The best car this side of the Arctic Circle!
I had very few tremendous problems with my beloved 240. Considering his age and mileage he performed quite admirably.
About a week after I bought the car the timing belt broke and left me stranded on the side of the road. It was fairly expensive to replace, but because I loved the car so much it was worth the strain on my student budget.
Part of the exhaust/muffler had to be replaced... dealer told me it had been improperly done some time before.
Replaced front wheel bearings.
One of the most annoying problems I had was the heat shield, which I was told most cars didn't even have anymore in the early 90's when the car was built. So here's the story... part of my heat shield became loose and rattled VERY loudly. I was told that it could be removed, but that this was an expensive process... so I decided I could live with the rattle.
The only other thing was the persistent Swedish electrical gremlins, which I attributed to charming Volvo quirks... I could count on brake light/taillight bulbs blowing out at least once a month.
The transmission was fine and I never had a single problem with the engine.
As far as I'm concerned the Volvo 240 series was one of the safest, best built cars on the planet. Their charming stodginess and loyalty has endeared them to the hearts of many a weary traveler, mine included.
The driving experience: Driving my 240 was a combination of bliss and frustration. One feels a sense of solidity and utter safety when behind the wheel of an esteemed 240. The well weighted steering, excellent braking, and overall solid feel of the car inspire confidence and, I dare say, a feeling of invincibility.
The frustration came in the unwillingness of the car to accelerate much faster than a snail. Not to smite the 240's reputation in the least... remember, I loved this car. But the 2.3 liter 4 cylinder struggled against the 3,000lbs of Swedish steel it tried to propel, with only 114 HP. It was, however, one of the smoothest 4 cylinders I've ever driven. But yes, keeping up on the highway was always a bit more of an issue than I would have preferred.
Inside: The interior was mostly clean and rattle free. I did get the common dashboard cracks and broken front door pockets, which a little tape took care of. The seats were firm and comfortable and the tan cloth upholstery held up very nicely, although it showed dirt rather easily.
I loved my 240 dearly and was shattered when I had to part with it... I was broadsided in an intersection, but I walked away without a scratch. My beloved Volvo protected me to the very end!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd September, 2004