In the world of the automobile, Volvos aren’t really known for being "cool." They’re known for being safe, sure — and, in recent years, for being stylish. They’re known for good technology (some of them, anyway), and comfortable ride quality, and nice, soft, plush seats. But "cool" continues to escape Volvo, unless you’re one of those people who thinks that safe, sensible, normal things are cool, in which case Volvos are off the charts. But if you’re a normal person, you may not think Volvos are all that exciting — so I’ve decided to change your opinion, even if only slightly, by showing you the five coolest Volvo models currently listed for sale on Autotrader.
This is every hipster’s dream: a brown (OK, maybe it’s gray), well-kept 1980s Volvo station wagon. It’s also a car enthusiast’s dream: It’s a turbo station wagon. Unfortunately, climbing behind the wheel, this may not really be anyone’s dream, as the "turbo" model really only brought 153 horsepower to the table — a lot by 1980s Volvo wagon standards, but good for something like a 9-second 0-to-60 time. Still, this was the predecessor to all the modern sporty turbocharged Volvo models that came later, so we must respect it — and it can be yours, as it’s offered by a private seller in Stamford, Connecticut, with 173,000 miles for $12,500. Find a 1984 Volvo 245 for sale
The Volvo 850 was Volvo’s first front-wheel-drive car, and sales were brisk from the moment it came out in 1993. In 1995, a high-performance version (called the T-5R) was released, and it was only offered in yellow or black — plus a very small number in green. The limited-production T-5R was such a success that Volvo offered the sporty 850R in 1996 and 1997 using the same engine: a 2.3-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder that made 240 hp. It may not sound like much, but it was good for zero to 60 in something like 6.9 seconds, which was pretty good back then. The only drawback is that all U.S.-model 850Rs were sold with an automatic transmission, though Canada got a 5-speed manual. This ’96 850R is a fairly well-kept example offered by Specialty Auto Sales in Hanson, Massachusetts, with only 89,700 miles for $5,850. Find a 1996 Volvo 850 for sale
The Volvo V60 Polestar is unequivocally the coolest Volvo in the lineup today, as it offers an impressive 362 hp and a highly respectable 0-to-60 time of something like 4.9 seconds. The coolest thing about it, though, is the look: I already like the V60’s perfect proportions, and I really love the gorgeous Rebel Blue exterior with those huge wheels. While there are a few V60 Polestar models on Autotrader, only two are blue, including this one: a used 2016 model with 18,300 miles, offered by Audi of Glenwood Springs in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for $46,888. Find a 2016 Volvo V60 for sale
Although Volvo models were mostly known for their dependability and longevity in years past, many of today’s buyers don’t consider Volvo any more durable than any other brand — and some, who had bad luck with Volvo models in the late 1990s and early 2000s, may actually consider Volvo to be a bit worse. But here’s proof that Volvos can still go the distance: This 2008 XC70 has traveled 271,000 miles in just nine years, as the second owner drove it more than 36,000 miles a year during a 6-year ownership period. It’s one of the highest-mileage modern Volvo models on Autotrader, and it’s currently offered by Specialty Auto Sales in Hanson, Massachusetts, for $3,650. Find a 2008 Volvo XC70 for sale
Here’s something you probably didn’t expect: Among the sea of S40s and V90s and XC90s and XC60s and 850s on Autotrader, there’s also this 1995 Volvo box truck. The listing provides just one good photograph and no apparent description, and it also doesn’t include the VIN — but it looks like a fairly standard box truck with 224,000 miles and a diesel engine, offered by a private seller in the Chicago area for $5,500. Find a 1995 Volvo for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.