Volvo vs. Volkswagen: Reliability

In terms of reliability, Volvo is undoubtedly better than Volkswagen. Volvo is known for its durability and safety, whereas Volkswagen is known as a “people’s car.” Volkswagen offers cheaper cars for everyone, while Volvo more focuses on the luxury segment.

While both of them have their own problems, Volvo ranks ahead of Volkswagen when it comes to reliability.

Volkswagen’s reliability has declined lately

Volkswagen is known for its affordability and safety. Normally, German cars are considered to be reliable options, but it is not that simple for Volkswagen. Volkswagen’s reliability has faced some issues, especially after the 2015 emissions scandal.

Reliability reports by Warranty Direct suggest that Volkswagen vehicles are some of the least reliable cars, and Reliability Index ranked it 25 out of 40 companies with a score of 137. They have seriously decreased their rankings in reliability surveys. Just some years ago in 2016, they were at 9th in terms of reliability.

Volkswagen also suffers in terms of the average number car problems. Their cars a “problems-per-100″ (pp100) score of 163, which is even lower than last year’s 152.

However, Volkswagen does shine in one area- repairing. Volkswagen requires less in repairing costs, compared to many other big companies. It has an annual average repair and maintenance cost of $676. The safety features in Volkswagen are also pretty good.

Common problems with Volkswagens

With their 2015 emissions scandal, Volkswagen lost many of its loyal customers. Volkswagen admitted that they cheated in emissions tests, which led to their severely bad reviews. The company has not recovered since then and has continued regressing.

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Many cars nowadays face issues with their new technology features, however, that’s not the case with Volkswagen. Rather, common Volkswagen issues involve their engines. There are several issues commonly reported, including one with the engine light. The check engine light is a common problem in Volkswagen due to its faulty sensor.

Some of the other issues include coil failure, wiring harness shorts, and some people have even experienced airbag malfunctions. Many of the issues found in Volkswagen can be easily fixed, and the repairing costs are not too high. This certainly gives Volkswagen some advantage.

Volvo’s reliability can be questionable

Volvo is well-known for its strongly built cars and safety features that give them an edge over other brands. Volvo builds long-lasting cars and engines. The safety features they provide are some of the best in the world. People also love the truly luxurious and comfortable interior of the Volvo.

However, Volvo is not without its faults. Reliability surveys show that Volvo has been facing some issues. The XC90 was labeled as the least reliable car of 2021 by Consumer Report. And Reliability Index ranked them 23rd out of 40 car manufacturers, with an average score of 127 in reliability.

Volvo also faces an issue with its repairs. Repair costs are high, with a $769 average annual cost. The problems faced by cars are also high compared to other competitors, with a score of 143 problems per 100 cars. Yet, the repair costs are still not that much when compared to other luxury carmakers like Audi or BMW.

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Problems with Volvo: Transmission and technology

There are some major issues that are constant in Volvos like transmission failure. This may be due to the fact that they get their transmission system from Aisin Technology. The reports about transmission system problems are found in almost every model. The cost of repairing this is also pretty much high, around $3,500.

The use of new technology and other complex systems certainly have their benefits. Technology provides a better driving experience with better fuel economy, but there are some downsides. Newer Volvo models have faced many problems with software issues. Some other problem areas include the auto-braking system and power steering fluid leakage.

Volvo vs. Volkswagen

Volkswagen targets the middle class with its affordable and safe cars. Whereas, Volvo is a luxury brand that is quite a bit more expensive than Volkswagen. Volkswagen certainly offers high quality at low prices, but they cannot be compared with the luxury interior and features of Volvo.

The safety features found in Volvo are some of the world’s best. However, Volkswagen is famous for its low repair costs and better fuel efficiency.


It mostly comes down to buyer preference. If you are going for an affordable, easy-to-repair and better fuel economy vehicle, then go for a Volkswagen. Otherwise, Volvo is the better option in terms of luxury, safety and a better ride experience.

Volvo versus other brands, when it comes to realiability

Volvo vs. Tesla Reliability

Volvo vs. Audi Reliability

Volvo vs. Mercedes-Benz Reliability

Volvo vs. BMW Reliability


Is Volkswagen a luxury brand?

Volkswagen is considered a family car brand, not a luxury brand. However, they do make some cars that offer certain luxury qualities to their customers. The safety features and seats are often good in Volkswagen. It is also important to note that Volkswagen is the parent company to many other luxury car brands.

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Audi is a part of Volkswagen Group and definitely a luxury car brand. Audi offers futuristic interiors with sporty-looking cars. Performance is also brilliant in Audis, whereas Volkswagens are more standard.

Read more: Which is the safest car: Audi vs. Volvo

What other brands does Volkswagen own?

Volkswagen may not be the best car brand, but it is the parent company to many other big European car brands. Volkswagen operates in 153 countries with their group of 12 brands from 7 European countries. The Volkswagen Group includes:

  • SEAT
  • Bentley
  • Bugatti
  • Lamborghini
  • Porsche
  • Ducati
  • Scania
  • Audi
  • MAN
  • Volkswagen
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

How did Volkswagen become so famous?

Volkswagen is one of the biggest car-selling companies in the world with their operation in 153 countries. The company started in Germany in 1937 and was dubbed the “people’s car.” Volkswagen soon started producing cheap cars for regular people with good features of the time. This made them more famous than other high-priced cars of that time.

Volkswagen adopted new strategies after World War II. They started exporting their cars immediately after the war in 1947. This strategy truly helped them. Their star was the Volkswagen Beetle; it became a German icon, with a huge 40% market share at that time.

Muhammad Arifeen

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

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