Estates are declining in popularity but SUVs pose efficiency challenge, says Volvo boss

Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Volvo’s ‘glory days’ of estate cars are declining, but popular SUVs struggle to offer the right efficiency, one of the firm’s bosses has said.

Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars, told the PA news agency: “We can conclude that our former glory days of estate cars are declining.

“We have never been big in sedans [saloons] but the ones we do have are declining.

“But at the same time, when we look into the future we can see that SUVs are not optimum from an efficiency standpoint. We see a need for more aerodynamic cars and for lower weight and rolling resistance.”

Volvo C40 Recharge
The C40 arrives as Volvo’s second fully-electric vehicle

SUVs pose an issue towards efficiency owing to their large size and weight. With an upright design, they often falter when it comes to aerodynamics and require more energy to ‘push’ through the air which, in turn, puts more stress on the electric motor and uses up more charge.

It comes as the Swedish firm introduces its new C40 Recharge – an electric SUV – which builds on the firm’s XC40 P8 Recharge, which is also a battery-powered SUV.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Volvo does offer saloon and estate cars in the form of its S60, S90, V60 and V90 models, but has majored in recent years on SUVs in the form of its XC40, XC60 and XC90 models.

The Swedish firm has a longstanding history of creating practical and comfortable estate cars, with highlights including the V70 and 850 – both of which proved popular with buyers for many years. However, a recent widespread surge in SUV popularity has seen many manufacturers shift away from these ‘traditional’ body styles towards higher-riding cars.

However, Green didn’t rule out the creation of new electric Volvo estate cars, adding: “We might see a growing trend again in the modern take on the traditional estate.”