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Volvo overview

Volvo steering wheel

Founded in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1927, Volvo – pronounced VOLvow or, using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), vɔ́lvəw – is a leading manufacturer of premium and innovative vehicles. Embodying Scandinavian design principles, Volvo is known for being a highly innovative manufacturer, with practical design running throughout its range of models. Safety and dependability are also synonymous with the Volvo brand.

Popular Volvo models

The Volvo V40 was released in 2012 and is a compact hatchback. Boasting premium style, efficient engines, and a rewarding interior, it was one of Volvo’s most popular selling models until they discontinued it in 2019.

Among Volvo’s range of models is the XC40. It is a compact luxury crossover SUV that was first launched in 2017 and won the European Car of the Year Award at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to its well-designed cabin with excellent technology and exceptional safety features, it is a superb choice for families and long journeys.

The Volvo XC60 is another compact luxury crossover SUV that won the World Car of the Year in 2018. It was first launched in 2008 and is Volvo’s mid-size SUV. Powered by a range of powerful diesel and petrol engines, it was Volvo’s best-selling model in 2021 and 2022, achieving more than 215,000 and 195,000 sales, respectively.

The mid-size luxury SUV, the Volvo XC90, was unveiled in 2002, offering exceptional quality both inside and out. It is available with powerful petrol and diesel engines, and Volvo added a hybrid option in 2015. It is one of Volvo’s most celebrated models, winning the prize for Best Large SUV in both the Fleet News Awards and the Auto Express New Car Awards in 2015. It also won New Car of the Year in Motor News’s 2016 awards and What Car?’s Safety Car of the Year.

The Volvo V60 is a compact estate car released in 2010. It comes with the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid and was the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid. It was one of the top three models in the 2013 World Green Car of the Year.

With exceptional space, practicality and family suitability, the Volvo V90 is a mid-size estate model equipped with a range of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. These efficient engines and smart design make it an excellent choice for families.

The Volvo S90 is a compact luxury saloon designed to offer a great driving experience. It is Volvo’s flagship saloon model and won Best Used Executive model in Auto Car’s 2022 awards – the third consecutive year it won this award.

Released in 2021, the Volvo C40 is the brand’s first pure-electric model. Available with a single or twin-motor drivetrain, it can cover up to 297 miles on a single charge. As well as its class-leading performance, it is also a highly desirable and practical model.

The Volvo EX30 is a compact, all-electric model released in 2024 and is the brand’s smallest-ever SUV. It is available in a single charge model, which can power the car up to a range of 298 miles in just one charge. There is also a twin motor option which gives the car an output of 422bhp.

A stylish and powerful saloon, the Volvo S60 is a compact executive car first brought to market in 2000. A large part of this model’s appeal is its power and speed, with its first generation breaking the British land speed record for the fastest speed recorded by a D-class vehicle.

The EX90 is a fully electric, seven-seat large SUV and became the flagship SUV in Volvo’s range when it was released in 2024. It features some of the most advanced technology in the market, including Lidar technology, level 3 autonomous driving capabilities and Nvidia Drive AI.

Another of Volvo’s most popular models is the Volvo S80 – an executive car manufactured between 1998 and 2016. With excellent safety scores and a smooth drive, the S80 won Executive Car of the Year and overall, Car of the Year in 2012.

Volvo’s commitment to sustainability and safety means it continues to push the boundaries when it comes to model innovation. Models like the Volvo EX90, boast some of the most advanced pedestrian safety and parking features implemented in a car, thanks to Lidar technology. Other Volvo models also feature its signature Sensus and Sensus Connect infotainment system, which was named Car Tech of the Year in 2016.

Manufacturer awards

Volvo has a well-earned reputation for exceptional safety systems in its cars. It was the first car manufacturer to implement three-point seatbelts, now standard in all cars. This commitment to road safety has been recognised multiple times, with Volvo winning numerous awards for safety and innovation. The Volvo XC60, for instance, won the UK Car of the Year Award in 2018, mainly due to the vehicle's advanced safety features.

Safety is not the only celebrated part of Volvo’s design, however. Released in 2019, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is the brand’s first step into all-electric vehicles. Thanks to its impressive range and design, it won Best Small SUV in the 2022 UK Car of the Year awards. In the same ceremony, the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid model, the Volvo XC90 T8, won Best Large SUV, reflecting Volvo’s commitment to sustainable travel.

Moreover, Volvo was responsible for launching the world’s first plug-in diesel hybrid engine in 2012 – the Volvo V60 Plug-In. It won Green Car of the Year at Tow Car’s 2014 awards.

Volvo nomenclature

The nomenclature of Volvo’s models and engines has evolved and changed over time. Volvo introduced letters to model names e.g., V90, S60 etc. in the 1990s. The letters relate to the type of vehicle. Models which have “S” are saloons, “V” models are estates and “XC” models are SUVs. Models which have “Recharge” in their name will have a hybrid or electric powertrain. Additionally, on newer models, Volvo uses “EX” to represent their electric SUVs.

It is also useful to know the engine nomenclature if you are in the market for a used Volvo. From 2010 onwards, the manufacturer used letters, followed by a number to denote the engine’s fuel type and level of power. The letter “T” is for their petrol engine models. The letter “D” signifies a diesel engine. You may also find the letter ‘B’ on some petrol and diesel models, too.

Used Volvo cars come with three petrol powertrains; the T4, T5 and T6. The T4 is the entry-level 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged engine on the Volvo XC40. This generates 187hp and around 300Nm of torque. The T5 engine is a higher-tuned version of the T4. This generates 248hp and up to 350Nm of torque. AWD setup is standard on the T5. This engine is found on the XC90, V60 and V60 cross country. The T6 is a high-output, twin-charged engine. This means it has both a turbocharger and a supercharger. It produces 316hp and around 400Nm of torque. The T6 also comes standard with AWD and is available on the XC90.

Diesel powertrain models are called D3, D4 and D5. The D3 is a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre engine which produces 150hp and 320Nm of torque. There was also a 5-cylinder version of the D3 which achieved 163hp and 400Nm of torque. Volvo stopped producing 5-cylinder engines in 2014. The manufacturer has only made 4-cylinder engines since. Models equipped with the D3 engine include the V40 cross country, XC40, S90 and V60. The D4 engine is another four-cylinder, 2.0-litre diesel unit. The D4 offers 190hp and 400Nm of torque. This is available on post-2014 versions of the V40, V60, V90, S60, S90, XC60 and XC90. The higher-tuned D4 is capable of 190hp and 420Nm of torque. Production of this engine started after 2016 and was available on the XC90. The D5 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine produces 225hp and 470Nm of torque. This version of the D5 was put into production post-2016 and was available on the S60, V70 and XC90.

Volvo is phasing out all petrol and diesel models to focus on their all-electric range. When Volvo phases out petrol models completely, “T” will no longer signify a model with a petrol engine. It will refer to their PHEV twin-engine models only. For example, the T8 is the flagship hybrid engine from Volvo. This engine is more powerful than any of its petrol or diesel counterparts. The T8 engine can be found on the V60 Recharge, S60 Recharge, S90 Recharge, XC60 Recharge and XC90 Recharge. Depending on the model you choose, the T8 can produce 455hp and around 400Nm of torque.

As all Volvo cars become hybrids, their nomenclature will include a “B” suffix for both petrol and diesel twin-engine models. ‘B’ models can also include mild-hybrid powertrains. The B4 is the standard engine in a 2023 XC40, it is FWD. This engine offers 197hp and around 300Nm of torque. The B5 is the engine you will find in most Volvo cars. This engine can be paired with AWD or FWD configuration. This engine can be found in models like the XC40, XC60, XC90, S60 and V60. The B6 is the most powerful non-PHEV engine, it is always configured as an AWD. This engine can be found in the XC60, XC90, S90 and V90. Depending on which of these you choose, the B6 typically produces 295hp and around 420Nm of torque.

Additionally, the manufacturer has introduced “P” on their models. This is for Volvo’s ‘pure electric’ models like the XC40 P8. This engine is found in the XC40 Recharge, the C40 Recharge and the EX90. Volvo’s “P” pure-electric powertrains deliver near-instant torque. Some of these models can go from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds from stand still.

As of 2023, Volvo has discontinued the sale of estate and saloon models in the UK market. This comes as they focus on SUVs and the development of their fully electric EX range. You may still find some of these estate and saloon models on the used market.

Volvo frequently asked questions

Who owns Volvo?

Volvo is owned by the Geely Holding Group, which took control of the company in 2010.

Where is Volvo made?

Volvo has production factories worldwide, including Sweden, Belgium, and China.

What country is Volvo from?

Volvo was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1927.

Where are Volvo headquarters?

Volvo's global headquarters are in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Who makes Volvo engines?

Volvo engines are manufactured by Volvo Cars and its parent company, Geely.

What does Volvo mean?

In Latin, Volvo means 'I roll.'

How much is a Volvo service?

The cost of servicing a Volvo can vary depending on what type of work might be required. Please contact your nearest Volvo Arnold Clark branch to find out the best servicing options available.

How reliable are Volvo?

Volvo is an exceptionally reliable car manufacturer, with many of its models scoring highly in reliability surveys. The brand itself is synonymous with safety. If your Volvo is serviced regularly, you can expect it to last well.

What is Volvo Selekt?

Volvo Selekt is Volvo’s approved used car service. A Volvo car purchased through this service comes with a 12-month warranty, 12-month free roadside assistance, a 30-day exchange guarantee and a comprehensive inspection before it can be classified as a Volvo Selekt approved used car. The inspection process includes 150 checks to meet Volvo’s stringent safety standards.

What is Volvo Assistance?

Volvo Assistance offers roadside and emergency assistance through an in-car communications system. It can be used to hire cars, navigate through onward journeys and deliver parts.

Who provides Volvo Assistance?

Volvo Assistance provides emergency and roadside assistance, ranging from car hires to onward journey navigation. Contact your nearest Arnold Clark Volvo dealership who can assist with any other questions you have about Volvo Assistance.

What is the fastest Volvo?

The fastest Volvo model to get from 0-62mph is the Volvo EX30 which covers the distance in 3.7 seconds.

What is Volvo R Design?

The R Design trim is one of the higher-end trims on some Volvo cars. It normally features a sportier exterior style and enhanced engine performance.

What is DSTC in Volvo cars?

DSTC stands for Dynamic Stability and Traction Control. It is a driving safety system that improves vehicle stability by detecting and reducing skidding.

What is a mild hybrid Volvo?

Mild hybrid engines absorb the energy used when braking and distributes it to other parts of the car, helping reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. Browse our stock of used mild hybrid Volvo cars.

What is Volvo on call?

Volvo On Call is a service that offers roadside assistance, emergency services, and a range of useful apps that help you engage and manage your Volvo model.

What is Volvo Polestar?

Polestar is Volvo's performance sub-brand and exists to produce high-performing, all-electric vehicles.

What is Volvo Plus Dark?

Many Volvo models, such as the XC90, are available in a ‘Plus’ trim. This trim can also be issued in a bright or dark colour way, which adds a dark theme to the interior and exterior of the model. So, Volvo Plus Dark is simply a dark-themed Plus trim.

What is Volvo Powerpulse?

Volvo’s PowerPulse is a system that reduces turbo lag when accelerating. It works by feeding fresh air into a compressor which is then pushed into the exhaust manifold when the car accelerates.

What is Volvo Xenium pack?

The Xenium pack is an optional package available on some Volvo models. It includes premium features like a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, Park Assist Pilot and automatic parallel parking.

How do you update Volvo software?

To update your Volvo's software, connect your car to a reliable internet, navigate to the settings menu, select 'System', then 'Software Update', and follow the instructions.

How do you connect your Volvo app to the car?

You can connect your Volvo app to your car by creating or signing into your app profile, navigating through to the settings menu, the profiles page and then on to the Volvo Cars app devices. You can then choose to pair your app.

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £210.83
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 48
Cash Price £8498
Credit Amount £8249
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £10,369
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.