By the time the Volvo 245 GL arrived
on Australian shores, the marque had built a stellar
reputation for building robust, reliable, safe but
It seemed every year the same formula
was applied, with just the occasional cosmetic update
to set it apart from last year's model.
a large number were purchased by well off middleclass
retirees, in reality the Swedish vehicles had plenty
to offer the motorist with a more modest budget.
most countries, four cylinder Volvos were in solid
demand on the secondhand car market, ensuring resale
values were high.
Service intervals come only every
10 000 km, and fuel consumption was reasonably attractive;
the manual fours being good for up around 10 liters/100
km on the highway and 13.5 liters/100 km in city
But it was the cars reputation for build
quality and strength that made it such a popular
second hand car.
Like the four-door sedan models, the
245 wagon was powered by Volvo's keen-to-please B-21
F 2130 cc single overhead cam engine. Alloy-headed
but with a regular cast-iron block, the B-21 F was
a masochistic beast that cries out for hard work.
the larger markets there was a wider choice for the
potential Volvo wagon buyers than was offered in Australia.
The cheapest 245 was the carburetor version of the
DL, in this configuration the engine producing around
80 kW. Then came the better equipped GL, which
shared similar mechanicals to the top-of-the-line
GLE, the fuel-injected engine developing 92 kW.
wagon gave away nothing to the 244 sedan in comfort,
appointments, handling, and maneuverability; it was
even exactly the same length and width as the sedan.
The big cargo area (around 2 metres long with the
rear seat folded down) was just 59 cm above the ground,
the sizeable cargo area being further enhanced by
the use of a large one-piece tailgate which swung
upwards out of the way.
Owners soon discovered that
this doubled as a handy awning in wet weather. Held
open by gas struts, the tailgate opened and closed
with little effort. A washer-wiper system on the tailgate
window ensured clear, safe visibility from the driver's
seat. A boon for large families was the optional extra
fold-away rear compartment seat. It was a back to front
seat because Volvo considered this the safest way for
the kids to travel. What the extra double-seater
did, of course, was take the wagon's passenger carrying
capacity to seven.
As an economical (to buy and to
run) wagon, offering around five times the cargo space
and all the usual features of the sedan, the 245 also
shaped up as the logical choice for those motorists
who needed a people mover. They are not collectable,
but they were bloody good.