Consumer Reports Says These Are the 2 Least Reliable Volvo SUVs

Since the introduction of the second-generation Volvo XC90 in 2015, the Swedish brand has developed some of the sharpest-looking SUVs on sale. The midrange XC60 and the tiny XC40 share crucial design elements that unify the entire SUV lineup. However, Consumer Reports recently ranked two of these prominent Volvos as some of the least reliable SUVs currently on sale.

The 2021 Volvo XC90 ranked as the least reliable model

The 2021 XC90 ranked as the least reliable brand-new Volvo in Consumer Reports’ list. According to Consumer Reports, the most troubled spots are the drive system, suspension, brakes, body integrity, and power equipment. The result is that XC90 problems have been reported across a variety of crucial components. Additionally, Consumer Reports tested every XC90 since the introduction of the second generation model. This testing history allows us to see that the second-gen XC90 has suffered from major issues since its introduction. Thankfully, problems with the complex turbocharged and supercharged engine appear to have improved throughout the years.

Despite these major issues, Volvo’s flagship SUV managed to impress during the road test. According to Consumer Reports, the XC90 excelled during the acceleration, transmission, braking, and comfort areas. The result here is that while the Volvo XC90 may be the least reliable SUV of the bunch, it provides a great SUV experience when it works. In this case, you should consider leasing one instead of outright purchasing it. This way, you’re not on the hook for any issues.

Is the 2021 Volvo XC60 any better?

A blue Volvo XC60 on display at an auto show
Volvo XC60| Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

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If you thought opting for the cheaper and smaller Volvo XC60 would save you from reliability issues; there’s bad news. This is because Consumer Reports ranked the XC60 marginally higher than the XC90, meaning it’s still quite unreliable. Like the XC90, the XC60 suffers in key areas such as the electric system, power equipment, in-car electronics, and its engine. However, the XC60 doesn’t seem to have many issues with the brakes, suspension, and drive system like the larger XC90. It is also worth noting that year over year ratings show the XC60 has improved significantly in recent years, according to Consumer Reports.

While the XC60 did score favorably in the road test portion of Consumer Reports’ testing, it didn’t impress as much as the larger XC90. The midrange Volvo SUV was noted as having excellent comfort, braking, and acceleration. The story then appears to be quite similar to that of the range-topping model. As a result of these issues, owner satisfaction is predicted to be relatively low. In this segment, Consumer Reports recommends looking at the Lexus NX and Audi Q5 instead.

The tiny XC40 seems like the one to get

2019 Volvo XC40
2019 Volvo XC40 | Volvo

While the two larger Volvo SUVs appear to be trouble-filled, there is good news for the more affordable XC40 model. In terms of reliability, the XC40 remains relatively problem-free, with the only trouble areas being the power equipment and climate system categories. It is worth noting that although there are problems reported, they are not as frequent as in the XC60 and XC90. Additionally, the XC40 has only improved throughout the years.

The small Volvo SUV also managed to impress during the road test, excelling in all major areas. The only area where it fell short is the trunk/cargo space category. As a result, the XC40 should not only be a great drive but a great ownership experience. So if a Volvo SUV is on your wishlist, the cheapest option may end up yielding the best experience.