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Volvo reliability and cost of ownership

hi, I am looking a purchasing new vehicle and have always liked the Volvo XC 70 station wagon/crossover the new T5 e-drive or 3.2AWD (not turbo - its out of my budget). I am trying to get user review information but not finding much info. Since Geely acquired Volvo (and even prior to that when it was under Ford), I know that Volvo presence in the US has plummeted and with the recent news of Volvo introducing a car made in China to US market, I am afraid it will further impact US market. Does anyone have any feedback on the overall quality and reliability of Volvo XC70?? I know this model is not common, but am also concerned if Volvo in the US has continued future.

I have a VOLVO but with the limited dealership network I would not buy another one. And if someone even uses the word ( budget ) they should not be looking at luxury or boutique nameplates.

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Volvos–like other European makes–can be very nice to own during the warranty period.
Once the warranty expires, I would advise dumping one of these cars before you get into the cycle of $1,000 repairs a couple of times each year.

As I tell my friends…I owned a Volvo…ONCE.

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The body and seats in the Volvo XC70 are terrific. As a new car it works great. Once the warranty expires this is a very, Very, VERY expensive car to own. Repairs on older XC70’s are frequent and staggaringly expensive. I’d suggest you look at a Toyota Venza, or Honda CrossTour. If you don’t like them there are lots of other cars of similar size and capacity with AWD available. I owned a couple of XC70’s and I speak from experience on this one. I don’t think Chinese ownership has made a difference for either better or worse.

That’s one of the more reliable Volvos, according to Consumer Reports. Average to above average overall for the last 10 years. Cost of ownership will be higher than for the Japanese or American brands.

Who knows what’s in store? Not me…

Volvo sales are up and I know a few people that bought new volvos and they have been trouble free. I live close to a dealer and he looks like he’s moving cars. Also, they have the best seats. If you like the car buy it.

Edmunds has a feature called True Cost to Own. The URL is at the bottom of this post. You can get 5 year ownership costs for the XC90 and the competition. New cars have about 3 years of zero costs, and you might want to pick a 3 or 4 year old vehicle to compare costs between the Volvo and competitors.

My Uncle traded in the last of a series of XC70’s on a new Lexus after being told he needed a new transmission (to the tune of a round $4,000) Sounded like he just got tired of the upkeep costs for the amount of miles he drives. He and his wife drive between Arizona and Washington twice a year (She doesn’t like to fly long distance) so they needed a more reliable car.

It’s not a car I could easily recommend given Volvo’s shaky reliability record and the high cost of maintenance and repairs, but it’s also a car with very few direct competitors if you like station wagon styling. The Venza is very decent, and super reliable, being essentially a Camry wagon, but not from a prestige brand. Likewise, there is always the Subaru Outback, which has just been redesigned and looks considerably improved. But it keeps getting taller and more like an SUV in styling. In the luxury ranks there is the Audi All-Road, a raised A4 Avant (which isn’t sold in the US anymore). It’s reliability is likely to be wretched. A bit better would be the BMW 325i wagon, which is AWD, but not raised up. It’s the sportiness of the bunch. And, if course, there are a whole bunch of true crossovers from every make out there (almost). The Acura RDX is a good value and very well made. I also like the Infiniti QX50, but it isn’t nearly as roomy, especially in its rather small cargo area. It’s more like a very elegant hatchback.

I think of all the euro luxury cars, Volvo is right down there with the various british cars

In terms of reliability

No offense intended to any volvo fans reading this


It’s nice to read that some Volvo models actually have improved reliability. Just the same, ownership costs will be high and as pointed out, you should live close to the dealer. And trade when the warranty is up.

There are better choices in the mid luxury market than Volvos.

“improved reliability” is relative

improved reliability, as opposed to hopeless . . . ?

“should live close to the dealer.”


Right next door to the dealer, in fact. So that you won’t have to pay for that tow. You can just push the car to your next door neighbor, the dealer

One more thing to consider… You simply can’t beat Volvo for safety. It will cost you more to own, yes that is true. However, it is one of the safest brands to own if not the safest. If you can afford it, your family will not regret it in the event of an accident.

Volvo was a leader in safety thirty or forty years ago. Not so much now, with governments requiring all cars be very safe. Volvo cars do well in crash tests, but so do many others. There is no reason to buy a poorly built Volvo when you can buy well built cars that are just as safe.


I think these results would suggest I am correct on safety. Highest rating in all categories.

Volvos are certainly safe, but so are many other vehicles now. These ratings take into account all available crash tests, plus the effect of weight:

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If you click on the Home button of the NHTSA site in your link and then set up the filter system to list all the vehicle ratings in Volvo’s class, you’ll find numerous vehicles with five star ratings in all the crash tests and a great many more with ratings as high as Volvos.

As Mark wrote, many decades ago they created a reputation for themselves of being safer than most, but other makes have all caught up and many have even surpassed Volvos. The technologies that Volvo promoted to create their reputation are all commonplace now and there are much more advanced crashworthiness technologies that are now standard in all cars.

Volvos are certainly good cars for those who like them and can afford the upkeep, but for anyone on a budget I would recommend against them. There are better choices IMHO.

I commend you for linking the NHTSA website. That’s the best source of crashworthiness data there is.

Also, not all Volvos are safe. Remember the S40? It was built on one of Ford’s chassis, and did poorly in crash tests.

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I agree there is no reason to buy a Volvo for safety reasons; all cars are safe now, although Volvos have good bodies.

However you’ll go broke on the mechanical and other repairs to get to the point in the car’s life where that “good body” will show its benefits compared to other cars.

If you really like this car it might be a good one to lease, at least you limit your exposure if these cars suffer a precipitous drop in value…