Is an old Volvo reliable?

volvo V40

Older Volvo cars were some of the most reliable cars of their time. Volvo was known as the most reliable car manufacturer because of its solid build quality and safety features. Old Volvos are exceptionally dependable, and they can even last more than 20 years.

The reliability of Volvo made them the best “family cars” of the 80s and 90s in the US.

Volvo started its company in 1939 to provide the safest, most reliable, and durable cars. When Volvo introduced its cars in the US, they were soon made the most reliable and safest cars in the States. The driving comfort and safety features were matchless at that time.

Old Volvo cars’ reputation for reliability and safety

Volvo’s older cars have a reputation for being the most solid and reliable cars. These cars were so solid that they even lasted for a lifetime. Older Volvos provided safety with great, solid engines. These old Volvos were boxy and focused on their niche of being reliable and safe.


Old Volvos were boxy pieces of metal that barely required any expensive repairing. The maintenance was easy, and the cars were also not too complex to repair by the owner themselves. The parts hardly ever got broken and they lasted for a long time.

The longest-running car record in the Guinness Book of World Record is held by a Volvo. The owner of that vehicle says that he barely ever paid for any major repairs and just focused on regular oil changes. This clearly shows the reliability and durability of old Volvos. The Volvo 700 series and 900 series are some of the most highly-reliable cars of the 80s and the 90s.

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The reliability of cars is incomplete without the safety features. Volvo has always cared for the safety of its customers. The safety features and crash safety in these cars were best at that time. Volvo even introduced many safety features, which even increased their reliability and popularity.

Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt in 1959, which was used for the first time in the Volvo PV544. This simple feature has gone on to save countless lives. Volvo also put extra effort in their engineering to make their cars safe and strong on the outside.


Maintenance of old cars was generally not that expensive compared to today. There were fewer complex parts and fewer maintenance costs. The parts were also cheap, and they barely ever got broken. Some Volvo owners claim to have only spent $2,000 in the last 10 years on their old, reliable Volvo cars.

The most reliable older Volvo models

There were many reliable Volvo cars, and all of them were famous at their time. There was a time when every family had a Volvo because they were easy to maintain and comfortable to drive. These were the most reliable Volvo models:

  • Volvo 700 and 900 series
  • Volvo 850/S70/V70

Buying a used old Volvo car

Buying an old Volvo depends on many factors like:

  • How old is the vehicle?
  • What is the condition of the car?
  • How much mileage does it have?
  • Model year

There are old Volvos that are still running quite nicely due to timely maintenance and good care, but then there are people who have demolished their Volvo after only 80,000 miles. If you’re planning on buying an old Volvo, then you should check the car from every side.

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Reliability of used old Volvo cars

Buying a 10-or-more-years-old Volvo is still a good decision, but if you’re planning on getting a Volvo, that is more than 20 years older, then you should check its condition. If we talk about the XC70, which is a 12-year-old car, is still a perfectly solid piece of a car. The interior is still good, and the car is still designed to last more than 20 years.

Comparison with new Volvo cars

Older Volvos were extremely reliable and durable. They used to last longer, even with low maintenance. Not so long ago, the V70, XC70, C70, or s60 I, used to be very reliable and require little maintenance. However, the newer Volvo models are not that reliable.

The newer cars have many issues with their parts. The reliability scores have gone down due to extremely high maintenance costs. The cars break down quite often compared to old solid cars.

Although they aren’t as reliable anymore, newer Volvo models still are some of the safest cars. The safety features have gotten even better than they were in old Volvos.

Old Volvos were certainly reliable cars. They used to last many years and endure any type of condition. The safety features were also top-notch at the time. The maintenance was low. Therefore, we can say that they were pretty reliable cars at their own time.


What was special about Volvo?

Volvo used to make solid, reliable family cars. The most special thing about them was that they used to last longer than any other at that time. The long-lasting cars combined with the excellent driving experience was one of the highlights of the old Volvos. These cars also had the best safety features. That’s what made Volvo so special.

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Is buying a vintage car worth it?

Everyone loves a good old vintage or classic car like a Jaguar E-Type or Aston Martin DB4, because of their elegance and build quality. There’s always something about vintage cars that modern cars are missing. However, buying a vintage car can be a hard decision to make because you will have to spend money to maintain it because remember these cars are decades old.

Before buying a vintage car, you must look at the documents and the condition of the car. You should research on the internet about the model’s common problems, and you should have a good mechanic to look at it. These cars will take your time in maintenance and repairing, so get ready for that. Other than that, vintage cars are wonderful to own.

What are the most reliable car companies?

There are many good car manufacturers which produce many reliable cars, including:

  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Toyota
  • Honda
  • Buick
  • Porsche
  • Genesis
  • Chevrolet
  • BMW
  • Volkswagen

Muhammad Arifeen

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

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