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Car brand reviews

Should I buy a Volvo car?

By Martin Pratt

Article 24 of 24

Volvo manages to combine practicality with stylish design and a luxurious feel. Read on to find out more about Volvo and what it has to offer

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Volvo was once part of the Ford empire, but Sweden's number-one car brand is now owned by China's biggest independent carmaker, Geely. Volvo's HQ is in Sweden but some manufacturing now also takes place in China.

Volvo has increasingly pursued a green agenda with its range of efficient ‘Drive-E’ powertrains. These include plug-in hybrid vehicles – both petrol/electric and diesel/electric – such as the V60 Twin Engine and XC90 Twin Engine.

Volvo's emphasis has always been on safety as well as build quality. Does this translate to dependability in everyday use? You can find out all about Volvo reliability in our expert reviews.

Find a Volvo that works for you by checking out our Volvo car reviews.

Which? Carmaker Brand of 2018

Volvo drove away with this year’s Which? Car Brand of the Year 2018 award. It’s the first time the Swedish brand has picked up this award.

Volvo stood out for its high praise from customers, but it’s the company’s solid safety record that put it ahead of other shortlisted candidates.

It was the first brand to ever get a four-star rating from Euro NCAP for protecting occupants, and every Volvo car tested by Euro NCAP since 2009 has received a five-star rating.

In 2017, the Volvo XC60 was the safest car in its class and Euro NCAP’s safest car overall. Volvo cars regularly get our experts’ seal of approval. While Volvo only has one Best Buy, there isn’t a single Volvo car you can buy new that we’d advise against.

We’re pleased to see Volvo making efforts to reduce emissions with its ‘Drive-E’ engines. And while car brands such as Volkswagen have been embroiled in emissions scandals, Volvo has kept its name clean.

‘I’m on my fifth Volvo and it’s the best one. It fulfils all my family needs, looks fantastic and drives superbly. It is future-proofed technologically. It can cope with all road conditions and is totally reliable. A pleasure to get into, as a driver or passenger.’

Volvo owner

How reliable are Volvo cars? 

Every year, we run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Volvo owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to three years old, and also cars aged between three and eight years old. 

Which? members can log in and use the table below to find out just how reliable Volvo cars really are. Not yet a Which? member? Join Which? to unlock all of our reliability ratings and our online reviews.

Volvo car reliability
  Ratings and review
Table notes
Results from the 2018 Which? Car Survey (results gathered from 43,027 owners, about 51,172 cars, between December 2017 and February 2018).


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Find out how Volvo's reliability compares to its rivals - check our car brand reliability tool.

How much do Volvo cars cost?

Volvo effectively occupies the 'middle zone' between the mainstream and premium markets, slightly undercutting German rivals such as Audi and BMW.

Its entry-level model is the Volvo V40, priced from around £21,000. Right at the top end, the top-spec Volvo C90 Twin Engine breaks through the £70,000 barrier.

Volvo also often has interesting PCP (loan towards buying the car outright) and finance deals on offer.

Can you trust Volvo cars? Find out – we reveal the most reliable car brands.

Volvo V90 2017 slide

Volvo XC60 2017 slide

Choosing the best Volvo car

Volvo’s range is all about robust, practical, family-orientated cars – whether that’s the V40 hatchback or the top-of-the-range XC90.

The range splits into medium-sized hatchbacks (V40), large saloons (Volvo S60 and Volvo S90), large estate cars (Volvo V60 and Volvo V90) and a broad range of 4x4 models.

As well as popular SUV 4x4s, such as the XC40, Volvo XC60 and Volvo XC90, Volvo offers ‘Cross Country’ off-road-ready 4x4 versions of its mainstream estate cars. This includes the V40 CC, Volvo V60 CC and Volvo V90 CC.

Find out if any of these Volvo cars make it into our expert round-up of the UK's top cars.