The Volvo Station Wagon has been normcore since before Shia LaBeouf was ever born. It’s the vehicular equivalent of a Greta Gerwig movie. It is an underappreciated fashion icon, and one that would have been relegated to the annals of automotive nostalgia if not for the Swedish company’s recent resurgence.
For over 60 years, the Volvo station wagon has been the clearest manifestation of the company’s belief that people come first: safety and utility before style. Such conviction led to the militant boxiness that defined them through the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Those functional designs are only looking better with age. Today, Volvo’s people-first idea is broadening into an approach to making cars that puts the user experience first.
The results are wagons, like the all-new V60, that are both functional and beautiful — and still completely normcore.
Volvo PV445 Duett
The Duett was so named because it was meant for a dual purpose: you could use it as a work truck during the week and to take your family for a road trip on the weekend.
Volvo P220 Amazon
One of the models manufactured at Volvo’s Nova Scotia plant, this ended up being particularly well-suited to suffering through long Canadian winters.
Styled after a brick, this model stayed in production from 1974 to 1993 with only a few major updates and became a bona fide classic in its own time. The 240 Polar even developed a cult following in Italy.
Volvo 740 Estate
Peak boxiness. This one probably deserves a place in the Museum of Modern Art. All credit goes to Jan Wilsgaard, Volvo’s chief designer from 1950 to 1990.
Notice a trend yet? Despite some soft corners, the V70 had a trunk as flat as a barn door. The R version boasted 261 horsepower and all-wheel drive.
Volvo is reborn. While the rugged V90 Cross Country is bound to become a common sight on our roads, it’s the plain V90 — only available by special order — that is true Swedish perfection.
Decades of glacial styling evolution have led to this, the V60 — a new, more affordable entry into Volvo wagon ownership designed under the direction of VW vet Thomas Ingenlath.