1977 Volvo 242 DL B19


Cheap, reliable, comfy and even fast - car for the closefisted!


One wheel bearing had to be changed.

Broke a hole into the gas tank under excessive driving. Used gas tank found and installed for a smile at an independent local shop.

General Comments:

Very nice ride for the comfy-minded - the car is a sofa with wheels, built for long distances.

This is an engineer's car, as opposed to accountants (GM), race drivers (BMW) or marketing people (the French bunch) - meaning: Everything is dimensioned to last forever! Mechanically, this car is undestroyable, but mind the rust! This is a serious problem, especially around the wheels. Try to clean the water-run-off-holes in the doors every once in a while.

Though old Volvo engines sound like tractor machines, the 242 is significantly calmer than the station wagon 245.

I bought this car as a student, and it turned out to be a perfect choice. If you decide not to maintain it, ride far, much and hard, and sell it to some handyman within two or three years, this one will hardly cost more than the money spent on gas! It is cheap, but safe, it is ugly, but comfy, and visibility out of a brick is top class - you never need to wonder where your car ends. Have been a family man for a decade, now I am looking for another one of those.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2010

2nd Jul 2011, 09:30

Call me when your Volvo reaches 600.000 miles. My 87 Chevrolet Caprice has that mileage, and it's still going strong. Volvo engines don't last as long as the old cast-iron Chevy smallblock. My car still has the original 305 engine with its th2004R automatic transmission.

5th Oct 2015, 20:03

I've owned multiple Volvos, and multiple Chevrolets (and a Toyota and Mitsubishi). All were good cars for their own reason. The Volvo 1.8-2.3 and the Small Block Chevy are 2 of the best motors ever made. I have driven SBCs to 300k, but I have seen a couple Volvo redblocks with over a million.

1977 Volvo 242 L 1.9


I might need to wreck it - or it's going to be my life's all-time-restored classic; I love it


The shock absorber in the front right was already broken for 4000km when I bought the car; I still use it because I cannot afford a shift and the car runs well anyway.

Battery was ancient and being empty one morning in the mountains resulted in being towed with a tractor whose big wheels threw stones on my window. I may replace it soon.

Somehow the gas tank broke when driving over a big stone.

Shifted the timing belt.

A trip to Germany resulted in 800 km completely empty for motor-oil; I forgot to check. Amazingly, the engine works, but since then it consumes about 1 litre oil per 500km.

Some rust.

General Comments:

Amazing and outstanding seats and driveability.

Low gas consumption at sporty driving - though the company's not known for building sportscars longer, especially the 240.

Long-life qualities: The interior looks better than in a 10-year-old Volkswagen, the maintenance- and driving costs are very low so one can focus on upgrading the car little by little.

Excellent light quality in the dark - before this car I never liked to drive in the dark.

Easy to park because of it's square-design.

... I even think it's beautiful! No toys such as in modern cars and everything is just like it is supposed to be to make it a good first car for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2004

1980 Volvo 242 DL 1.9 (b19a)


Volvo Power


Turnsignal light switch needs to be replaced.

Reflector is a bit worn out.

General Comments:

The car has a new carburetor and air-filter box as used in the 2.3 litre engine (1986).

The car handles well and uses little gas.

There is room for improvement in the engine department, which will be done.

Interior is 99% in original shape! Though, I have swapped to leather rear seats. I will maybe use C70 or 780 front leather seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2002

6th Dec 2002, 05:04

I was considering putting B36 engine in this car, but now I'll go for B230ET with M46 transmission. The engine has standard 186hp TIC, but it has a performance air filter, so I've been told it should produce 195hp. I'm not sure about the nm, but I think I remember it's around 270 @ 2-3k rpm.

If I also invest in a full 3" exhaust plus new headers, gr.a. cam, etc. I will get about 250hp/300++nm. This will give acceleration like a expensive sports car.

I will of course need 225/45-17 tires and diff brake.