Volvo 244 DL

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Volvo 244 DL


Volvo 244 DL

1976 - 1985
4 cylinder
2127 cc
90 kW @ 5500 rpm
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
165 km/h
Number Built:
1 star
Volvo 244 DL
Volvo 244 DL
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


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.

This had led to two things - while Volvo's safety features and marketing were so good that many believed them to be the safest car then on the market, they had also developed a reputation for dullness.

Marketers knew that the fitment of a cassette player, or indeed other cosmetic options, would help sales much more than never seen and easily forgotten safety items. Nevertheless the 244 line of four-door sedans had the full range of safety features. As always, the 244’s were reliable performers, despite being slightly stodgy.

But with the turn away from V8’s during the 1970’s the 244 would flourish, steadily increasing sales and building upon their already stellar reputation for strength, quality and durability. All three models were  powered by the same 2.1 litre in-line four cylinder engine.

The base model engine was fed via a traditional carburettor, but the best unit was found in the top-of-the-line automatic-only 244 GLE, the same engine being fitted with fuel injection allowing it to develop its maximum torque 1000 rpm higher. The GLE developed 90 kW at 5500 rpm with torque of 170 Nm at 3500 rpm.

Suspension was by front-spring struts and shock absorbers, the rear live axle was carried in longitudinal rubber mounted control arms, and there were two torque rods and a track rod - plus stabiliser bars front and rear. The ride was comfortable and reasonably compliant, with some body roll when cornering.

One of the core values in the Volvo design was to ensure the car behaved as the driver would expect them to. The steering required only 3.5 turns lock to lock and had a very tight turning circle of 9.8 metres. Under-steer was built-in, but so was responsiveness. Braking on all models was by discs all round, the front discs being ventilated.

The body was quite large but the relatively short wheelbase limited internal space. The twin front bucket seats were adjustable for height, length, rake, and lumbar support, while the wide rear bench offered generous leg room for up to five adults. Head room was good throughout. The car was well finished and clean looking inside, and standard equipment on the GLE made it one of the most luxurious four-cylinder cars then on the market.

Major styling changes were never that noticeable on the 244 range, however there were occasional grille and rear end treatments implemented to keep the look fresh. However, it was the continuous mechanical improvement that has gained Volvo its reputation. The 244 range is no exception.
Volvo 244DL

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Also See:

Volvo Brochures
The Volvo 240 Series Story
The History of Volvo (USA Edition)
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4 cyl.
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9,500 EUR
2 cyl. Twin


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