What a great car! It's ugly and quite slow, but it does what all cars are supposed to do very well... get you from point A to point B safely, reliably, and cheaply... plus it's so comfy!
I just bought this car not too long ago and so far it's a super car! I do wish it was prettier though. It looks like an army tank. But I guess that's o.k. considering that it runs and drives like and army tank. I'd rather drive an ugly, but safe car than drive a pretty car that's a death trap like some umm... other cars.
Now, the performance is definitely not hot-rod fast, but it gets out of it's own way when it needs to. 0-60 time is about 13 seconds...that's pretty slow for todays standards, but not 1985 standards. Even though this car is tall and square, it handles better than any other 4-door sedan I've driven. It eats up curvy roads! Braking isn't bad, but it isn't great either. I had to slam my brakes on the other day doing about 60mph and I didn't think I was ever going to stop! The car did brake very straight, which can be very important, though. I've driven other cars that wag their tail and slide sideways when you have to slam on the brakes.
Ooh...this car is comfortable! I've heard other Volvo owners say that Volvo makes some of the most comfortable car seats, so I know I'm not crazy! The seats in front and back are soft, yet supportive... I don't mean hard as a rock when I say "supportive" like some people say! I actually like the seats in the Volvo 740 better, but that's o.k. because my seats are comfy too. I'm the average height for a male and even though the steering wheel is not adjustable, it's in a perfect position for me... not too high or too low. All of the controls on the dash are placed well and are easy to reach and operate, except for the radio, which is mounted way down at the bottom of the dash near the floor. Who's bright idea was that? I've noticed that on newer versions of this car, the radio is mounted above all other controls at the top... smart thinkin'!
Now, as far as running costs, these Volvos hardly ever break down or require unusual repairs, so running costs are quite inexpensive in that respect. When they actually do break down or require unusual repairs, they can be, and usually are, expensive. With fuel prices as high as they are now, I'm disappointed with the fuel economy of this car. I get about 25mpg on the highway with the A/C off. And NO, I don't have a lead foot. That's pretty bad for a car with a 4-cylinder engine! It's not turbo charged and it doesn't have a whole lot of horsepower to compensate. Most cars with this size engine and horsepower get over 30mpg. I'm thinking of having a V-8 dropped in my car, so I shouldn't complain about fuel costs I guess. Yes, you CAN get a V-8 put in one of these older Volvos! Woo-hoo!
Overall though, this is a very good car. What this car may lack in appearance and performance, it makes up for in reliability. Putting 200,000 miles or more on the original engine and transmission in one of these cars is the norm... without any oil leaks or major engine work! I'd like to see that from any American or Japanese car! Oh yeah, you can pick up an older Volvo like this for practically nothing! Buy one if you can find one!