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Volvo is the kind of car manufacturer that is assumed to be reliable and safe. It’s a surprise when one of their vehicles turns out to be less than either one of those things. Consumer Reports recently released their list of the least reliable vehicles, and the 2022 Volvo XC90 is on the list. What makes the 2022 Volvo XC90 one of the least reliable SUVs out there?

A white Volvo XC90 against a gray background.
Volvo XC90 | Volvo

What goes wrong with the 2022 Volvo XC90?

The biggest problem spots in the Volvo XC90 are the brakes, climate system, body hardware, and drive system, according to Consumer Reports. The 2022 Volvo XC90 has a predicted reliability rating of just 1/5. Consumer Reports says that they expect that the 2022 Volvo XC90 will be far less reliable than the average new SUV.

To determine how reliable the 2022 Volvo will be, they have combed through data from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 models. None of these XC90 models have good reliability rating. A look at the 2016 and 2017 Volvo XC90 models also show a lack of reliability, making the 2022 Volvo XC90 an SUV you probably want to avoid.

Used Volvo XC90 models aren’t reliable, either

Just how bad is the Volvo XC90’s reliability? The 2021, 2019, 2017, and 2016 all have reliability ratings of 1/5. The 2020 and 2018 Volco XC90 models have reliability ratings of 2/5. Looking at the models that Consumer Reports used to predict how the 2022 would hold up – the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Volvo XC90 – turns up some serious reliability concerns. These include the electric system, climate system, and brakes, which all get a 1/5 for reliability. Body integrity and body hardware also get a 1/5.

If you want a Volvo SUV, you might want to look at the 2022 Volvo XC60 or the 2022 Volvo XC40, both of which are Consumer Reports Recommended. The 2022 Volvo XC60 has a reliability rating of 4/5. The 2022 Volvo XC40 has a reliability rating of 3/5.

Here’s how Consumer Reports determines reliability

To determine the most and least reliable vehicles, Consumer Reports sends surveys to current owners of vehicles to find out how they’re holding up. Consumer Reports asks questions about any major repairs that have been needed to be done in the last 12 months. They also ask about the severity of those problems. Then Consumer Reports evaluates those surveys. They also consider their mechanical knowledge. From these two sources, Consumer Reports assigns each vehicle a reliability rating. A vehicle must have at least two years worth of data to be evaluated by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports collects a lot of surveys to make their determination. In 2021, Consumer Reports received more than 300,000 survey results. The surveys that Consumer Reports sends are very comprehensive. Each vehicle surveyed typically has 200 to 300 survey responses, giving a good idea of how that particular model is holding up. This increases the chances that the reliability rating will be accurate.

Although the 2022 Volvo XC90 has a poor reliability rating, that doesn’t mean that you have to steer clear of Volvo all together. The 2022 Volvo XC40 and 2022 Volvo XC60 may be smaller SUVs, but they also offer higher reliability ratings and Consumer Reports Recommended status. They just might be a better alternative to the 2022 Volvo XC90.


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