In motoring, Volvos have built a reputation marked by endurance, reliability, and safety.
They’re known for their long lifespans that would give Toyota a run for their money, but is it really true?
Do Volvos really last long? Well, let’s find out.
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Do Volvo Cars Last Long?
Volvo cars, old or new, last really long. They should easily last at least 250.000 miles. The record highest mileage on a car belongs to Volvo 1966 P1800S, which completed a colossal 3.2 million miles.
On average, you’ll likely see a Volvo last 20 years with more than 200,000 miles on the clock. However, this depends on how well looked after the car is. As long as it’s serviced regularly, has the odd small fix here and there, then it will likely last that long without fuss.
You’ll also have to put into account the environment the car is dealing with. If it’s quite harsh, then any car will see a reduced life expectancy. Cars that reside in extremely warm climates or brutally cold ones won’t live so long as the conditions will put greater strain on components.
That being said, the fact that Volvos are very well built will mean that they will last longer in extreme climates than a lot of other cars. Although Japanese companies like Honda and Toyota are incredibly well regarded for their almost invincible cars, Volvo should also be given similar praise.
Look around the internet, and you’ll find plenty of stories about people’s Volvos seemingly unable to give up the ghost.
You should also know if Volvo is expensive to maintain. The answer is in this article.
Why do Volvo Cars Last so Long?
1. They’re Extremely Well Built
For decades, Volvo has made it a goal in manufacturing well-engineered cars, so it’s only logical that something well built will keep going for a very long time. One reason for their outstanding build quality is partly thanks to the process of galvanizing the bodies.
Galvanizing is when a zinc layer is bonded to the steel through an electric current. This will stop corrosion from coming into play later on in the car’s life. These days, most manufacturers galvanize their cars, but many still don’t put as much research and development into their products as Volvo has and does.
Anyone who’s heard of Volvo will likely know they’re some of the safest cars ever made. To make cars so safe, attention to quality is needed. This goes for their modern cars and their older ones. Back in time, there were far fewer electronic devices on board, which meant fewer parts could go wrong.
During that time, cars and reliability weren’t so commonly found hand in hand. Volvo went against the grain like the Japanese manufacturers and made their cars possess a type of endurance rarely seen by motorists. The use of better materials towards engineering would help build their image as a seller of dependable cars.
This dedication to building machines that just don’t know when to quit is practically part of Volvo’s character and intent. Many car makers in various parts of Europe have had their moments in making unreliable models, but Volvo mostly stands as an exception.
2. They’re Made to Handle Scandinavian Conditions
Volvo hails from Sweden, and although it gets reasonably warm in summer there, the winters are bone-chilling. Because of living with extreme weather for long periods, it’s understandable that a car manufacturer would make a car a bit more well made than others.
Not only are Volvos built to tackle such sub-Arctic temperatures, but they are also tested in them. Like many fellow manufacturers, they too conduct cold-weather testing extensively. This testing puts the machinery closer to its limits of stamina and reduces the risks of releasing an unreliable product.
Through the sub-zero training, they can understand which parts will last and which ones won’t. It’s a very effective way of measuring a car’s reliability and knowing what might need to be improved. This is why even in Scandinavia’s frigid north, you will no doubt spot more than a few Volvos hanging around and dutifully in working order.
It’s no wonder then that the brand is Scandinavia’s biggest selling car manufacturer. While they have had the advantage of additionally being the largest local carmaker in the region, thus making it easier to develop a customer base, buyers there also purchase Volvos for being as durable as they are!
3. Owners Have a Habit of Looking After Them
If you have a Volvo under your care, then chances are you look after it better than most motorists do with their cars. Necessary maintenance is one of the core aspects of keeping any car working without issue. If not, then something mechanical is bound to go wrong and bring about a big repair bill.
Cars bearing the Volvo badge normally enjoy the care of owners who are willing to ensure their continued service. These cautious measures will minimize the chances of a massive break or failure. Specifically, there are a number of small ways you can keep a Volvo in good condition and prevent any trouble down the line.
- Regular tire rotations: This is something of a no-brainer. Eventually, the tires will fade and even start to affect handling. Changing them at the appropriate time window will help.
- Regular oil changes: Keeping the oil changed when needed is one of the basic ways in making a car live longer. That way, precious parts are lubricated and won’t wear down. It even improves engine efficiency.
- Responsible driving habits: Just making sure you keep your car’s nose clean will assist in lifespan. Less aggressive gear shifting, avoiding bad driving conditions when possible and not getting in any accidents play a part in having your Volvo go on and on.
As long as you’re willing to put in a bit of work and be on the lookout for anything going wrong, a Volvo will always stay ticking. Considering how safe they are and being advertised as such, it’s not a surprise that a lot of Volvo owners are quite responsible.
Of course, being a luxury brand means the costs of keeping Volvos in good shape are higher than a lot of other brands. However, compared to manufacturers that directly rival them like BMW and Audi, they’re actually cheaper to keep on the road. This detail will likely be a reason why owners are happy to put such effort in.
Also read: 3 Cheapest BMWs (with Maintenance Costs)
Which Volvo Cars Last Longest?
The Volvo cars that last longest are the 200 series, 700 series, and P1800. Today’s Volvos that are the most reliable are XC40 and XC60.
While most, if not all, cars in Volvo’s catalog will be very reliable, there are some that are particularly known for their toughness. The 200 Series, for example, is renowned for its durability. It’s not that uncommon to come across a 240 estate still roaming the roads with a fairly clean service history.
The larger 700 series also sits in Volvo’s history as one of the most dependable cars they’ve made. Both the 200 and 700 series were produced during a period where Volvo became highly well known for its safety and resilience. They weren’t the most stylish rides on the road, but their sturdy engineering meant you had a car that could almost live as long you!
Although, considering how one of them holds the record for highest mileage for a car, the P1800 must have the crown of most reliable Volvo. Built in the 60s, when construction was simple, its solid-as-a-rock build made it stand out from most sportscars of the time.
Back in those days, performance vehicles were near to reliable as rain in a desert. The P1800, on the other hand, walked a different path. Few cars like it could match its ability to keep going without fail.
As for the Volvos of today, surveys continue to put them in a good light. Cars like the XC40, XC60 have done well in ownership surveys as well as ones dealing with reliability. Unsurprisingly, the good press has led to Volvo cars being a fairly common sight.
Their angle towards absolute safety, comfort, and dependability didn’t fail in the past, and it certainly hasn’t failed now. Sales have continued to grow over time as the brand makes itself more and more known for its long-lasting vehicles.
Conclusion (and an Interesting Fact)
I hope you found this guide helpful. At the end of the day, there are several factors that come into play in how Volvo cars really last long. Their superior engineering, their rigorous testing in extreme temperatures, and their responsible owners all play a part in building this reputation. A perfect storm, you might say, for making a car that doesn’t give up.
An interesting fact about Volvo is its name means “I roll” in Latin, so it only seems fitting their cars will roll on and on without fail! While their older models are well established as some of the most reliable things on four wheels, their new cars carry on the legacy.