For much of its life, Volvo – derived from the Latin for ‘I roll’ – has been a byword for safety and solidity. Its first car left the Swedish factory in 1927, and with its cars constructed to survive Arctic winters, they proved very tough in more hospitable export climates. Volvo also placed great store in passenger protection too. Its robust, no-nonsense approach was exemplified by the 140 and 240-series, which kept the same basic style from 1967 to 1993, but still sold in huge volumes across the globe.
Volvos started to become sexier from the 1990s onwards; a move upmarket under Ford ownership (from 1998) has seen it become one of the premium European marques.