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For the first two years of my SPA vehicle (2019 XC60) it was fantastic. Had a few recalls (like tailgate struts and wiper arms) but nothing that I'd consider serious. However, just past the two year mark my XC60 has taken a drastic shift into "unreliable". It's been to the dealer three times in the last month. I've spent two weeks of the last four in a loaner car. First issue was a CEL. Then TPMS failure (says all four tires are low, when they're not. Resetting the system clears it for a few minutes but the warning will come back). Now the SRS light is on and a message displays saying I should go immediately to the garage. Dealer says I need a new SRS module, but they're on backorder.

I love the way my XC60 looks. I love how comfortable it is. I like how it drives. Sensus works fine, for me. But I'm getting really nervous about what this vehicle is going to be like, out of warranty.

A couple months ago, I would have defended Volvo and said people claiming unreliability were too nit-picky. But sorry, I am with them, now. There is no excuse for the issues I've had with my XC60. I hope Volvo can get my car sorted out and maybe it'll earn my confidence back, over time? But right now, I'm not happy. Maybe Consumer Reports is on to something?
If it makes you feel better the TPMS on my Mazda drove me nuts until I replaced a couple failed sensors, it randomly decided tires were low for no reason we could figure out. I ended up just getting new sensors until it behaved.
My experience with Volvo is mixed. I had a 740 Turbo in the family that got passed along for 25 years or so and close to 300,000 miles. It was bought as a dealer demo with about 10,000 miles and from DAY 1 it had annoying issues. Over the decades all kinds of things went wrong with it but none of them ever stopped it from driving and it got sold in running condition. My mother had a 2000 V70XC that was CPO and as soon as the CPO ran out at 100K it went on to a career of endless expensive problems until it got sold and then did the same for the new owners.
My 2005 V70 had a bunch of stuff I had to straighten out when I first got it, total about $500 to DIY it all and has been great ever since. I think it is the last pure Swede before Ford got into it and is a sweet spot as far as problems. None of them equal the reliability of the various Japanese cars we have owned.
Our 2016 V60 has only been through about 3 tanks of gas since we bought it and so far it needed a new secondary battery and no other issues. It will be under CPO past the time it will be paid off, so we'll have a decision to make at that point as to keeping the car or selling it with some warranty left.
 

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I am one year into my first ever experience with a Volvo, and my XC90 has been great. But I have to say that anybody who disparages Consumer Reports simply because they gave bad marks to Volvo, or because their hair dryer performed differently, has little credibility with me.

Back in the olden days we used to pay a lot of attention to Consumer Reports reliability ratings. This is basically all that we had. Now there are many sources, and Consumer Reports is but one. Personally, I don’t pay much attention anymore to CU reliability ratings for cars (but I do pay attention to their general impressions, road tests, summary specifications, etc). What I have found is that modern cars are so much more reliable than in the good old days that they are all pretty good. And with the Consumer Reports reliability ratings, in particular, if you look closely at the fine print you often see that a red mark or a black mark or whatever colored mark they give a category doesn’t mean a lot when you compare one car against the other because the differences in absolute terms aren’t very big. What I mean by this is that small differences in absolute failure numbers can often trigger very different color codes. And the absolute numbers, best or worst, are typically so low that I might never experience them during all of my ownership.

I avoided Chrysler products for nearly 50 years of car buying. Never owned one. Why? Consumer Reports ratings were consistently terrible. I finally bought a Chrysler van in 2012 because it was the right car for my needs and by then I didn’t bother much with Consumer Reports reliability ratings, even though as I recall they were still giving the van bad marks. I kept if for several years and never had a single issue— it was a great car for what it was. I sold it to a friend, who has now driven it to about the 160K miles mark and is still driving it - one serious issue, with a cylinder head. (Chrysler fixed the problem, even though it was out of warranty, and extended his warranty on - I think, not positive - the entire engine.) An anecdotal but real world story of how a car that is statistically not-as-reliable as others per Consumer Reports, is often a very reliable car.

Anymore, I place far more weight on how well I like a car and how well it suits my needs than on published reliability data in Consumer Reports or anyplace else. So far I love my first Volvo and I don’t care what Consumer Reports or anybody else says about its reliability. If I encounter what p07r0457 is experiencing I may have a very different view...
 

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I am one year into my first ever experience with a Volvo, and my XC90 has been great. But I have to say that anybody who disparages Consumer Reports simply because they gave bad marks to Volvo, or because their hair dryer performed differently, has little credibility with me.

Back in the olden days we used to pay a lot of attention to Consumer Reports reliability ratings. This is basically all that we had. Now there are many sources, and Consumer Reports is but one. Personally, I don’t pay much attention anymore to CU reliability ratings for cars (but I do pay attention to their general impressions, road tests, summary specifications, etc). What I have found is that modern cars are so much more reliable than in the good old days that they are all pretty good. And with the Consumer Reports reliability ratings, in particular, if you look closely at the fine print you often see that a red mark or a black mark or whatever colored mark they give a category doesn’t mean a lot when you compare one car against the other because the differences in absolute terms aren’t very big. What I mean by this is that small differences in absolute failure numbers can often trigger very different color codes. And the absolute numbers, best or worst, are typically so low that I might never experience them during all of my ownership.

I avoided Chrysler products for nearly 50 years of car buying. Never owned one. Why? Consumer Reports ratings were consistently terrible. I finally bought a Chrysler van in 2012 because it was the right car for my needs and by then I didn’t bother much with Consumer Reports reliability ratings, even though as I recall they were still giving the van bad marks. I kept if for several years and never had a single issue— it was a great car for what it was. I sold it to a friend, who has now driven it to about the 160K miles mark and is still driving it - one serious issue, with a cylinder head. (Chrysler fixed the problem, even though it was out of warranty, and extended his warranty on - I think, not positive - the entire engine.) An anecdotal but real world story of how a car that is statistically not-as-reliable as others per Consumer Reports, is often a very reliable car.

Anymore, I place far more weight on how well I like a car and how well it suits my needs than on published reliability data in Consumer Reports or anyplace else. So far I love my first Volvo and I don’t care what Consumer Reports or anybody else says about its reliability. If I encounter what p07r0457 is experiencing I may have a very different view...
Anecdotes vs. data, somewhere there may be a reliable XK-E that hasn't had an issue since 1968, but mostly not so much.
I had an MG that never ever had one electrical issue. Most are not so lucky.
You sometimes can clearly see major problems, say one year has frequent transmission failures. I was once shopping for a CX-9 and found they got black marks on the drivetrain for the AWD version of that car and then found extended warranties cost a LOT more for the AWD vs FWD versions. It was pretty obvious there was an issue with the AWD pieces.
 

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2020 V90 Inscription T6 (all options except upgrade stereo and rear wheel air suspension)
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Most of us can probably say we've had good and bad experiences with various car brands. Regarding CR's reliability info, I think it's worthwhile to look at their trend data, as one of many sources for information. However, at the end of the day, my feeling is that it's most important to purchase the vehicle you feel is right for you, and one you can safely afford to purchase AND maintain It doesn't matter if it's a Rolls or a Kia, or something in between.
 

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@Billk9989

I'm not sure what to make of your post. First you say that anyone who disparages CR because they have a different opinion than that CR ranking has little credibility to you... Then you spend three paragraphs discussing how you used to care about CR rankings but then your experiences have varied from the CR ranking so you no longer hold CR rankings to mean much.

I'm confused.
 

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In this day and age, I have trouble with CR’s data collection. They don’t actually verify that their members and subscribers actually own the car they are reporting on. So who knows what other people in auto industry are submitting in their replies.

Secondly, with Infotainment, Sensus has been used by CR for 5 years now and in their YT review of the S60 they said it was complicated and can’t figure it out. C’mon. It’s not that hard. While I understand why some people like physical buttons, the climate controls position relative to the driver never change.

Lastly, we really don’t know how they analyze it, nor is their methods subject to verification by outside analysis of the same data. I get it, it’s their data and they consider it proprietary, but it causes skeptics like me to question it.
 

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The way CR reports "reliability" does not coincide very well with how a real owner experiences maintaining the car. It's very convoluted how they report some failures, but then some are straight forward and are reasonable results.

Say your car shifts harsh and it needs new transmission software. Or say your transmission shifts harsh because an internal clutch is failing or another internal component is failing. CR reports both of those with equal severity in their ratings, so cars that need transmission software are grouped together with cars that have catastrophic transmission failures. Does an owner think those two scenarios are of equal severity? No, but CR reports the car as having "transmission problems", even if it's just a software update to fix.

Same with the engine. If you have a check engine light the car has "engine problems" according to CR. If an engine piston connecting rod breaks, CR says the car has "engine problems". So as a reader, how are those ratings really helpful? What insight do they offer.

Just imagine how they report needing software to correct radio station presents intermittently not showing up compared to how they report the Sensus screen needing complete replacement. Both are grouped together as "problems with infotainment system".

And don't get me started on how the number of cars included in the survey plays out. They interview owners of Ford F150s and of Volvo XC60 owners, and they get 10,000 Ford responses but only 1,000 Volvo responses for the survey. Calculate the % of "defects" reported in relation to the total number of that model sold, and exactly what "failure rate %" do you get? What's the failure rate, or % of cars that have a specific reoccurring defect? The results don't depict what the real-life failure rate will be in an accurate way, it's just a speculative opinion on the few cars surveyed.

Volvo has heated seats as standard on many models. Florida owners amazingly report zero heated seat defects, yet when you sample owners who live in Main or Minnesota, they report a 10% defect rate. What conclusion do you draw? Perhaps lots of Florida cars have defective heated seats, but because it's so hot no one every even turns them on in their ownership of the car, does it really mean those cars have zero defect heated seats? Nope, but CR doesn't take into consideration any variables like that in the data they print.

I think CR does a lot of things right, and some of their reporting on cars offers good insight. But sometimes their are aspects of their reporting that are very flawed, and some conclusions they reach don't play out for real owners in the real world. So only you can decide how much trust you want to place in their research.

I always find it amazing how CR will report car X has chronic door locks that fail, but car Y has no door locks fail. And then you do the research and find out car X and car Y are built on the same assembly line simultaneously and use the same door lock part numbers....the components used are identical. However CR will say they fail in one model but is trouble-free in another. Statics and common sense will tell you that isn't even possible, and yet it's printed in CR. So take it with a grain of salt. The reality of it is, no matter how you survey car reliability, you will never be able to be accurate 100% of the time.
 

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CR surely has issues, but overall it is pretty obvious no Volvo absent a lot of luck is going to be as reliable as your typical Camry. I knew what I was getting into.
 

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CR surely has issues, but overall it is pretty obvious no Volvo absent a lot of luck is going to be as reliable as your typical Camry. I knew what I was getting into.
Second this. If Volvo or any brand only builds cars like Camry that lacks features, dumb, and ugly, then I am out.
 

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@Billk9989

I'm not sure what to make of your post. First you say that anyone who disparages CR because they have a different opinion than that CR ranking has little credibility to you... Then you spend three paragraphs discussing how you used to care about CR rankings but then your experiences have varied from the CR ranking so you no longer hold CR rankings to mean much.

I'm confused.
Right. Two ideas conflated, sorry.

Toward the beginning of this thread there are comments that disparage Consumer Reports, generally, as a publication. I don’t agree, and I don’t give credence to their comments.

OTOH, with regard to the specifics of CR car reliability data, I have found my cars to be progressively more reliable over the last 50 years, in spite of the enormous increases in complexity, so I don’t feel it’s a biggie to pay a lot of attention to CR reliability data, anymore, like I used to.

The difference in the two perspectives is that one seems to claim that CR is junk. The other claims that CR is not junk, but that the CR reliability data is less important than it used to be in making a purchase decision.
 

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I haven't looked at CR's current scores, but earlier reliability reports were due almost entirely to Volvo's Sensus system. And CR clearly has a bias there, because they absurdly think it is "too complex". In almost every other respect the XC90 scored above average in reliability-- engine, brakes, body integrity, transmission, and so forth. The overall judgment of unreliability sounded terrible, but when you looked at the breakdown of their data, you just thought wtf.
 
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I don't trust CR any more so didn't bother looking at their info.

Our 2016 XC90 has been the most reliable vehicle we've owned - and we're a Honda/Toyota family.
 

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CR initially maintained that Volvos Sensus was unsafe due to the lack of physical controls. Instead of caving Volvo now offers the same system in every car they sell. Even base models get the same size screen. Somehow I trust Volvos safety cred more that CRs. It took me a few drives to get used to it on our new XC90 but it works fine and is no harder to learn than any other car I’ve owned. If Volvos crash investigation team started seeing accidents around Gothenburg because drivers were trying to adjust the cabin temperature they would have addressed the issue. CR is unlikely to change their mind though. I haven’t found my many Volvos to be less reliable than other cars I’ve owned (anecdotal) but I have found them more expensive to repair. Oh well, I’m hooked. I also think that the dealer experience has improved, but that may be because I now live in an area with multiple Volvo dealers competing with each other.
 

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CR initially maintained that Volvos Sensus was unsafe due to the lack of physical controls. Instead of caving Volvo now offers the same system in every car they sell. Even base models get the same size screen. Somehow I trust Volvos safety cred more that CRs. It took me a few drives to get used to it on our new XC90 but it works fine and is no harder to learn than any other car I’ve owned. If Volvos crash investigation team started seeing accidents around Gothenburg because drivers were trying to adjust the cabin temperature they would have addressed the issue. CR is unlikely to change their mind though. I haven’t found my many Volvos to be less reliable than other cars I’ve owned (anecdotal) but I have found them more expensive to repair. Oh well, I’m hooked. I also think that the dealer experience has improved, but that may be because I now live in an area with multiple Volvo dealers competing with each other.
Volvo doesn't have to beat Toyota, they just need to not be obviously worse than the other Euro brands. Between leases and CPO buyers, you frequently are on the third owner by the time they are the ones paying for all the repairs.
* there are limits, a buddy got rid of a BMW 7 Series after about a year and a half, he said it didn't matter if the dealership treated him like a king, gave out nice loaners,and never charged him a cent. Having the car in the shop two weeks out of every month just got very old very quickly.
 

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With our T8, we've had ongoing electrical gremlins from the beginning. Unfortunately the dealership is unable to really fix these things, so it's always a "maybe the new software update will fix it" kind of thing. And maybe it is, but the new software introduces other glitches. More annoying and head-scratching than anything else. I think the more sophisticated the electronics and computer systems get, the more there's a chance of these things. Our 2009 R class Mercedes (that we sold for our 2018 XC90) had some issues, but not as many as we do with our Volvo. I have a 2014 E class Mercedes that's virtually trouble free.

Regardless of the above, this car is by far our favorite, so we'll continue to be Volvo drivers--at least for now.
 

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the dealership is unable to really fix these things, so it's always a "maybe the new software update will fix it" kind of thing.
I've noticed my dealer says this to me, a lot. It's annoying. I've long wanted "software updates" to become standard, industry -- but not if they're going to become the de facto excuse when dealers either can't find the problem or decide to be lazy and not even bother to try.
 

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I've noticed my dealer says this to me, a lot. It's annoying. I've long wanted "software updates" to become standard, industry -- but not if they're going to become the de facto excuse when dealers either can't find the problem or decide to be lazy and not even bother to try.
KEEP ON THEM!
70,000/80,000/99,500 miles - they all make that noise.
104,000 miles - CPO ended - you need a new center differential, there is no fluid in it at all and it is ruined.
 

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I've noticed my dealer says this to me, a lot. It's annoying. I've long wanted "software updates" to become standard, industry -- but not if they're going to become the de facto excuse when dealers either can't find the problem or decide to be lazy and not even bother to try.
Yeah, I've almost given up asking them to try to fix these little things. We've had so many that we know if something happens, it'll go away fairly quickly. Among the issues: Front Lamp Failure warning; Hybrid System Failure Warning; all displays going blank while driving until car is turned off and then back on; loud ticking noise from the radio which wouldn't turn off until the car was plugged in; radio making loud static noise until car was plugged in; and driver side mirror setting not taking.

But all the issues resolved on their own. And we like the car so much that we can live with those minor annoyances. If we have any major issues, I'll reevaluate at that time.
 

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... loud ticking noise from the radio which wouldn't turn off until the car was plugged in; radio making loud static noise until car was plugged in;...
The car was just complaining that it was "hungry"... ;)
 

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and driver side mirror setting not taking.
I thought I had this exact same issue with my new 21 XC60 but in my case, it turned out to be user error when I realized that I had to save the changed setting to my Profile (edit user profile>Save settings) in order for it to "take" between on/off cycles. Now, if I change any settings in the car, I always save the change to my Profile.

I'm sure there are real issues with our Volvos but I bet half end up being user error. Even CR hurls criticisms at Volvo for their simple user error. Case in point is the engine Stop/Start function. In their review of the XC60 (under the 21 model year), they state:

"The stop/start feature shuts off the engine at every opportunity. It's a nuisance to deactivate this feature since you have to swipe the infotainment screen to the left, then find and press the small icon each time you drive. "

Of course, this is not true at all. CR simply failed to learn how to use a basic feature of the car (or failed to update the 21' review if this was a software change since their last review). In any case, it's misinformation that a reader will incorrectly believe.
 
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