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Volvo V50 vs. BMW 5-Series Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Volvo V50 or BMW 5-Series reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Volvo V50 and the BMW 5-Series truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Volvo V50 and BMW 5-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volvo V50 and the BMW 5-Series were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Volvo V50 and the BMW 5-Series have been recently.

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See only powertrain and chassis results

Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 BMW 5-Series   14 5-Series, 6.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 4700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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or 14 5-Series, 6.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 4700 miles

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2013 BMW 5-Series 26 5-Series, 9.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 12800 miles29
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 5-Series 27 5-Series, 9.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 21400 miles43
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW 5-Series 50 5-Series, 7.7 months of data per 5-Series, average 34800 miles

First year for F10 5-Series.
53
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 BMW 5-Series 31 5-Series, 9.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 51600 miles50
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 BMW 5-Series 27 5-Series, 8.2 months of data per 5-Series, average 59100 miles76
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 528 / 550 / M5 50 528 / 550 / M5s, 8.4 months of data per 528 / 550 / M5, average 71500 miles

Refreshed.
77
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 535 28 535s, 9.6 months of data per 535, average 74200 miles

Refreshed.
94
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 5-Series 29 5-Series, 9.5 months of data per 5-Series, average 90200 miles52
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Volvo V50   15 V50s, 9.9 months of data per V50, average 68600 miles

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2006 BMW 5-Series 38 5-Series, 10.0 months of data per 5-Series, average 89000 miles89
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Volvo V50   12 V50s, 10.1 months of data per V50, average 79600 miles

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2005 Volvo V50   19 V50s, 10.2 months of data per V50, average 115400 miles

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2004 BMW 5-Series   22 5-Series, 9.9 months of data per 5-Series, average 94000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2003 BMW 5-Series 25 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 102800 miles110
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 BMW 5-Series 41 5-Series, 9.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 111200 miles88
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2001 BMW 5-Series   18 5-Series, 10.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 124200 miles

* Small sample size.
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2000 BMW 5-Series   12 5-Series, 10.8 months of data per 5-Series, average 131600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Volvo V50

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volvo V50

Volvo V50 Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2007 4dr Sedan 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed manual FWD
We now have over 50k miles, and the car has nothing but routine maintenance. Very reliable.
2006 4dr Sedan 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
We wanted a car that we could buy used and still keep for 8-10 years. Perhaps the kids can drive it then.
2006 4dr Sedan 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have had no troubles in 50,000 miles. None
2005 4dr Wagon turbocharged 218hp 2.5L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
These cars have a reputation of lasting a long time but the reliability is less sterling.
2005 4dr Sedan 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
S40 has been rock solid - very few problems.
Volvo V50 Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2006 4dr Wagon 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
A boxer with a glass jaw. Mechanically, the V50 is a solid, secure vehicle. HOWEVER, it is knit together by an immensly complex (to my 20th century mind) mix of three network busses and ~ fifteen interconnected processors. If this system fails to deliver, only the dealer can diagnose or repair the software side of the vehicle. Even a low battery can result in a bewildering array of symptoms, as various modules get their stories mixed up, with doors locking and unlocking, the CD changer cycling, etc... all due to (in my case) corrosion under the battery terminal! On a smaller note, the tail gate has an electrical ONLY latch. In my six months of ownership, there have been two times when I needed to open that tail gate while the battery was out of the car.
2005 4dr Wagon 168-horsepower 2.4L I5
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
This car has seen lots of warranty repairs and service bulletins within the first 3 years of its life but it make much better since. This is likely because mine was the first year of production.
2005 4dr Wagon turbocharged 134hp 2.0L I4 Diesel
6-speed manual FWD
A lot of software updates.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the BMW 5-Series

BMW 5-Series Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Full service for first 4 years.
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Tremendous warranty which includes annual oil change and inspection paid for by dealer. ANY problems are fixed at no charge to customer.
2007 4dr Sedan 215-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Very good reputation.
2007 4dr Sedan 360-horsepower 4.8L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
No problems in 15,000 miles
2005 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Tried and true inline 6 cylinder engine.
2002 4dr Sedan 184-horsepower 2.5L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Very little rust after 8+ years coupled with top notch materials lasting quite a long time. Replacement parts were very costly but performed for long periods. Current owners offer great advice on what and when to perform preventative maintenance.
BMW 5-Series Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
- accelerator response (hesitation) - engine issues (check engine light requiring three service visits in two months) - engine malfunction light (part of turbo came disconnected) - faulty fuel sensor (recall first three months of new model year)
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Terrible reputation for poor reliability and absurdly high repair costs as early as 50,000 miles.
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Unbelievable maintenance after 50K miles, cost and effort.
2005 4dr Sedan 325-horsepower 4.4L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Over 80K many systems were beginning to break down
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Had several repairs the first month of ownership that were covered by CPO warranty...love that BMW CPO
2002 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This car is known to have a plethora of problems. I have yet to see if it will hold up well for me.
2002 4dr Sedan 290-horsepower 4.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I picked the above "reason" because it's the worst feature of an otherwise perfect vehicle. The durability of the interior is quite frankly an embarassment. I've lost the buttons for max for the heater, up for the driver side temerature, and the top button for the airflow direction .... don't ask me where they went, they just disappeared! I've broken the drivers side cup holder (and come on ... how pathetic are those cup holders!), and once it breaks, it no longer clicks back into the closed position so now I have a half a cup holder sticking out. One other grievance relating to interior durability ... the plastic footrest (left foot) down below the hood lever also fell apart. The plastic just broke away in
2001 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
dealer ship as a mess