Should a Honda driver switch to Volvo?

Currently I am driving a '95 Honda Accord, I’m the second owner, the first my older sister. Our combined mileage, 320k, with no major repairs, it has made me think twice about purchasing any other vehicle than Honda. But with a slow oil leak in several places and replacing the parts and or engine costing more than the car is worth, I need to look for another car! I know how to work on Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, but I’m leaning towards a Volvo 240 Wagon and know nothing about the engine! I travel a lot with my vehicle and know Volvo parts can be hard to find. Would this be a wise transition? Or should I stick to a model I’m more familiar with? Keeping in mind, I need a daily driver to possibly haul wood and other materials, camp out in and look/drive great! Thanks and appreciate any advice!

Lots of good dependable cars out there but Volvo isn’t one of them IMHO.

Volvo wagons do have a fan base but you will be spending more money and repairs on a 240 than say a Honda Element/CRV (our Volvo 144 was in the shop every month). Unless you have a Volvo Specialist nearby i would personally stay with the brands you know.

Make and model are not as important when shopping for a used car as are:

all the services done on schedule with records to prove it.
Passes a pre-purchase inspection
No accidents
Buy the owner as much as the car.

Cars are like shoes – buy the one that fits you best.

Get the newest Accord or 2wd CRV you can afford. Run away from that Volvo.


Here’ some things to consider

If you check and maintain the Honda oil level, it may last a long while

The Volvo 240 Wagon is even older than your current car.

In fact, the Volvo 240 series were introduced in the 1970s.

I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that the 240 series were NOT fuel efficient.

You sure you want to buy 1970s technology?

There are safer and more modern cars available . . .

A Honda driver could easily jump to a Toyota or a Nissan but never to a Volvo. No way.

No! had too much experience with old Volvos.Dont know who started that run forever business, used to stroll in the back lots of Volvo repair places and check odometers,seems the average dead one had about130K on it.Many quirks,poor plastic and seat materials,etc-Kevin

Make and model are not as important when shopping for a used car as are: all the services done on schedule with records to prove it."

Normally, I would agree with that statement, Twotone.
However, as the former owner of a Volvo 240 series–purchased new and maintained better than the mfr specified–I am going to disagree with that statement, as it pertains to Volvos.

My excellent maintenance habits could not do anything to prevent the frequent, weird, and very difficult to repair electrical problems that these cars are subject to. Great maintenance could not help the sorry state of the fuel injection system on these cars, and it could not avert the need to replace the expensive Bosch fuel pump ~every 14 months. Changing the oil every 3k miles did not prevent it from burning through a qt of oil every 600 miles by the time that the odometer reached 30k miles.

I could go on and on if anyone was interested, but suffice it to say that my Volvo 242GL was the absolute worst car that I ever owned in terms of both reliability and repair costs, and none of its myriad problems could have been prevented by the superb maintenance that I gave that car.

Edited to add:
The OP should also consider the reality that a Volvo 240 series is not fuel-efficient, especially as compared to his Honda Accord. The best gas mileage that I was ever able to get with my 242GL was ~23 mpg, and that was on very long highway drives. In local/suburban driving, 16 mpg was the norm.
And, as others have pointed out, these cars are not exactly speedy, so don’t assume that poor gas mileage is a trade-off for great acceleration. These cars have the unique combination of mediocre acceleration and mediocre gas mileage, and the only positive factors–IMHO–are excellent brakes and a good ride.

I agree with most of the responses. Having owned a reliable Honda spoils you and I strongly advise sticking to cars with a proven track record. Aside from Hondas there are Toyotas, Mazdas and a late model Hyundai Elantra would be a good choice as well.

Honda owners should not switch to Vovlos. Volvo owners should switch to Hondas. For all the reasons already mentioned.

As VDC so eloquently ponted out, even the best maintainence habits cannot compensate for unreliable design combined with high cost of repair. I doubt seriously of you’ll be happy with a Volvo after having been spoiled by a Honda.

I feel I need to defend Volvos a little here. While I do like the looks and feel of many Volvos…I also need them to get on down the road. That’s the reason that I’d never own one…that and I don’t have deep pockets so I could never afford the repairs on one.

There’s no way to answer that as a blanket question.
There’s lots of Hondas and lots of Volvos to pick from, it’s not a simple yes or no answer.
As the others have said , there is lots of individual criteria to compare car for car. Get one that FITS you.
Including, not only the service record and history of the potential purchase, BUT the service-ABILITY while owning your next brand.
– I – wouldn’t touch a Volvo of any kind. NO service in this small town except minor stuff. Anything major or Volvo specific is 140 miles one way.

Blindly comparing different brands is useless too. Heck, I have two SAME brands that are night and day different to operate. Headlight, wipers, a/c, and other controls are on opposite sides and in other positions and one needs to be familiar with both.

I have a musician friend who has a late model Honda Civic and an old Volvo station wagon. She bought the Volvo first. When it became unreliable and expensive to keep up, she bought the Civic. She has the Volvo wagon for only one reason–she has two St. Bernard dogs. They don’t quite fit in the Honda. The Volvo is only used to transport the dogs around town.

I have neighbors who own a 4 y.o. Volvo and a 23 y.o. Accord.
The Volvo spends by far more time in the shop.

It is interesting to see that Volvo’s “traditions” have continued for decades after I dumped my 242GL, rather than have it send me into poverty.


Not to defend the Volvo, but it probably spends a lot of time in the shop BECAUSE it is old.

@db4690 - the Volvo’s the young one (4 yrs).

The newest Volvo 240 would be 20 years old at this point; your Accord isn’t that far behind, either.
If you think you’re buying a safe car with the Volvo, look on Youtube for “Volvo Renault crash test”

My mistake.

Just imagine if the Volvo was 24 years old.