Do Volvos break down a lot? Is Volvo a reliable car?

When it comes to safety, Volvo is the first car brand to consider. But in terms of reliability, Volvo is among the least reliable luxury cars on the market. Regardless, do Volvos break down a lot?

Yes, Volvos break down a lot as they get older. After 3 years of ownership, Volvos will start to develop more problems than their competitors. On top of that, the car will become less reliable and break down frequently. That’s why buying an old Volvo isn’t a good idea.

For the first 3 years of ownership, a Volvo buyer will experience fewer problems and maintenance. But after 3 years of ownership, the issues will increase. Nonetheless, the problems also vary from one Volvo model to another. Hence, before you pay for a used or new Volvo model, find out more about its reliability.

The least reliable Volvo model is the XC90, while the most reliable Volvo model is the S60/V60 model. The XC90 ranks among the bottom least reliable luxury SUVs on the market. On the other hand, the Volvo S60/V60 ranks slightly above average in reliability.

Why do Volvos break down a lot?

The main reason why Volvos break down more frequently than conventional cars is because of the additional features that they come with. Besides, Volvos are more advanced with lots of high-tech features, meaning they can break down faster and more easily than traditional cars.

  Which Volvo is 4-wheel drive?

What’s more, this explains why the most advanced Volvo car model (XC90) is also the least reliable car in their lineup. On the contrary, the simple and affordable S60 is the most reliable model in their lineup. This is similar to most luxury car brands like Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes.

After how long do Volvos break down?

You should start experiencing minor issues if your Volvo clocks 70,000 miles. Overall, most Volvos don’t develop major problems before hitting 3 years of use. Nonetheless, this isn’t a surprise as many luxury cars develop issues after 3 years of use.

However, if properly maintained and serviced, a Volvo can clock even more than 300,000 miles. How long a Volvo lasts depends on factors such as drivers driving habits, how well the car is maintained, the climate that you live in, and the car model.

People who usually drive their car recklessly experience more problems than those who drive carefully. What’s more, cars in extreme hot and cold climates wear out faster than cars in mild or moderate climates. For instance, starting a car engine in extremely cold weather uses more power out of the battery; thus, the engine wears out more.

How reliable are Volvos?

When you compare Volvo to other luxury car makes and models, you will find that Volvo is slightly more reliable. Most reliability rating agencies provide a higher score for Volvo compared to Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, and Volkswagen.

As a matter of fact, the luxury cars that top the list of the least reliable cars are Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, and BMW. What’s more, these cars have more expensive parts than Volvo, which drives the maintenance cost higher.

  What is the most reliable 10-year-old car?

Nonetheless, this is understandable as Volvo is a mid-range luxury car compared to most of these high-end luxury car brands. Volvo compares closely to Volkswagen and Cadillac, which are a tier below the three main luxury cars: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.


Are Volvos expensive to maintain?

Yes, Volvos are expensive and cheaper to maintain. If you compare the cost of maintaining a Lexus or Infinity with a Volvo, you will find that maintaining a Volvo is pretty costly. Nonetheless, if you compare the cost of repairing a Volvo and a BMW, you will find that the cost of maintaining a Volvo is cheaper.

So, if you’re comparing the cost of maintaining a Volvo with that of a traditional car; yes it’s expensive to maintain. But if you’re comparing the cost of maintaining a Volvo with that of other luxury cars, then it’s cheaper to maintain a Volvo.

Why are Volvos so unreliable?

Volvos are so unreliable because of the advanced features and sophisticated technologies that they come with. So, a small issue with its technology or advanced features may render the car not drivable. That’s why scheduled maintenance is good for Volvo and other luxury car owners. 

What are common Volvo problems?

Volvo produces some of the most durable and safe mid-range luxury cars. But as expected, they also have a problem that their users have to deal with. Nevertheless, there are no general Volvo problems as they vary from one car model to another. Here are some of the common Volvo problems in different Volvo car models:

  • Volvo S60 usually have a power steering leak
  • Transmission issues with the Volvo V70
  • Bad cooling fan in the Volvo XC60
  • A waterlogged fuse in the Volvo 240
  Is a used Porsche Cayenne reliable?

How long do Volvos last?

Volvos are not only safe cars, but they can also last for a long period when properly maintained. Volvos have an average lifespan of about 200,000 miles or 20 years, whichever comes first. So, if you maintain your Volvo model well, you may even hit over 300,000 miles.

If you want your Volvo to lock over 300,000 miles, ensure to maintain and repair the car at a Volvo service center. These are more reliable than taking your Volvo to a general auto shop for repair. Additionally, replace damaged Volvo parts with Volvo OEM parts. Finally, stick to proper driving habits.


Like most luxury cars, Volvos do break down a lot. Nevertheless, Volvos are slightly more reliable than other major luxury car brands such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. Despite Volvos breaking down often, the cost of maintaining and repairing a Volvo is also much cheaper than most luxury cars.

If you want to minimize the times you visit a Volvo service center or repair shop, exercise good driving habits and ensure your Volvo is properly maintained. On top of that, opt for a more reliable Volvo model like the Volvo S60/V60, instead of a less reliable Volvo model like the XC90 SUV.

Muhammad Arifeen

Muhammad has a broad knowledge about cars. On Luxury Cars A2Z he mainly write about Volvo and BMW.

Recent Posts