Volvo is a Swedish car company that offers impressive safety ratings and innovative technological features. As one of today’s most prominent luxury brands, the company’s mission is to focus its automotive designs on quality, safety, and environmental care. And because Volvo falls into the luxury category, purchase prices start around $35k yet reach upwards of $80k, making them a bit more costly to buy than other standard vehicles.
But when buying a new or used car, there’s much more to consider than the purchase price and the luxury label. For instance, how reliable is it? What do the repair expenses and general upkeep look like? Should you expect higher ownership costs as a Volvo owner because you drive a luxury brand? Let’s look.
How Reliable Are Volvo Automobiles?
Researching the car you want to buy—whatever the make or model—is a great way to better understand future expenses and determine if it’s a good fit for you overall. Part of this process involves analyzing the reliability rating and deciding whether the initial purchase price is worth the investment down the road, especially if you plan to keep the car for a while.
According to RepairPal, Volvo automobiles have above-average reliability, rating 3.5 out of 5.0. What does this mean? Well, Volvos are statistically more dependable than some other brands. For instance, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi each have lower reliability ratings, falling between 2.5-3.0/5.0. Therefore, you might encounter fewer mechanical issues driving a Volvo than these other brands.
Compared to all other models, RepairPal also notes that Volvo owners visit repair shops 0.5 times a year for unscheduled maintenance versus 0.4 for all other models. So, mechanical issues might pop up more frequently with a Volvo. But are Volvos expensive to maintain since they face more trips to the repair shop than other non-luxury vehicles like Hondas or Toyotas? Keep reading to find out!
How Much Do Volvo Repairs Cost?
A car’s maintenance history can significantly impact future repair needs, regardless of the model. When you neglect routine maintenance or issues that occur over time, it can lead to more mechanical breakdowns, especially as a vehicle ages and puts on more miles. And without a solid car warranty helping cover the repair bill, you could face a solo part replacement for upwards of $1k or more. Let’s explore a couple of models, their ownership costs, and the expenses you could face to complete repair work for each:
2019 Volvo S60
As a vehicle that ranks #9 out of 22 by US News & World Report for Luxury Small Cars in 2019, the Volvo S60 offers many standard tech features and a high crash safety rating—9.8/10. In addition, the 5-seater provides ample interior space with comfortable, roomy seating, lively acceleration, and a high fuel economy. But how does it stand regarding the money you must put into it?
Ownership cost projections are $5,820 per year, making the Volvo S60 below average for a car of its class. However, annual maintenance costs are higher than the industry average and are $750.
To get a better idea of what a trip to the mechanic might cost you without having a solid car warranty to fall back on, consider the following part replacement costs:
|Powertrain Control Module||$1,063–$1,085|
|Turbocharger Intercooler Tube||$855–$1,039|
|Power Steering Control Module||$457–$517|
As a luxury SUV with ample passenger space and an updated interior with synthetic leather upholstery, the 2019 XC60 ranks #7 out of 14 by US News & World Report for Luxury Compact Small Cars. This model offers user-friendly infotainment interfaces, generous cargo space, and top-notch safety scores, getting a 9.9/10.
Ownership cost projections are $6,160 per year, which is also below average for its class. But, RepairPal projects annual maintenance costs at $746, which is higher than other standard brands but lower than several luxury cars. What are some repair costs you might encounter driving an XC60? Consider the following replacement part expenses:
|Suspension Shock or Strut||$2,403–$2,445|
Derived from RepairPal.com
How Much Is Preventative Maintenance?
Staying on top of the manufacturer-recommended services is critical to car ownership. If you want to keep your car running well, you must take care of it. Consider the following routine upkeep estimates:
- Volvo S40 oil change: $154–$179
- Volvo 960 windshield wiper blade replacement: $96–$104
- Volvo V40 air filter change: $44–$49
- Volvo XC90 air filter change: $65–$86
- Volvo V50 and 760 tire rotation: $44–$56
- Volvo 940 wheel alignment: $132–$167
- Volvo 780 wheel alignment: $165–$208
Derived from RepairPal.com
Will a Volvo Warranty Save You Money?
Yes! While maintenance fees can fluctuate depending on your car’s age, mileage, location, and the mechanic you use, repair estimates for Volvo automobiles stand at $769 annually. Unfortunately, these numbers might be out of budget for some drivers, especially when combined with other ownership costs like paying for auto insurance and keeping the tank full. But having a reliable and active auto warranty can help cut repair costs and protect your budget from unexpected car bills.
Relying on a Volvo Car Warranty
Every new Volvo car comes with four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing your contract will protect your vehicle and wallet from high repair costs during the early years of ownership. But after that, you’re on your own. How do you avoid breaking the bank once that contract runs out? You can extend your coverage through your dealership or invest in a plan with a third-party provider.
Volvo offers three extended limited service contracts under its Volvo Increased Protection (VIP) plans, including Powertrain, Gold, and Platinum. Each option provides an additional 6 years or 120,000 miles of protection, with the Platinum contract being the most comprehensive.
If you purchase a new Volvo, you can add this coverage anytime, but only within the age and mileage restrictions. AutomoBlog notes that the cutoff period for a VIP plan is 10 years or 120,000 miles. Volvo also offers extended vehicle protection for certified used car buyers. However, the coverage has limitations, and qualifying for it depends on the vehicle’s make, model, and mileage.
Opting for a Third-Party Service Contract
But what if you bought a used Volvo without warranty protection, and your car doesn’t qualify for extended coverage through the dealership now? When this is the case, you can always invest in a vehicle service contract (VSC) from a reputable extended luxury car warranty company.
Providers like Endurance, CarShield, and Olive offer flexible car plans for eligible luxury vehicles, ranging from basic to comprehensive. They even provide additional perks like 24/7 roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, and alternate transportation benefits.
How Do You Decide If a Volvo Is Worth It?
Now that you know the potential repair costs and ways to protect yourself from out-of-pocket expenses, one question remains: Is it worth it? How you answer this question ultimately depends on your personal needs/wants and what you believe are the most critical factors of car ownership.
If safety is of concern, Volvo might be the right choice for you—Volvo is one of the industry’s safest brands. But you might weigh your options and research other luxury alternatives if reliability is a concern. For instance, compare and contrast common repairs, part recalls, and breakdown frequency. Some Volvo models are more dependable than others.
If luxury is what you want, you might consider that Volvo ownership costs are lower for a car in its class. Remember, luxury comes at a higher price. While Volvo parts are more affordable than other popular luxury brands, they are more expensive than other standard options.
Whatever you decide, ensure you’re never without a strong breakdown coverage plan that protects you from paying for some of a car’s most pricey repairs. The best one will help save money on preventative maintenance costs and cover you during a roadside emergency. Start by reviewing our top recommended luxury vehicle warranty programs to find a policy that fits your needs and budget.