1980 Volvo 242 DL 2.0L from North America


I would buy another one IF this one quits


Manual transmission rebuilt at 130,000 miles.

Never had the engine open, no valve jobs.

Repainted once at 180,000.

General Comments:

Part of the family - 28 years of faithful service. My wife and I bought it new as our first car when we were married in 1980. Our 2 children rode in infant car seats in the back, and then learned to drive in this car.

I still drive it regularly, and it has 276,000+ miles on it, although the odometer works occasionally.

Any car that you can drive for 28 years has been a good investment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2008

1980 Volvo 242 DL 4-cylinder from North America


A brick! 325K and still running strong!


I've had absolutely no problems with engine, transmission, cooling system, or suspension over the years it's been driven. Normal repairs for maintenance & wear and tear.

There have been only minor electrical problems -- replaced the alternator and checked the wiring in 1992 and it's been humming along ever since.

The odometer/trip meter started sticking at 122K miles in 1990, reads 187K now, even though I know I've driven it at least 325K and probably more, based on my annual driving average in this car.

The gear box (still the original) is just now starting to show signs of wear (pops out of 4th occasionally when I'm coasting downhill), but considering the miles on it, quite impressive it's held up so well.

General Comments:

What a tough little car. Solid road feel -- I can really toss it around corners, even now. VERY comfortable to drive on long trips. But with the little 4-cylinder engine, I do notice enough power-loss when the A/C is on, that I turn it off when driving in mountainous terrain.

It is still on the first engine, and does not need a rebuild yet! My mechanic is just amazed, calls the engine "solid as a brick." My regular and preventive maintenance is a key, I expect, but it is just an incredibly well-made car. I see no reason why I'd ever need to retire it.

Not a spot of rust anywhere, and it has not been garaged.

I love this car. It is simple, utilitarian and therefore, there are seldom any issues. I don't believe any cars today are built this well, including my Jaguar.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2006

1980 Volvo 242 DL from North America


Excellently built to last


Minor electrical. Seatbelt light comes on even if I'm safely buckled up.

Driver armrest came loose some years ago and needed re-attaching.

Car was kept outside, so the paint has oxidized somewhat.

General Comments:

I bought this car brand new, and it still runs as well as it did that sunny day 25 years ago. True, the mileage is very low, as it's usage has been split with other cars I've owned. Nonetheless, while it's a tuffy, and rather spartan by today's standards, I find the drive solid, the seating comfy and cozy, (the lumbar support is much better than any car I've driven since.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th January, 2005

1980 Volvo 242 DL 1.9 (b19a) from Norway


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.