Volvos - I don't understand... - top turkey
Can someone please summarise the Volvo range of cars, as the model numbers communicate very little about the size or nature of the car. Why have Volvo decided not to call their cars particular names and have just used alphanumeric characters?

In particular, I'm interested to know the Volvo equivalent of a Mondeo or Vectra in terms of size.

Thanks to one and all!

Volvos - I don't understand... - DavidHM
Erm... probably an S60 if you're talking about the current range. However, until recently, and mainly since the Mondeo and Vectra grew, Volvos have been slightly odd-sized cars, priced fairly upmarket but quite small for the size class they've competed in.

The range is actually quite straightforward and Volvo aren't the only ones to name cars by numbers; there is some logic in the Volvo system. The only problem is that they keep applying a different logic.

So 144/145/164/165 240/244/245/260/264/265 were roughly Granada sized in the sixties and seventies. The middle 4 denotes a 4 cylinder, a 6 a six cylinder engine. Ending in 0 they could be saloons or estates; 4 were saloons and 5 were estates.

340/343/344/345/360 were Escort rivals from 76 to 92ish

440/460/480 were roughly the size of a Rover 200/400 (i.e., between Escort and Sierra) from 88 to 95. They were hatch/saloon/coupe.

740/760 were Granada sized saloons and estates with four or six cylinder engines from 82 to 98 (740) and 91 (760).

850 was a slightly smaller 5-series sized replacement for the 240, available as a saloon and estate, made from 92 to 97.

960 was a rebadged and facelifted 760 from 91 to 95.

S40/V40 (96-) are saloons and estates based on the Mitsubshi Carisma, slightly larger than a Focus. They are soon to be replaced by a car based on the Focus problem.

S60 is a large car, developed independently, roughly the size of a new Mondeo.

S70/V70 were originally rebadged and facelifted 850s (saloon and estate). The C70 is the coupé and convertible version; only the convertible is still made. The V70 is now the cosmetically different estate version built on the S60 platform.

The S80 is a longer version of the S60 platform with softer handling and more conservative styling.

The S90/V90 were saloon and estate versions of the 960, rebadged a couple of years after a facelift that didn't benefit the until then almost identical 740.

Hope this helps.
Volvos - I don't understand... - volvod5_dude
>>The V70 is now the cosmetically different estate version built on the S60 platform.

I think you will find the new V70 is based on the S80 chassis.

Volvos - I don't understand... - Dave N
Volvos - I don't understand... - DavidHM
Volvo cars' UK website is

I think the Swedish Volvo engineering firm kept the domain name when the cars division was hived off to Ford.
Volvos - I don't understand... - Nsar
On a similar subject - is there a definitive guide to Merc models, ie one that includes old models. The C/S thing seems to follow no logic, never mind when people start on about W123 etc
Volvos - I don't understand... - Morris Ox
The S60 may be roughly the same size as a Mondeo/Vectra, but it's absolutely not marketed as a rival to them. The S60 is equipped, priced and marketed in the same territory as the Audi A4, BMW 3 series, Saab 9-3 etc.

Volvo dealers would try to steer you in the direction of an S/V40 is you were in Mondeo money, and you could probably get quite a bargain. Not sure whether I'd go for it, though.


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