Although the 264 GLE retained all the traditional
Volvo safety features, and incorporated some new
ones, its unmistakable all-round class enabled it
to avoid the tag of being a dull “security
cell” – leastwise it was boxy, safe and
Problems of overpricing did not apply
as much to the GLE as other models down the range,
its excellent finish and lavish standard equipment
making it, by anybody's standard, a luxury car.
fuel-injected 2.6-liter six-cylinder V engine was
a reliable, though hardly startling, performer which
meshed well with the three-speed automatic transmission.
Maximum power was 104 kW at 5700 rpm with torque
of 216 Nm at 3000 rpm, and the maximum speed was
170 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h sprint took a leisurely
Fuel consumption was quite good for
a big car, affording 12.6 liters/100 km for hard
The suspension setup consisted of
front struts with coil springs/telescopic dampers,
lower wishbones, trailing links, and anti-roll bar,
while at the rear was a live axle with coil springs,
rubber-mounted control arms, and torque rods. The
ride was comfortable and the 264 GLE would soak up
the heavy going on secondary country roads, keeping
axle tramp to an absolute minimum.
Volvo added to their
safety conscious reputation by reducing the power assist
to the very precise rack-and-pinion steering, thereby
helping lessen the possibility of over-correction in
case of an emergency.
The steering is reassuringly
accurate at all speeds. Although not a design trendsetter,
the 264 was pleasantly proportioned, and the distinctive
diagonal on the grille gave it a high recognition
factor. Inside, the firm high seats, adjustable in
all directions, gave excellent visibility all round.
The dash was laid out with all the instrumentation
in front of the driver, with the switch gear in the
Standard fittings included alloy wheels,
cassette player, laminated screen, rear and headlamp
wash-wipers, central locking power windows, remote
control exterior mirrors, and hazard warning lights.
Fog-lamps, metallic spray, and a sun roof were available
The boot space was excellent, and its hydraulic
lift system prevented the lid from springing open even
when not properly closed. Volvo research at the time
stated that their typical buyer was getting younger,
and did not regard the Volvo as being the 'blue rinse'
vehicle it has so often been called. This may have
been true, and the 264 GLE went a long way in changing
the perceptions of the marque.