The Volvo Duett launched in 1953 – the first car to meet the combined needs of drivers’ active leisure time and practical professional lives.

Since that day, Volvo has sold more than six million estates worldwide, representing around a third of the total number of Volvos sold since the company’s foundation in 1927, giving it a well-deserved reputation for designing and building the ultimate family estates.


A selection of iconic estate models have shaped Volvo’s history. These include:



Launched in 1953, the Duett went on to become one of the most loved models ever, was one of the first Volvos to be exported to the United States, and it was immortalised in 1997 by getting its own Swedish postage stamp.




The Duett was followed in 1962 by the Amazon, or the 221 as it was officially known.

The Amazon was a significantly more elegant and refined estate than the Duett, which had its origins as a delivery van, while it also offered more space in the boot.

The S model, which offered a full 115 hp, was an incredibly sporty car by the standards of the 1960s. The boot door was an American-style two-split version – a solution that would return 40 years later on the original XC90.


1800 ES

A refresh of the 1800 sports coupe, the 1800 ES was known in England as a shooting brake: a sporty estate with space for hunting gear or golf clubs in the back.

The 1800 ES was introduced in the autumn of 1971, with its most exciting feature possibly being the huge rear window that had no bezel whatsoever. Hinges and handles were fixed directly to the glass, which was very modern in the early 1970s.

Since only a little more than 8,000 1800 ES models were built, it has become one of the most sought-after classic Volvo cars. The 1800 ES was also a clear source of inspiration for the Volvo Concept Estate, which was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014 as a precursor to a new family of Volvo estates.



In 1974, the archetypal Volvo estate car was launched: the 245. It is a car that is still strongly associated with the brand. It remained in production for almost 20 years until 1993, and was also available in a more exclusive edition – the 265 with a V6 engine. The 1980s marked the launch of the 245 Turbo edition, the world’s first estate car with a turbo engine.



The Volvo 960 was the final rear-wheel-drive estate car produced by Volvo as a development of the 700 series from the 80s. It was introduced in 1990, featuring smoother body lines and a brand-new six-cylinder engine. In 1996, its name was changed to the V90 – a name that now returns exactly 20 years later. It was one of the most elegant estate cars in Volvo’s history.


850 T5-R

With its intense yellow paint job, 240 hp engine and 0-62 mph acceleration in 6.9 seconds, the Volvo 850 T5-R was an estate car like no other ever seen before. Launched as a limited-edition, model year 1994-only version of the 850, the T5-R became an instant collector’s item.

The Volvo 850 also caught the eye on the race track. It took Europe’s racing scene by storm in 1994 when it debuted in the prestigious British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) as the first factory-entered racing estate.



also see: Volvo Heritage and Historical Models 




Here are some of the most important milestones in Volvo Cars’ child safety history:

1964    First child seat prototype

Inspired by how astronauts travel rearwards, Bertil Aldman, medical doctor and subsequently Professor in Traffic Safety at Chalmers University of Technology, developed the very first child seat prototype. Volvo was closely involved in the development and testing was carried out in a PV544.

1967    Reversible front passenger seat with special child backrest

The first child seat to be sold to customers was created by turning the front passenger seat around. Adding a padded backrest with straps made sure that the rearward-facing child was kept in place. The solution was sold as an accessory for the recently introduced Volvo Amazon.

1972    Volvo’s first rearward-facing child seat

Rearward-facing child seats are designed to support the neck and help spread the force of a frontal impact over a larger area. Frontal impacts are the most frequent and usually the most severe impact situation.

1976    The booster cushion – a world first from Volvo

Children from three to four years and up travel facing forwards using the standard safety belt with a belt-positioning booster cushion. Volvo Cars’ policy is that children should use a booster cushion until they are 140 centimetres tall and ten years old. When using a booster cushion, the child runs an approximately 75 per cent lower risk of being injured compared to being unrestrained.

1990    World’s first integrated booster cushion

The first integrated booster cushion was an ingenious fold down and out version in the rear centre position in the Volvo 960. Double integrated pop-up booster cushions in the outer rear seats were introduced in the Volvo S40 in 1995.

1999    World’s first rearward-facing seat for ISOFIX

The world-first solution for the standardised, car-integrated ISOFIX fittings was actually two rearward-facing seats in one. Both seats – one for infants and one for toddlers up to four years of age – could be fitted in the same ISOFIX frame.

2007    World’s first two-stage integrated booster cushion

Two-stage integrated booster cushions were introduced in the Volvo V70 estate. The two-stage version, with two sitting heights, enables a better belt fit regardless of the child’s size. Child adapted safety belt load limiters were also fitted.

2014    Inflatable Child Seat Concept

The innovation, which is still in the development stage, is easy to install and can be tucked away in a small bag when not in use. This means that the child seat can be easily transferred between cars and the bag even fits in carry-on luggage when flying or travelling.

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