Volvo makes the wagon cool again


Volvo V60
The shapely Volvo V60 ©

Its especially ironic that Volvo – the progenitor of the original box on wheels – aka the much loved and hated station wagon has chosen to make a hot looking wagon – a wagon in which men would not mind caught driving in. I was more than a little apprehensive when Geely bought Volvo. Volvo held a near and dear place in the hearts of many – especially tweed wearing professorial types. Geely could have easily screwed it up – either by cheapening the brand or raiding the brand’s USP. After all the track record of automotive mergers is not a rosy one. There are a score of disastrous DCX type mergers for every Renault-Nissan type successful merger. But Geely has kept its wits about itself.

If the V60 is a preview of things to come from Geely … sorry, I mean’t Volvo, I can’t wait for the movie release. Despite the fervent wishes of automotive scribes here, the wagon fails to catch the imagination of the car buying public. The decline of the wagon has coincided with the rise of the cross-over or whatever that means. You essentially trade off sharp handling and better fuel economy for added ground clearance that enables you to tackle the suburban malls while imagining that you are crossing the Rubicon. Subaru and Audi figured out that the only way to make the wagon palatable to the customer is to give it a cross-over vibe with added ground clearance and body cladding. Witness the arrival of the Subaru Outback and the Audi Allroad.

I hope the V60 will end the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ syndrome for the SUV buyers and bring them back to terra firma by making the wagon sexy again.


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