• Jan 9, 2008

Volvo has been trying its darnedest to reinvent itself, but the Swedish automaker is finding it can't escape its own image. Rather than trying to fight it, then, emerging reports suggest that the company will go with the flow while refocusing its model line-up to include more wagons, which already account for some two thirds of its languishing sales.

Among the new models Volvo is reportedly preparing is the V30, a sport-wagon aimed at the Audi A3. Expected to be a little taller and longer than the A3 Sportback, the V30 could incorporate the kind of flexible seating layouts we've seen in minivans, but in a smaller, more upscale package. Based on the European Focus platform, the V30 would slot in above the C30 sport-hatch to where the S40 and V50 fit currently. Those models, meanwhile, would grow slightly larger to take on the likes of the BMW 3-Series, but smaller than Volvo's own next-gen S60 and V70. An XC30 off-road version would likely also fall into the mix, with all-wheel-drive, higher road clearance and more rugged body-cladding.

Gothenburg (home to Volvo's headquarters, not Batman's Swedish cousin) is also tipped to be considering replacing the flagship S80 sedan with a new range-topping V100 wagon, as well as a Smart-style city-car and electric powertrain packages. One way or another, Volvo needs to find its niche and run with it, or it could find itself up for sale like its erstwhile Ford Europe/PAG sister companies Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.

[Source: Autocar]



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  • 25 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      What Volvo really needs to do is get the price down on the C30 / or potential V30. How about offering the 2.4i engine (or some other little turbo) in the place of the expensive T5? A C30 with the 2.4i manual could start in the low 20s and be well-equipped at 25K. Of course, a moderately-well-equipped T5 C30 is much more appealing than the Astra for looks/performance, but not ten thousand dollars more.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Gothenburg (home to Volvo's headquarters, not Batman's Swedish cousin) is also tipped to be considering replacing the flagship S80 sedan with a new range-topping V100 wagon"

      I'm not sure where they got that info, but it seems incredibly STUPID given that the S80 is barely two years old! Given the speculation that there will NOT be a successor to the XC90 in it's current form, a V100/XC100 wagon to take it's place is much more credible. Plus, since the upcoming Ford Flex/Lincoln MKT is loosely based upon the same platform as the S80, Volvo could easily create their own version and plop the Yamaha V8 under the hood as a way to further upmarket from it's cousins.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the s80 is not 10 years old. just came out last year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The S80 has been around for a while, your thinking of the current version, which just came out last year. ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      My ideal Volvo product line:

      S40
      S60
      S80
      S100-bigger than S80 to compete aganist bmw 7
      V30
      V50
      V60-5 door of S60(think Mondeo 5 door)
      V70
      V90- wagon of S80
      V100-wagon of S100
      XC10-XC of C30
      XC30-XC of V30
      XC40-compact crossover
      XC50-XC of V50
      XC60
      XC70
      XC80-this is the old XC90
      XC90-changed to Xc of V90
      XC100-8 seat crossover
      C30
      C50-2 seater of C70
      C70
      C80-conver.,coupe of S60
      C90-conver.,coupe of S80
      C100-conver.,coupe of S100
      XT60-CUT of XC60
      XT80-CUT of XC80

      also consided is XC40-sub compact crossover
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they had the family sized, reasonably equiped V70 with a decent power plant for less than $30k, I might be driving one right now. But I couldn't justify the $35k+ for the V70's the local Volvo dealers had in stock.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I tried to find a non-base V70 with a manual. They are practically non existent (the T5 and R do exist, but try finding one). I ended up buying an A4 avant.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The pictured wagon actually looks pretty nice with hidden pillars, and a nice quarter window shape.

      I wonder if they'll make subaru look like a fool for cancelling the Legacy wagon, by making wagons more popular again.

      Wagons always made more sense to me than CUVs. SUVs are trucks, and I can understand enclosed trucks.

      CUVs, though, are just tall wagons, without even the benefit of Minivan sliding doors. They just happen to be tall (and aerodynamics, weight and CG, thus efficiency and handling all suffer for it.)

      Good luck. It will be interesting to see if it goes or if it flops.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Subaru ARE fools for dropping the Legacy Wagon, may the product marketing asses all burn in hell! My '05 GT Wagon (5MT!) may be my last Subaru. You're IWannaSportsSedan in LGT land, no?
        • 7 Years Ago
        One and the Same, DKB.

        Dan:
        I am not saying that CUVs don't have a place, I think they are a fashion cop-out to avoid the weight and fuel penalties of an SUV, for those who don't tow, but still want to be "hip".

        But for all the people that foam at the mouth at the mere mention of even a small Hummer, and claim to hate SUVs, why is there such a small contingent of people who like wagons?

        I have a Legacy sedan. I don't NEED a wagon, but there have been two or three times where I could have fit something in the car that won't fit under the trunk lid and rear deck, and won't fit through the angled openings of the rear passenger doors into the back seats.

        But what I don't need is a wallowing 4000-4500lb pig of a vehicle that doesn't have the load floor or sliding doors of a minivan, for the same interior volume and usually less seating capacity.

        I live in Iowa, and my Legacy is lowered from stock. I have no problem in the winter. I am not about to go snow-drift busting, but freshly snow-covered streets are no problem. Otherwise I would have bought an Outback, and dealt with the wallowy suspension and high CG the rest of the year. 360 days, or 5 days (MAYBE), which to plan for?

        So Minivans are slow, boring looking, and tragically uncool.
        SUVs are cool to some, horrific to others, but always heavy, hard on the wallet at the gas pump, and only some people actually use their truck capabilities.

        Wagons are even more old-school un-cool than minivans, but don't have the efficiency drawbacks of the other two, and if based on a sporty sedan, can actually be quite fast.

        Try racing DKB's Legacy GT wagon. Much of anything short of a sports car is gonna get a big surprise, and his car isn't more than 60lbs different than mine in curb weight.

        It has very nearly all the utility of a CUV, and a lower roof isn't the worst thing in the world, and again may only make a cargo difference once or twice. Any more than that, and maybe you should have a bigger vehicle, and that is fine.

        The frontal area of a wagon is the same, or very close to that of a sedan, which is better than an SUV, and frontal area has a huge effect on aerodynamic drag. That costs fuel, and requires more horsepower to push to the same speed.

        A more massive vehicle also has more weight by definition. More weight means more inertia. Worse for accident damage and injury, and worse for handling every day. AND also worse for fuel and power.

        People seem to like little three-door cars like the Mini and the Volvo c30, and others for having some practicality. Personally I think coupes, and fastback hatchback coupes are much better looking. But why does that practical mentality not apply to sedans->wagons?

        Fashion. SUVs and thus CUVs as an extension, are more fasionable for all, while the differences in usefullness are small in comparison to a wagon. The differences in performance and efficiency are not occaisional, they are inherent.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dan: At least in this part of the world (TX) Subaru dealers sold all the Legacy Wagons they stocked, actually... they just never stocked many, and Subaru never advertised them. (Hell, they barely advertise the Legacy sedan!) On the other hand, they advertise the homely Outback all over the place.

        Now, the Forester sells like free beer and I don't see as many ads for it as I do for the Outback. We drove one of those when my partner was thinking of replacing his WRX Wagon, but the Forester XT is noticeably tippy. Maybe if they bring the new Forester in STi trim I'll stay with Subaru, but I'm not betting the mortgage payment on THAT happening. If I had to replace my Legacy Wagon today, I'd probably end up with a Saab 93 SportKombi, but happily since it's a typical Subaru, I probably won't NEED to replace it for a long while.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed, most SUV drivers didn't need the truck abilities, a CUV is a valid replacement, and CUV sales the past few years are the proof.

        But what benefits does the average non-enthusiast driver get out of a low unibody wagon over a tall unibody wagon?

        They couldn't think of any either, which is why the Legacy wagon only sold a couple hundred a month and they discontinued it.

        • 7 Years Ago
        CUVs are basically family grocery getters. Tall (within reason, not Dodge Ram tall) is a good thing there. Easier to see out of, easier to get into and out of, easier to reach in adjust child seats, better clearance the 5 days a year there's unplowed snow.

        They aren't driven hard, so the handling penalty doesn't matter. Gas is still cheap enough the mileage penalty doesn't matter.

      Larry
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have loved Volvox since my first biology class! It is an example of an early attempt for an organism to be multi-cellular!
      • 7 Years Ago
      My complaint with Volvo is more their pricing structure than their cars. I don't know the names of their models because the naming structures are CONFUSING. But the smallest Volvo is about 4 thousand dollars overpriced. When optioned out, it comes within just a few grand of the much larger, more useful, and more powerful model. The midsize model has the same problem that every car in that segment has - it's competing with BMW and Acura and a lot of REALLY nice cars. In that light, Volvo needs something to make itself more unique, especially since other luxury brands are hardly skimpy on safety.

      The other thing that's hurting Volvo, although not with me, is that it has no small/midsize CUV.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have owned 4 volvos, but i will not purchase any thing currently called a volvo. if they want me back they will just need to rebuild the 240 in a modern fuel efficient package.
      MikeJ
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love Volvo wagons. If the V70R wasn't so huge and had semi truck turning radius, I may have bought it. Hey Volvo, how about a compact R wagon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      you suck!!! suck! SPAM!
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK so it's 9 years old

      http://www.edmunds.com/used/1999/volvo/s80/sedan/midsize/index.html

      Still not less than 2 or last year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really like the C30. It's funky & different.

      I think they need a stretched 4 door version of the C30 that has additional styling cues from the P1800ES.

      Then make one larger "brick" wagon that meets & beats everything in every safety catagory. Make parents feel guilty if they or their loved one is not driving one.

      Yes, a little biased since I have a 72 Volvo P1800ES project car!
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