Volvo Car Reviews and Road Tests

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Volvo Car Company


Founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson with the intention of building vehicles better able to handle the harsh Scandinavian climate. Both came from SKF bearings, this company funding the first production of 1000 cars in 1927. The P120 Amazon established its enviable global reputation for quality and safety.

Also see: The History of Volvo | The Volvo 240 Series Story | Volvo Colour Codes | The History of Volvo (USA Edition)
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Volvo PV444  

Volvo PV444

1947 - 1965
While the PV444 was easy for anyone to drive, the skilled motorist got, in addition to high performance, great satisfaction for the way in which that prowess was achieved. No doubt a model for the Volvo enthusiasts only, don't be too quick to dismiss the car should you chance across it at a motor show. In their day, they offered almost unrivaled quality and much better than average performance. More>>
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Volvo PV544  

Volvo PV544

1958 - 1965
After the style of Cinderella, the Volvo PV 544 Sports developed from a rather ordinary family runabout into a fast and comfortable touring saloon, able to show its rear wheels to most cars then on the Swedish roads. With an emphasis on safety as well as speed and sheer acceleration, the Volvo PV 544 Sports was a reasonable financial proposition in its home country back in 1959 at 12,250 Kroner tax paid. More>>
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Volvo 120 Series  

Volvo 120 Series

1956 - 1970
Perhaps the most famous and recognisable Volvo is the 120, with its classic American styling (imitating the bull nosed look of Chryslers from the 50's). The car quickly gained a reputation for reliability and durability with its resistance to rust - due mainly to the high quality steel used in the construction. More>>
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Volvo P1800  

Volvo P1800

1960 - 1973
More respectable than 'sporting', the high-waisted P1800 has today become a very collectable car. A top speed on 160 km/h can be achieved, thanks primarily to the overdrive gearbox rather than the 4 cylinder motor. The status of the car was undoubtedely enhanced by its appearance in the weekly television series "The Saint", then driven by the shows star Roger Moore, who also owned one in real life. More>>
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Volvo 140 Series  

Volvo 140 Series

1966 - 1974
The Australian release of the B20 engine followed hot on the heels of its European introduction. Also included in Volvo's range for 1969 was the six cylinder 164, which shared much of the 140 series structure and styling from the windshield back, while incorporating a 6-cylinder engine, the B30 which was simply a B20 with 2 more cylinders and a few strengthened and enlarged components. More>>
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Volvo 164  

Volvo 164

1968 - 1975
When the Volvo 164 was released in Australia it was considered by most as being exceptionally safe and well engineered. Unfortunately it was also very expensive, coming with a $6299 price tag. For that kind of money, you could have purchased no less than three wonderful little Mazda 1200 Coupes. More>>
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Volvo 200 Series  

Volvo 200 Series

1974 - 1993
Volvo was to release the venerable 200 series in 1974, and such was the popularity of the car that it would enjoy an amazing production run of nearly 20 years. The replacement was supposed to be the 700 series, released in 1982, however such was the popularity of the “boxy but safe” 200 series that Volvo were reluctant to cease production. A good thing too, with both the 200 and 700 series being sold side-by-side for the next 10 years. The 700 series was replaced by the 900 series in 1992, however the 200 hung in for another year, finally disappearing from the showroom in 1993. More>>
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Volvo 244 GLE  

Volvo 244 GLE

1974 - 1993
Using the amazingly versatile basic body shell across its range, from the cheapest to the most expensive, Volvos varied only in terms of luxury and equipment levels, together with power outputs and transmissions. Right at the bottom was the 244 DL with a carburetted 2.1 litre engine. More>>
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Volvo 343  

Volvo 343

1975 - 1991
Volvo's takeover of the Dutch building firm DAF saw the introduction of the jointly -developed Volvo 343. The 343 was an amalgamation of traditional Volvo and DAF engineering and was, for the time, an advanced-specification medium-size car (for Europe), and in the Volvo model range it sat between the '66' and the '240' series. More>>
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Volvo 244 DL  

Volvo 244 DL

1976 - 1985
Today we all understand the difference between active and passive safety, but in the late 1970’s there were in actuality only a few car manufacturers putting it into practice. Volvo were one such company, aiming to build cars that the driver could control in most emergency situations, rather than the car controlling the driver. More>>
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Volvo 245 GL  

Volvo 245 GL

1976 - 1985
By the time the Volvo 245 GL arrived on Australian shores, the marque had built a stellar reputation for building robust, reliable, safe but boxy cars. It seemed every year the same formula was applied, with just the occasional cosmetic update to set it apart from last year's model. Although a large number were purchased by well off middleclass retirees, in reality the Swedish vehicles had plenty to offer the motorist with a more modest budget. More>>
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Volvo 264 GLE  

Volvo 264 GLE

1976 - 1985
Although the 264 GLE retained all the traditional Volvo safety features, and incorporated some new ones, its unmistakable all-round class enabled it to avoid the tag of being a dull  “security cell” – leastwise it was boxy, safe and good looking. Problems of overpricing did not apply as much to the GLE as other models down the range, its excellent finish and lavish standard equipment making it, by anybody's standard, a luxury car. More>>
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Volvo 265 GLE  

Volvo 265 GLE

1976 - 1985
Volvo’s had long been popular for their reliability and safety, yet they had also been seen as stolid and uninspired. By the time the Volvo 265 GLE arrived in Australia, it became evident to all who cared to take a slightly closer look at the Volvo that the cars coming from Gothenberg were better handling and more attractive for those who wanted something a little more exciting to drive. More>>
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Volvo 262C Bertone  

Volvo 262C Bertone

1977 - 1981
Flagship of the Volvo range during the early 1980’s was the 262C Bertone-designed and assembled coupe, based on the mechanicals of the 264 GLE. The priced at over $30000, the 262C was almost twice as expensive as the sedan from which it is derived, and for the extra coin you got the most distinctive of the Volvo range, Bertone badges, and a luxurious 2 + 2 interior. Few would have known then however that the 262C Bertone would become an instant classic and is today highly prized and very collectable. More>>
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Volvo 242 GT  

Volvo 242 GT

1977 - 1981
By the late 1970’s Volvo were determined to shake the stodgy image of “boxy but safe” once and for all. The silver limited edition Volvo 242 GT was the first sports orientated Volvo model since the 1800, and promised to be something quite special. Built to rival such great cars as the BMW 323i, the 242 GT was powered by a variant of the B23E 2.1 litre found in all the other 244 models, however the capacity was increased to 2.3 litres, compression was raised and the car was fitted with an overdrive fourth gear. More>>
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Volvo Tundra  

Volvo Tundra

1979
Bertone's styling of the late 1970's did not received the universal praise of their earlier work - even those of the mid 70's. Looking back now, we can see that they were, however, well ahead of the design trend that would dominate the 80's, namely angles. Other Bertone "slab designs" included the starkly angular Navajo and Rainbow, and the almost shapeless Sibilo. More>>
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Volvo 760 GLE  

Volvo 760 GLE and Turbo

1982 - 1990
At release both the V6 and Turbo models were identically priced (at $34,500), the latter manual only iteration aimed squarely at the driving enthusiast. The new model boasted a modern profile with a low waistline and large glass areas. The car was extremely spacious and offered an exceptionally high standard of safety. More>>
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Volvo 360 GLT

Volvo 360 GLT

1982 - 1991
Powered by a 2.0 litre fuel injected 85 kW engine, a raspy note from the exhaust would always remind you of the sporting aspirations of the car, although there was enough sound-proofing to ensure it never became irritating. The handling was precise, and although there was some slight understeer, it remained extremely predictable, ensuring the driver remained confident at all times. More>>
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