1980 Volvo 245 2.4 diesel from North America
Standard maintenance stuff -- glow plugs, timing belt, injectors, filters, brake pads, rotors, etc.
Rebuilt the top end of the engine when first purchased. Never needed any other major work.
This was a very basic workhorse model with full vinyl interior. Replaced the worn front seats with salvage yard cloth seats from a newer model. After that, it was quite comfortable as well.
Rust in the expected places for the 200 series wagons.
Replaced the motor for the rear wiper (salvage yard special).
The heater fan protested on occasion, but never quit entirely. Which is fortunate as I gather it's a PITA to get at and fix.
This car was purchased cheap to haul lots of stuff. These wagons have enormous squared-off load bays, particularly with the rear seat folded. I once carried a standard-sized fridge, and could still close the rear hatch.
The diesel was not as slow as might be expected. You learn to conserve momentum, and this one had a very sweet-shifting 4 spd + overdrive gearbox.
Economy for the size and aerodynamics (?!) of the car was outstanding. The fuel tank was pretty big and gave a very long range.
To be honest, I once got a speeding ticket in this car -- 75 in a 65. The car would do about 80 mph on the level.
It was dirty gray and ugly as could be. I regularly parked it on the street all over NYC, and it was simply ignored.
I gifted the car to a friend when I moved out of the U.S. He drove it for another 3 years and sold it on. For all I know, that old grey whale is still out there somewhere.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th June, 2010