1988 Volvo 340


I'm with Jeremy Clarkson on this one...


Given to me as a courtesy car whilst my Ford Escort was in for repair (again).

During the few hellish hours that I was forced to drive it...

The dashboard dial cluster fell back into the console (literally).

Wipers failed.

Fuel gauge stopped working.

Speedometer needle kept ticking no matter where it was on the dial. So from what I could 'accurately' deduce, I was doing somewhere between 20 and 30mph.

Brakes grabbed to the left.

Whichever gear it was in, the gear stick had the same amount of lateral movement as it did when it was in neutral, so it was a case of hoping I'd find a gear in there somewhere, and then hoping it was the correct gear.

And that was in the space of about six hours.

My Escort was a truly awful car, but I never wanted that car back so much as I did whilst I had to drive that Volvo. I'd have more street cred travelling by bus.

General Comments:

Calling it a heap of junk would be paying this car a big compliment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th June, 2017

1988 Volvo 340 GLE 1.7


I love this car; when it breaks down I break down


The distributor cap is prone to corrosion and needs replacing frequently.

Generally at the age it is, parts are simply wearing out.

And I can't get spare parts.

General Comments:

One time. It was parked up and got hit by an artic lorry. It got dragged but it stopped the lorry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2008

1988 Volvo 340 GLE Limited Edition 1.7 petrol


RECOMMENDED! Limited Edition Quality Bargain, one to keep!


Bought car "as seen" of ebay really cheap... found out it hadn't been serviced for years! Drove well despite needing a new radiator and hardly having any oil in it!

Clutch slipping in high gears at 3000rpm+, copious oil leaks from engine.

Mileometer (but not speedo) ceased to work after 2 days of picking car up!

Heated (leather) seats don't work

Some rust on door bottom corners, slight bit on rear outer arches, and (more annoyingly) steel sunroof panel.

General Comments:

Replaced all engine gaskets and seals, even rear cam seal. Clutch slip was due to oil leaked onto it, cured itself after a long, hard drive.

Plan to cure mileometer and heated seats, and (eventually) sort out the rust.

Fantastic car to drive, quite heavy, but enjoyable. A limited edition GLE (of only 300!) this has alloy wheels, full leather interior and all the usual GLE gizmo's.

I don't know why, but I love driving this car. It's old (always a bonus), stately and (to me, anyway) exudes quality. These cars where slated back then, but compared to a Mk3 Escort and suchlike, feel like a Rolls Royce!

I have many different cars, my main car is a mint BMW 520i 24v... and I love these Volvo's. Praise indeed! Most left nowadays are neglected sheds, give it a couple of years and there will be hardly any left. Grab yourself a bargain battleship whilst you can!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2004

1988 Volvo 340 GLE 1.7


Good reliable basic comfortable seats


I've had s light problem with the distributer cap - although its my own fault as the car had stood outside unused for 6+ weeks.

The electrical system seems a bit erratic - sometimes the electric windows or windscreen wipers don't work, but try them again five minutes and they work again.

General Comments:

I would thoroughly recommend this car as a good, solid, reliable basic car which is good driving short distances in town and on the motorway.

Much better than an escort, astra etc - how many of those do you still see around?

I actually like the styling - its different.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2003

1988 Volvo 340 GL 1.4


A cheap, sensible, anti-fashion statement


Starter failed.

Head gasket failed at 95000 miles.

Various carb problems - seems to shake itself loose and needs regular tightening.

Fuel leaks throughout system.

CVT drive belts failed. These are a nightmare to replace unless you can get hold of the special tool or knock up one yourself.

Niggly electrical problems.

General Comments:

An extremely comfortable car to drive, with good seats and a spacious cabin.

Feels solid on the road and handles reasonably well if driven sensibly.

We have had a lot of niggly faults with this vehicle, but it is very easy to work on (with the exception of the CVT belts) being mechanically simple. The engine bay is particularly accessible.

It is very suitable for the cost conscious owner who prefers to his/her own repairs, although parts from Volvo can be expensive. (Try other specialists first and then ring up Volvo for a laugh!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2003