Volvo vs Audi: Which Is More Reliable?

Volvo vs Audi Reliability

There is no doubt about Audi’s reliability. However, when they are placed in comparison, it is clear that Volvo is more reliable than Audi. Volvo offers higher safety ratings, better gas mileage, and is more durable.

The truth is that Audi and Volvo brands are two companies with different ideologies, design philosophies, and target audiences. While Volvo aims at building the safest luxury car in the world, Audi is interested in performance, sporty looks, and driving pleasure. This impacts the reliability and standard of features available in cars produced by both brands.

You will likely find old Volvo cars with up to 250,000 miles on them still on the streets of Sweden. This cannot be said of Audi cars. There are areas in which Audi performs exceptionally, like engine strength and engineering, but Volvo does better with ergonomics and comfort.

Read on to find out more about Volvo vs. Audi reliability and why Volvo is more reliable.

Volvo vs. Audi Reliability: Detailed Comparison

Emphasizes safety and comfort
Emphasizes driving pleasure
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Volvo cars last up to 200,000 – 250,000 miles with 20 years of extensive use.
Audi cars last up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles with an average life span of 10 to 15 years.
Gas Mileage

Volvo’s Pros and Cons


  • Safety Leadership: Volvo's commitment to safety is unparalleled, often leading the industry with innovative safety features and technologies.
  • Durability and Longevity: Volvos are known for their durability, with many vehicles reaching high mileage with proper maintenance.
  • Comfort and Design: Focus on ergonomic design and comfort, offering a pleasant driving experience.


  • Higher Maintenance Costs: Despite their reliability, Volvos can come with higher maintenance and repair costs compared to some competitors.
  • Performance: While solid, Volvo's performance may not always match the sportiness or acceleration of some rivals.
  • Design Criticisms: Recent design choices have faced some criticisms for functionality, especially regarding accessibility for repairs.

Audi’s Pros and Cons


  • Performance and Engineering: Audi is renowned for its engineering excellence and high-performance vehicles, including the award-winning TFSI engines.
  • Cutting-edge Technology: Offers advanced technology and features, with a focus on enhancing driving experience and comfort.
  • Aesthetic Design: Audi vehicles are known for their stylish and premium design, appealing to those valuing aesthetics.


  • Reliability Concerns: Some Audi models have faced reliability issues, affecting long-term ownership costs.
  • Cost of Ownership: High repair and maintenance costs, particularly for out-of-warranty vehicles.
  • Durability: While Audi cars offer premium features, their durability and longevity may not always match those of the top competitors.

Which Is Better: Volvo or Audi?

It is undoubtedly true that Volvos are better than Audi when it comes to reliability. Volvo’s reliability has soared higher than Audi’s for several years now, even across different models. In 2020, according to Driver Power, the Volvo XC40 earned the award as the most reliable car.

The reliability index ranked Volvo 23/40, with a reliability score of 127. This was higher than Audi’s 34/40 position. RepairPal 2022 reliability survey rates Volvo as the 17th most reliable car amongst 32 car brands, with a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0.

On the other hand, Audi was rated 28th out of 32 car brands, with a reliability rating of 3.0/5.0. Volvos have a higher reliability score than Audi, and Volvos are also cheaper to maintain than Audis.

One of the easiest (traditional) ways of judging a reliable car brand is how frequently they are used as taxis. It is more common to find Volvos used as taxis than Audis. You will only use a car for a taxi if the cost of ownership is relatively affordable.

Audis are not trash cars. They’ve improved their standards and upgraded the features and quality of their cars. However, Volvo does it better when it comes to mechanical, quality, and safety standards.

Volvo cars also last longer than Audis. The most mileage ever achieved on a car is 3 million miles, and this was achieved on a Volvo P1800. As a matter of fact, Volvo grants you gold membership for getting your Volvo car to 500,000 miles.

This shows that the Volvo brand understands that with proper maintenance, its cars can last up to 500,000 miles.

This is unlike Audi, which is not only riddled with problems but also problems that are expensive and harder to fix.

Warranty Comparison

Volvo Warranty
Audi Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles
4 years/50,000 miles
Routine Maintenance
3 years/36,000 miles
First service at 12 months/10,000 miles
Roadside Assistance
4 years/50,000 miles
Hybrid System Coverage
8 years/100,000 miles
Not specified
Safety Restraint Coverage
5 years/unlimited miles
Not specified
Corrosion Warranty
Not specified
12 years
Powertrain Coverage
Included in Bumper-to-Bumper
Not specified, but covered under New Vehicle Limited Warranty


If design is your primary concern, then you should go for Volvo. The Volvo design appeals to drivers with families and kids. Audis are for the younger generation yearning for looks.

However, when it comes to the durability of the designs of both cars, Volvo wins. You can define Volvo’s designs as a “car made out of rocks.” These cars are built rock solid.

Audi can’t boast of the same build quality as Volvo, but they’ve got great things going on in their production lines. With the 4-wheel Quattro drive, aerodynamics, and strong aluminum body, Audi has a production quality that we can’t easily disregard.

Recently, Volvo seems to be losing it in the battle for great designs. We have lots of manufacturers complaining about the thoughtlessness of Volvo’s designs. Volvo uses a transverse hood design, while Audi’s are longitudinal.

Although Volvo uses the transverse arrangement to save space, the Audi design is cleaner, neater, and easily accessible. As a mechanic, you will find it hard to access the exhaust and turbocharger. You will have to battle with the huge subframe and gearbox to get under the car.

Winner: Audi

Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to maintain/repair a Volvo than an Audi. It costs an annual average of $769 to repair/maintain a Volvo. This is unlike Audi, which costs $987. On average, it is costlier to repair and maintain Volvo and Audi cars than other cars in different categories.

You must understand that with a Volvo car, you will visit the repair shop less than you would with an Audi. Volvos have a 9% chance of major repairs and a 0.5 chance of minor repairs. Unlike Audi, which has a 0.8 chance of minor repairs and a 13% chance of major repairs.

Below, we’ve given you an idea of how much the average annual maintenance costs are for sedans and compact and midsize SUVs.

Vehicle Type
Volvo Model
Average Annual Maintenance Cost
Audi Model
Average Annual Maintenance Cost
Volvo S60
Audi A4
Compact SUV
Volvo XC40
Audi Q3
Midsize SUV
Volvo XC90
Audi Q7

Winner: Volvo


Volvo cars are sturdy and built solid. These cars have amazing longevity that will take a lot of effort for Audi to match. With Volvo, you are assured of a strong frame, reinforced steel, and high-quality materials that ensure they last long.

As a car with German origins, there’s much hope for Audi cars. This is not reflected in the standard of quality that they deliver.

Audi cars are not durable on a long-term scale, but you should expect them to last up to 150,000 miles and ten years of extended use.  Volvos can exceed 250,000 miles, aiming for 20 years of use.

Winner: Volvo


Both Volvo and Audi assure users of an impressive driving mechanism characterized by speed, control, and power. Aside from these, Audi has more good things going on with its engines than what is obtainable on Volvos.

Audi boasts of the TSFI engine that broke the automobile industry and won multiple awards. The Audi 2.0 and 2.5 TSFI were awarded the International Engine of the Year for nine consecutive years from 1999 to 2018. We can’t fail to mention the Audi Quattro technology.

However, this doesn’t mean that Volvo engines are entirely trash. The engine comparison of Volvo and Audi cars lies in their respective models. The Volvo S60 delivers more horsepower and torque than the Audi A4, but the Audi A4, 45 TFSI engine, achieves more horsepower and torque than the Volvo S60.

Winner: Both

Gas Mileage

There is no clear verdict on which brand does it better with gas mileage. Volvo and Audi are not the best names in terms of gas mileage, but there are some worthy mentions.

The comparison between Volvo and Audi’s gas mileage lies in the different models they produce. For instance, the Volvo XC60 has a lesser gas mileage than Audi Q5, but the Volvo S60 has better gas mileage than Audi A4.

It is important that you confirm the descriptions of your preferred model and analyze its gas mileage to know if it meets your needs.

Winner: Both

Safety and Technology

Which is safer, Audi or Volvo? There are no arguments that Volvo cars are safer than Audi cars. More importantly, Volvos are classified as one of the safest cars in the world. You cannot compare Audi’s safety technology to Volvo’s safety systems.

According to Thatcham’s research, it is recorded that nobody has ever died in a Volvo XC90 in the UK. This is since the launch of its first-generation model in 2002. Quite a huge record to turn a blind eye to.

Audi has an impressive structure for technology, but not to be compared to what Volvo offers. The crumple zones, 360-degree camera, ABS braking systems, and many other safety features earned Volvo 15 IIHS top safety pick awards in 2021, whereas Audi has ten cars on the award.

Winner: Volvo


Choosing between a Volvo and an Audi depends on whether you want durability and safety or performance and speed. Volvo cars last long, but their designs are usually plain. If your needs revolve around getting a beautiful car, you should go for Audi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Volvos good long-term cars?

Yes. Volvos are great long-term cars. The durability, safety, and the fact that you will spend less time with a mechanic make them a good choice for a long-term car.

Does Volvo need premium gas?

Yes. Volvo needs premium gas. It is advisable that you use premium gas on your Volvo, with an octane rating of 91 or above.

What happens if you put regular gas in an Audi?

What will happen if you put regular gas in an Audi depends on whether you are driving a new or old model Audi. Some new Audi models can safely run on regular gas without any implications. Using regular gas can affect the performance of your Audi when premium gas is required and, in some cases, can void your warranty.