Volvo Is The Calm Little Center Of The Universe

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Volvo make Volvos, right? Volvos don’t get the blood boiling. But in a world where most carmakers outdo each other in aggression, Volvo’s quiet stance is quite remarkable.

There is something terribly cozy about modern Volvos. The shapes are increasingly like objects found in nature, rounded, flowing edges, like pebbles, like driftwood. They speak to the lizard brain seeking comfort. Like a well-heated, dry, Scandinavian living room is what they are on the inside. If I had kids, I’d have an XC70.

Volvo’s stand at Geneva is a reflection of all this. Where others have hard-edged plastics and shiny metal, they have leather, wood and glass. Others have rotating platforms do a 360° every minute or two. Volvo’s takes ten minutes and you can sit on the platform with the new cars—the V60 D5 and the XC60—while sipping a flat white from da Matteo, the Gothenburg-based coffee company whose baristas make coffee for Volvo at car shows.


There’s even a Dutch wooden bike on display looking like a Westernized chukudu (the homemade bikes that serve as the pickup trucks of the Congo). It’s good to have Volvo around. A car company that knows how to shut the fuck up and make very pleasant cars.