Volkswagen vs Volvo: Which Is More Reliable?

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability

Volvos are usually known for their durability and safety. Vehicles from the Volvo brand are built like rocks, often lasting longer than expected.

Volkswagens aren't bad either. They are cheap, and maintenance costs are cheaper. You can expect a decent level of durability from them.

Well, in a close comparison between these brands, is Volvo more reliable than Volkswagen?

The truth is, Volkswagens are just as reliable as Volvos. Both Volkswagen and Volvo offer an impressive level of fuel efficiency, engine performance, and fair standards of reliability.

In some cases, you'll get better gas mileage on Volkswagen, other times, it gets better with Volvo. While Volvo beats Volkswagen with high safety ratings, Volkswagen wins with cheaper repair and maintenance costs.

Here's a detailed comparison of the Volkswagen vs Volvo reliability, to help you make the right decision for you.

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: A Detailed Comparison

Individual mobility, technology, and human-centered 
Safety-Inspired; Elegant and Minimalistic
Gas Mileage
Repair and Maintenance Cost
High Safety Ratings 
Higher Safety Ratings
Volkswagen cars last between 100,000 to 200,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 7 - 13 years.
Volvo cars have an average lifespan of 200,000 to 250,000 miles or 20 years of extensive use.
Engine and Performance

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Which is better?

Comparing the reliability of Volvo and Volkswagen isn’t an easy task. Even though Volvo is one of the safest cars in the world, it isn't a guarantee that they are extremely reliable.

Both brands are constantly improving their vehicles, upgrading their features to offer users premium satisfaction. That’s why we've come to the conclusion that Volvos are just as good as Volkswagens.

To get the best from these cars, you must decide what your immediate needs are, and what you prioritize in a vehicle.

According to RepairPal, Volvo has a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, ranking 17th out of 32 car brands. Volkswagen assumes the 12th position, with a 3.5/5.0 reliability rating.

However, it's an entirely different case on the consumer reports 2022 reliability survey where Volvo outranks Volkswagen. Volvo is the 14th most reliable car brand while Volkswagen takes the 22nd position. On the 2022 JD Power Dependability survey, Volkswagen outranks Volvo.

Don’t let the different rating confuse you. Reliability doesn't start and end with ratings. A thorough study of the features, strengths, and weaknesses of these brands gives you a better insight into overall reliability.

If there's one area that you can always rely on Volvo, it is safety. However, this comes at a cost; higher repair and maintenance costs. Volvo is a premium brand, unlike Volkswagen. So, you many parts are more expensive to replace.

Buying a Volvo over a Volkswagen may boil down to your budget. If you can afford it, go for a Volvo. The interiors are amazing. It offers an amazing drive experience, and improved aerodynamics that enhance your fuel efficiency.

Volkswagen is not a luxury brand, but this doesn't mean that their designs are trash. They also have quality interiors, great designs, and durable frames. However, the entire concept of Volkswagen cars is to build cars that everyone can afford.

Volvo and Volkswagen offer a 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and powertrain warranty. Although there are offers for an extended warranty, the differences aren't much for both brands. In terms of gas mileage, you're pretty much getting the same thing from both brands, depending on which model you choose.

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Design

We cannot conclude the reliability of a car brand without considering the designs. The design comparison doesn't solely focus on how beautiful cars from these brands are. It’s about the space, the interior quality, usability, and durability of designs.

Volkswagen vehicles are known for their sporty and modern designs, with a focus on performance and style. For example, the Volkswagen Golf GTI features a sleek and aerodynamic exterior, with a bold front grille and sharp lines.

Volvo vehicles, on the other hand, are known for their elegant and minimalist designs, with a focus on safety and comfort. The Volvo XC60, for example, features a simple yet stylish exterior, with clean lines and a refined look.

Winner: Both

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Engine and Performance

Whether you're going for a Volvo or a Volkswagen, you can expect good engines with impressive performance. Both brands offer a wide range of engines that capture different driving needs.

However, Volkswagen tends to offer more reliable systems on its electric models. This can vary in some models.

For instance; the Volvo XC40 Recharge delivers up to 223 miles of range, but the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro equipped with a standard single motor delivers 280 miles of range.

While the Volkswagen alternative delivers more in driving range, the Volvo XC40 Recharge beats it by achieving 402 HP on all of its engine configurations. Compare this to the Volkswagen which has a max engine output of 295 horsepower.

With close comparisons of Volvo and Volkswagen engines, there isn't any evidence that Volvo has better engines than Volkswagen.

It's true that durability is relative and there are a lot of factors that affect how long your car's engines can last. Nevertheless, the level of performance you'll get from either of these brands depends on the model that you choose.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has dual engine options that deliver 235 hp and 276 hp, respectively. The 2023 Volvo XC40also has two engines, but the performance is pegged at 194 hp and 247 hp.

While the Volkswagen Atlas returns better engine power than the Volvo XC40, the 2022 Volvo XC60, and 2023 Volvo XC40 return more horsepower and torque than the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.

Winner: Both

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Gas Mileage

You also get relatively the same level of fuel efficiency from Volvo and Volkswagen. Of coure, the specific model impacts gas milease.

Both Volkswagen and Volvo offer relatively fuel-efficient vehicles. Volkswagen's Jetta sedan gets an estimated 30 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway. The Volkswagen Passat gets an estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.

Volvo's XC40 SUV gets an estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway. The Volvo S60 sedan gets an estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

Overall, both brands offer fuel-efficient vehicles that help you save money on gas.


Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Safety and Technology

Both Volkswagen and Volvo are known for their advanced safety features and technology.

Volkswagen vehicles come equipped with a range of safety features. They include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Volvo vehicles also offer similar features, like lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, and across-traffic traffic alert.

Both brands also offer advanced infotainment systems with touchscreen displays and smartphone integration, making it easy to stay connected while on the road.

Winner: Volvo

Volkswagen vs Volvo Reliability: Repair and Maintenance Costs

It's a clear win for Volkswagen against Volvo in terms of repair and maintenance costs. Volkswagens are relatively more affordable to maintain and repair compared to Volvos.

According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for a Volkswagen is $676, while the average annual repair cost for a Volvo is $769. The probability of major and minor repairs is also higher on Volvo than on Volkswagen.

Winner: Volkswagen


The beauty of the Volvo vs Volkswagen reliability comparison is that whether you choose to go for a Volvo or a Volkswagen, you'll get a generally reliable vehicle.

However, before choosing any vehicle from these brands, you must compare their features. Volvo cars come at a higher price, but you must decide if the extra cash is worth it.