk of accidents for the occupants.

How to buy a reliable Used Volvo Car?

Though buying a used Volvo can offer you some fair prices on some recent models, this does not happen without extra caution. 

Of course, we don’t expect a renowned dealer to sell a car with hidden issues, however, every dealer doesn’t have the same integrity.

In case you’re considering a used Volvo, here are some steps you can take to guarantee that you’re buying a reliable used car.

  1. Do your research: Every car is unique even if they are of the same model. So you need to research about the particular model to be sure it’s worth buying in terms of functionality, durability and affordability,
  2. Check the Vehicle History: Conducting a VIN check is highly recommended if you want to end up buying a used car that will serve its purpose. A vehicle history report provides vital useful information about any vehicle’s past, thus helping you make an informed decision and avoid any used car purchase remorse. Access records like the odometer records, accidents, theft, any damage by flood, fire, hail etc, previous owners, lien/loan records and more.
  3. Physical Inspection: Seeing is believing. A physical inspection allows you to check out the features of the car and also ask the seller any questions you may have. While a vehicle history allows you to unlock and detect hidden events or records about the car, a physical inspection helps you to examine the car parts that are physically accessible.
  4. Test drive: There is nothing as convincing as getting a feel of a car’s handling and performance. A test drive will avail you the opportunity to assess the efficiency of the engine, brakes, steering wheel. etc.

A checklist of factors used in calculating a used Volvo reliability

  1. Model and year: Some Volvo models have been found to be more reliable than others.
  2. Mileage: Of course, the more miles a Volvo has, the more wear and tear it may have suffered over the years.
  3. Maintenance history: A well-maintained, routinely serviced Volvo  is likely to be more reliable than those that have not.
  4. Mechanical condition: A mechanical issue or repair carried out on the vehicle can impact its overall reliability.
  5. Overall condition: Car conditions, involving its exterior and interior, can also indicate how reliable the vehicle is.
  6. Past records and events: Checking the vehicle history for specific models and years can provide an idea of the car’s overall reliability.

Final Words

Just like other car brands, you can always consider Volvo for a secure and sophisticated driving experience. Their range of dependable cars, wagons, and SUVs consistently attracts buyers. While not exempt from recalls, recent models reflect Volvo’s commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction.

Still not sold on the idea of owning a new or used Volvo? Our affordable VIN check service can help you make an informed decision and buy a used Volvo with confidence. If you’re also curious about verifying the standard safety features that came with any Volvo car before committing to a purchase, getting the Volvo window sticker by VIN is your best bet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most reliable Volvo models of all time include the Volvo S60, XC90, V60, XC60, XC40, S80, and 850.

Volvo models such as the S60, XC90, and S80 are known for their top safety features and have received high safety ratings from organizations like the NHTSA.

The cost of ownership for Volvo cars can vary depending on factors such as the particular model, age of the vehicle, and maintenance history.

Volvo models like the S90, XC70, and C30 offer some of the best safety ratings and features in their respective categories.

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