Volvo 265 GLE

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Volvo 265 GLE


Volvo 265 GLE

1976 - 1985
2664 cc
104 kW
3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
170 km/h
Number Built:
1 star
Volvo 265 GLE
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


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.

The 265 GLE was powered by the Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 2664 cc engine, which featured fuel injection courtesy of  the Bosch K-Jetronic system. Maximum power was rated at 104 kW at 5700 rpm, with torque of 216 Nm at 3000 rpm. Unfortunately, the high power output was somewhat blunted by the vehicle's hefty 1435 kg curb weight and its poor aerodynamics.

Maximum speed was around 170 km/h with similarly unimpressive acceleration, 0-100 km/h taking a leisurely 15 seconds. To some extent this lack of performance was offset by the excellent engine refinement, and even when revved to its 6000 rpm limit the engine remained quiet and smooth, its long-legged gait making for a very relaxed cruising vehicle with 145 km/h sustainable all day.

The Volvo was as sure footed and controllable as the marque's reputation says it is. The excellent power steering was sensibly weighted, direct, and possessed good feel. Although it rolled strongly, the 265 handled well, particularly in the wet, and while the suspension may have been set up for heavy loads, it still offered a compliant ride when unladen. The power steering helped parking of course, as did the tight turning circle of 11 .5 m. The car was easy to place in tight situations or traffic.

Most people purchased the 265 GLE for the enormous accommodation and the versatility it offered. It looked big and it is was big. There was plenty of leg and head room for both front and rear passengers and a large flat area behind the rear seats for luggage. The rear seat folded down to create a flat, fully carpeted load area, and significantly, the intrusions from the wheel arches were only minor.

The driving position was high and rather old fashioned in this respect, however it did afford a commanding viewpoint. The front seats were fully adjustable, including adjustable lumbar support. The interior finish was of a very high standard and the dash, though rather messy and complex at first sight, was easy to follow after some practice. The GLE was also extensively optioned, and offered a hard-to-equal range of standard fittings.

In the end, most purchasers had to balance the excellent cruising and load-carrying capacity combined with safety and comfort, against the relatively unimpressive fuel consumption and poor performance in relation to engine output. They are not particularly collectable today, however there is a growing allegiance of Volvo fans out there who love ‘em, and if you have ever had the pleasure of driving a 265 GLE, you could hardly blame them.

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Also See:

Volvo Brochures
The History of Volvo (USA Edition)
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