Volvo vs Audi Reliability (Full Expert Review)

Car reliability is probably one of the most important aspects for any consumer looking to buy a new car these days. Yes, purchase price, running costs etc. are still the most important aspects when researching which new car to buy, longevity and prospective repair costs, however, can be quite significant costs over the lifecycle of a car. 

Having had a variety of cars over the last decade certainly gives me a good perspective of what brand, in general, comes with better reliability than others. My latest car is an Audi, which I bought nearly brand new 9 years ago. Although my mileage is very low I hope I can give you a hands-on experience of how reliable Audi’s are. Luckily, one of my good friends is a keen Volvo driver so I sat him down in order to get the scoop from his side so we can compare those two wonderful car brands. Stay tuned and read on!

Of course, as in all things, individual experiences and opinions vary which can not be generalised for every car ever produced by a certain brand. 

Are Volvos better than Audi?

Volvo is a well-known Swedish car manufacturer which was established in 1927. The company was bought by Ford in 1999 and then subsequently by the Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely in 2010. 

Volvo is particularly known for its detailed focus on safety which has led the company to issue one of the most powerful objectives I have ever heard:

“Our Safety Vision is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. It is rooted in our leadership in safety and the fact that everything we do starts with protecting the people inside and around our cars. Our aim is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo. While we are proud of what we have achieved so far, we are not satisfied yet.”

Audi is one of the most recognised car brands worldwide. Belonging to the German powerhouse company Volkswagen, the company was originally established in 1885. Audis are synonymous with elegance, power and the highest degree of refined German manufacturing. 

The recent emission scandal had a somewhat limited impact on the company’s image with the new vision firmly looking for sustainable and climate-friendly cars going forward. 

Both car brands offer a variety of cars with Volvo firmly already offering hybrid or electric models only while petrol or diesel-fuelled cars are still being sold by Audi.

What is better is a very tough question. It depends on what you like and it usually comes down to pricing and one’s personal taste for the various designs and features. It probably is similar to anyone buying sports shoes or any other brand-related item which comes with a relatively high degree of loyalty over the years. 

Is Audi cheaper to maintain than Volvo?

Both cars are relatively similar in pricing with certain models starting at $45,000. Meanwhile, maintenance costs are also comparable with both ranging around $12,500 over a 10-year period. 

Is Volvo safer than Audi?

Given Volvo’s strong safety statement you would expect their cars to be the safest on the road. We researched the subject and found tons of data from Euro NCAP who themselves test cars and issue safety ratings. 

On their website, you can select the relevant year and model and see for yourself how different car manufacturers and their models compare. 

The below table summarises the overall ratings which indicate that Volvo indeed has an overall higher safety rating compared to Audi. 

Volvo vs Audi Reliability (Full Expert Review)
Source: Vanarama

Is Volvo more reliable than German cars?

Reliability as stated further above is a very subjective measure. As for my Audi, over the past 9 years I really only had to get the air conditioning unit replaced which apparently is quite a common issue across car brands. The tip here is to also use your air conditioning during winter just so the system is being used. As for the engine and other parts, I really can no complain. The automatic folding of the wing mirrors is these days a bit of hit and miss but I am sure that on my next service, which will be in a few weeks’ time, those little niggles will be ironed out. 

Similarly, my friend tells me of similarly high levels of reliability of his Volvo which he had for 7 years now. He uses it more frequently than me, however, as well as driving long distances over the summer holidays. 

For a more objective review, we looded at data which is compiled by Consumer Reports, a non-profit organization which has an annual study on car reliability. Much to my surprise, neither Volvo nor Audi are top-ranking brands, which are all coming from Japan. 

In the below table which has been kindly put together by our friends from Statista, you will have to look towards the middle to find Volvo and Audi with Audi (51) beating Volvo (41) comfortably while still being relatively average in comparison to all other brands. 

Volvo vs Audi Reliability (Full Expert Review)
Source: Statista

Are Volvos cheaper than Audis?

When comparing similar cars in terms of size, fuel, loading capacity and extras we found relatively little price discrepancy between the two car manufacturers. This also makes sense since both are in the race of acquiring a similar customer base. 

Are Volvos high quality?

Despite Volvo’s ownership changes over the past 2 decades, the quality and design of the cars have not changed and are on par with their German manufacturers from Audi and BMW. 

Having driven around in both cars over the past few weeks I can report from my personal experience that there is undeniably a lot of craftsmanship going each individual car that is leaving the conveyor belt in Sweden or in Germany. 

Final Thoughts

Buying a car is usually a once-in-a-decade decision people have to go through, some probably more often. Reliability is just as important as its price tag as a poorly manufactured car can ultimately cost you a lot more over its lifetime. 

We have looked at both Volvo and Audi and their reliability and safety are pretty solid. They both, however, are not top-ranked when compared to other brands. 

As for me, I still like my Audi and it served me well as it now enters its 10th year of service for our family. Long may it continue!

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