1988 Volvo 340 DL 1.4


Retro cool, cheap, easy to DIY and super comfy


When I bought this car, it had the French MOT, but hadn't been running for a month or two, and was extremely thirsty on gas. After getting documented, I decided to refurbish the carburettor, which was warped.

It was a lot of sanding work to get the base plate straight again, and I was extremely lucky to find a set of gaskets for this old complicated and unreliable Weber carb.

I also changed to ignition spark emitter and distributor head, spark plugs, oil, cooling fluid and all the filters.

I changed the rear exhaust silencer too that I got second hand.

All in all, about 250€ repairs worth and some sweat. But still OK given I bought the car for 400€. Parts are not common in France, but still reasonably cheap.

General Comments:

The car now works fine, and is giving no sign of faults to come.

It's a charming car. I love its retro shape and the ride is smooth, safe and comfortable. Does not pull girls I suppose, but does make fiends laugh.

The engine is no-nonsense extremely basic French engineering, the conception of which dates back to the Renault 4. We're talking about the Cléon line of engines that were only discontinued in the early 90s! Except Volvo had them made by DAF from what I've read. It's trouble-free provided the flimsy carburettor works and it has a permanent transmission chain rather than a belt that you have to change. It's a little slow and still a bit thirsty (but I'm fine-tuning the carb screw settings right now, so should be economical soon).

The dashboard is dull though layout is efficient and quality OK. It reminds me of a friend's Golf 2. Glove box is sweetly lit when opened, and I love the light right of the steering wheel to help you find the ignition - very smart these Swedes. Doors make a lovely solid bang when they close and seats are terrific. Dials are a cool red needle on green figures.

All in all, a straightforward, solid, rather reliable and cheap, extremely comfortable, not so fast, head turning (deafening looks!) car that makes you feel a little special and way better than in many dearer yet cheaper made cars (eg, the Clio RL I used to have).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2010

1987 Volvo 340 DL 1.4


A way of life


So far, I just had to change the battery.

Carburetor needs a little cleaning.

Painting on the bottom of the drivers door went wrong, but cost me 50 € to fix it.

General Comments:

The Volvo 340 has been my fathers choice for 20 years and I promised myself that when I'll be able to drive, I'll never go in this car again...

I bought my Volvo 340 for 500 €, and today I just find it excellent. For people who have a certain sense of humour this is a great car. I really enjoy driving on long-distance with it even though the 1.4l Renault (yes! Renault made the engine, it's the same as the Super5 GTS) engine is not powerful enough for a car of this size. It's a shame on motorway, but when driving in town, it doesn't matter.

My father has a 345 GLS of 1984 and with a 2.0l Volvo engine it changes everything!

I really appreciate the comfort when driving. The heater is really heating and in winter there is nothing better.

In a way, is a car you appreciate from the inside!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2002

11th Dec 2003, 05:40

I could not agree more about your comments about appreciating the car from inside. I have just bought a 1987 340 GLE 1.7 saloon for £130. Large comfortable leather heated seats, a heater that warms up within yards rather than miles and an immense feeling of security and safety. I haven't had the car long enough to comment on reliability yet, but if it's anything like the 440 GLi I had a while ago I'm sure that this will be excellent. It feels a little underpowered, but the 440 I had was a 1.7 injection and I have been driving a 2.9i Granada for the last year or so. I will post a full report when I have had the car a while. By the way I love rear drive cars they teach you how to really drive safely, I should know I have owned two Capri's, allegedly the most tail happy car of them all.