1983 Volvo 240 GLE B23E from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Surprisingly enjoyable classic! The GLE trim level and the B23E engine make all the difference

Faults:

No major faults in the year of ownership I enjoyed before writing it off.

Alternator failed. Cheap and easy to access replacement ($300).

There were of course consumables to be replaced, which is expected. Brake rotors/pads and timing belt were due for replacement when purchasing vehicle.

General Comments:

The B23E engine, with continuous fuel injection, in the 240 is fantastic! With the standard exhaust (and with probably a few imperceptible leaks) it is raughty and characterful. Unlike the sound of many modern day 4 cylinder cars. It has strong mid-range performance and puts out 100~102kW (134-136hp) peak, which was very similar to the Mercedes 230E W124 of the day. Still acceptable performance.

3 speed transmission shifted smooth and reliably, but limited set of ratios means 1st seems too tall (slow initial response) and 3rd a little short (not entirely relaxed at highway speeds). This was rectified for MY1984 vehicles and later with either overdrive or an extra ratio.

Fuel consumption by today's standards is generally average to poor with the B23E. It requires 97 Octane Fuel. Latter B230F engines (in later models and/or different market) could facilitate better fuel economy and did not require premium fuel.

Steering was lacking in feel, light and power assisted. Handling was predictable and grippy until you hit the limit. The RWD setup inspires confidence. The car felt almost agile in hasty urban dashes.

GLE (or GLT in N. America & Europe) trim is definitely the pick. Power windows, and gauges, with distinctive 15" Virgo rims make the GLE stick out from the bland 240 GL, DL counterparts. The GLE's black trim and grille in place of the sickeningly gaudy GL chrome gives the car a more timeless look.

Comfortable interior with good space for driver and front passenger. Back seat has average space ideally seating only 2 adults. Boot space moderate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2010

1983 Volvo 240 GL Diesel D24 from North America

Summary:

This car is what it is, slow and tank like, but safe and solid

Faults:

Headlights on one side do not work due to a wiring issue as the relay, headlights, and headlight switch were recently replaced.

The head gasket is leaky, causing oil to burn. This makes it difficult to drive up long hills.

The jack broke while I was using it.

The leather seats are ripped.

The A/C no longer works.

The heater fan no longer blows.

The battery goes dead if the car isn't started for a month in the wintertime.

The front right turn signal does not work due to wiring problems.

The power steering fluid leaks sometimes.

General Comments:

I will state this right now. This car was badly abused when I got it (well for the 8 years prior to purchasing it. Before that detailed maintenance records were kept.)

This car is very solid. It is a pleasure to drive, and I rarely have a problem starting it. I feel very safe in it.

It has stalled twice on me however (in the exact same location coincidentally).

I cannot drive it up long hills due to the gasket. The engine gets smoke coming off the surface of it and there is a terrible smell which goes along with it.

There have been various electrical problems with it such as headlights and turn signals.

Regardless of that, it is very reliable and always starts for me. It handles well and has a relatively tight turning radius. The acceleration is however slow and I cannot drive faster than 40 km/h up hills.

I love my car very much regardless of its issues. It is what it is for being 26 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2009

1983 Volvo 240 Standard from North America

Summary:

Safe, in every way

Faults:

Nothing at all. This car is a dream, I'll get another 83 240 when the time comes.

General Comments:

Thinking about getting a 240? Do it, and get a 83, it's the best year (according to a Volvo mechanic that worked in the factory then).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2008