Volvo 164 (1968 – 1975) Review

Volvo 164 (1968 – 1975) At A Glance


+Smooth six-cylinder power, understated looks, enhanced by new front end, lots of equipment, and brisk performance in fuel injected form

-Was not a match for a big Mercedes-Benz then; and isn't now, either

Volvo sought to go upmarket in the late-1960s, and its 140-Series saloon should have been the perfect basis for competitiveness in a more rarified arena. But the 164 was probably not the right product with which to go fighting Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, as its humble origins were not that effectively disguised.

It was was clearly based on the 140-series, and the grander grille and more stylish headlamp arrangement didn't do enough to hide the fact - which was a shame because the 2978cc six-cylinder engine lurking the bonnet was an effective power unit.

Top of the range TE model received leather, air conditioning and power steering, which was very enticing. The cars started with 145bhp, but that rose to 175bhp when fuel injection arrived in 1971. Only available as a four-door saloon - it never occurred to Volvo at the time that affluent estate car owners wanted their cars to be kitted out just as extravagently than their saloons. That would all change.

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