Volvo 122 Reviews

1967 Volvo 122 wagon from North America

Model year1967
Year of manufacture1967
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance92000 miles
Previous carVolvo 122

Summary:

Awesome car, looking to get more of them

Faults:

Brakes are not so great.

The transmission slips in second gear.

The battery is dying, and the carbs need some work.

General Comments:

A great car. It is really quiet. It hasn't broken down once in the half-year I have had it. It has a comfortable interior, and doesn't smoke or backfire. Although not as quick as my old 1968 122, but it's OK. It feels nice and tight, and steers great. It is really reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2008

1968 Volvo 122 2door B18 A from Sweden

Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission B18 A Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 kilometres
Most recent distance220000 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Colt

Summary:

A classic that can be used as a daily-driver

Faults:

The hydraulically activated clutch seems to leak now and then.

The charge-relay works when it wants to, which draws the battery flat, and it has to be charged once a week.

The front brakes were faulty when I bought it, but I neglected it. The system was completely changed and overhauled from the pedal and forth at a Volvo-dealer.

The rust. Especially on the floor and lower sides of the body. Rear wheel arches, both inner and outer was severely rusty and was changed in the spring of 2003.

General Comments:

Sturdy and reliable.

Easy and simple mechanics to work with.

Easy to get new and used parts for, considering the age of it.

Not the comfort and performance of a modern car.

Draws attention everywhere!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2004

14th Apr 2005, 00:19

A '66 122S was my first car, with over 200k miles. It performed well, was reliable --- and I wish I still owned it.

29th Dec 2005, 18:38

The volvo 122 series was one of the best cars ever made... they are very dependable... I purchased one in 1977, it was a ten year old car at the time, that looked and rode like brand new... I sold it due to a wreck... 20 years later I purchased another 2 door 122s to restore... it had taken almost 8 years to restore... before I finished it though I purchased one that had already been restored... I now own a 1966 4 door 122, and 2 1968 2 door 122's that are restored... if you want a dependable and practical car that you can repair yourself, without all the computerized junk to make it run... well this is the car for you... if you keep proper maintenance both in mechanics and cosmetics, then you will turn heads when driving... there is nothing better to roll in...

26th Jun 2006, 22:23

Great "touring" vehicle, I owned a '64 in the 70's and a '68 in the 80's. The ill-designed "snow catcher" fenders just rusted out too much.

For leaky hydraulics - your Volvo dealer sells slightly oversized rubber gaskets for slave cylinder, master cyl, etc. specifically for the wear down (and very inexpensive item). That typically is all you need.

1968 Volvo 122 S B18B from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission B18B Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 miles
Most recent distance180000 miles
Previous carTriumph Dolomite

Summary:

An old car with modern reliability and performance

Faults:

Clutch failed (just plain worn out)

Distributor clamp broke.

Camshaft drive gear broke up.

General Comments:

Despite its age this was probably the best car I have ever owned. The few faults it developed were mainly due to simple age and wear and it is so easy to work on! I did some fairly minor engine tuning, mainly by adding the camshaft from the fuel injected model to this carburetted car and the performance was outstanding for a saloon car of this era.

People forget that in the 60's Volvos sold on performance. This car was a 1968 full five seater that could do over 115 mph with safety and reliability. It's only competition at the time was a Jaguar. The trouble was with the Jag you got plush carpets, leather seats and a wood dash. With the Volvo you got rubber mats, plastic seats and a painted metal dash, and for slightly more money than the Jag! What people missed was that with the Volvo you got build quality and rust resistance. Not a major selling point at the time.

If you want a slightly different classic that is perfectly usable today then consider one of these.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2002

4th Jun 2007, 11:19

Volvo Amazons are truly wonderful, practical classic cars. I drive a 1968 122S estate almost daily and have owned and worked on these cars for 28 years. But to compare them to Jaguars of the sixties is just not right. I also drive a 1963 3.8 Mark 2 Jag regularly, but it is a very different sort of beast. The Jaguar will simply blow the doors off any Amazon, it handles better, it's quiet, smooth, and cossetting, and of course the interior is not in the same league as the Volvo. The Jag will do 125 mph, but the Volvo might manage 100 or so if you're lucky (and foolish: Amazons are pretty scary at speed). But the Jag has a 3.8 litre dual overhead cam engine and the Volvo has a 1.8 (or 2.0 in later versions) cast iron ohv unit. The Volvo is perhaps more reliable, although my Mark 2 is actually quite dependable. I drove it on three 500-mile-plus trips last summer and it did not skip a beat, nor did it even use oil, even though Jag motors are supposed to be oil guzzlers. But the Volvo is definitely cheap and easy to fix, and if somebody opens his door into the side on my Amazon, it causes me far less trauma than if they did it into the Jaguar! The two cars are both wonderful, and neither of mine is for sale, at any price. Of course, you can buy four Amazons for the price of a good 3.8 Mark 2. But it is just not fair to compare them. Each has its charms and merits, and each its drawbacks. It is clearly best to have one of each.

Geoff Rogers

Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA.

7th Jan 2010, 06:39

Yes, old Volvos are very reliable. I have had a 1968 122S from almost new, and have not even removed the cylinder head.

Clutch plate changed once.

Water pump changed.

Clutch master cylinder replaced.

Servo recently replaced with a Lockheed type.

Front wheel bearings replaced.

Brake calipers overhauled.

Cam gears recently replaced, although they didn't seem too bad.

Otherwise just the usual brake linings, steering joints etc.

9th Sep 2010, 21:43

I was planning on restoring a Volvo 122, and I'm pretty certain I'll have to replace the clutch. If anyone could help me with that, I would appreciate it greatly. Actually, any information would be very much appreciated

npullano@gmail.com

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 4 reviews