1987 Volvo 340 DL 1.4 from Sweden


You can't get a better car for this type of money


Speedometer stopped working.

Exhaust being so rusty, it will soon fall to pieces.

General Comments:

It's just an amazing car for the money!

I bought this car last winter, just to have something with rearwheeldrive, to play around with in the snow. I had no high hopes of this car being a comfortable, speedy, or reliable car, but now, I know better!

First of all, what's really good about this car is it's comfort. The seats are actually one of the best pair of seats I've sat in, and even if the suspension is a bit too soft and clumsy, it does add to the amazing comfort of the car.

The handling of this car is not as bad as the reputation says. With a good balanced weight, the car almost never does something unexpected, not even in the snow, where it's a pleasure to drive, the wider the better! The only negative thing I can say about the handling is actually that it do have a tendency to under-steer a bit in the snow if you don't show it who's in charge of the whole thing. Frankly, it does like it a bit rough sometimes, and even though you have to fight a bit with both the steeringwheel and the gaspedel to get it exactly where you want it in the snow when you are out drifting, but, it always gets there eventually.

In the cabin, there is a lot of space for everyone. Especially in the front. The space in the backseat could have been a bit better, but it's a small car, and when this car was new, few car could match this car when it came to such much space inside such a small package.

The performance of the 1,4 liter engine is not amazing, but it sure isn't as bad as you would expect. Thanks to the light weight of this car, it does have a decent 0-100 KMH value. And, to be honest, If you cut out the last 30 KMH, and thinks of the time it takes for this car to do 0-70 KMH, it will actually put quite a lot of modern cars with similar engines to shame. I've driven a Renault Clio with the same number of BHP as this car, and let me tell you, the Volvo manages to be about just as quick to the 100 KMH mark as the Clio, and probably even quicker than the Clio in the 0-70 KMH range. Over 100 KMH, the car drastically looses power, and you have to push it very hard to get it over the 130 KMH mark. This is rarely a problem though, because in these speeds, the noise from the engine and the wind around the car tells you that you don't want it to go any faster anyway.

The steering is very interesting. It's interesting in such a way that it somehow manages to feel awful and pretty good at the same time. It's heavy, but at the same time, too light. I guess this have something to do with the 3.6 times it gets you to pull the wheel all the way from the left side, and over to the right side. This is also called "lock to lock".

The conclusion of all this is that the Volvo 340 managed to do a big impression on me. Generally, I like sporty cars, and even though the Volvo 340 DL being far from that world, it's actually a fun car to drive. Especially in the snow.

This year, I'm probarly buying me one of these again, but with a bigger engine this time. The 1.4 liter is good for city traffic, but myself, I'm buying this vehicle for drifting in the snow, and the 1.4 is just a bit too small for those really wide ones. Though it does come a long way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2005

1987 Volvo 340 GL 1.7 from UK and Ireland


A very reliable roomy low image car


Prop shaft came off at 77,000 miles. That cost £100 to repair.

Accelerator cable snatched a little after the prop shaft problem. RAC fixed it for free.

Radiator was replaced at a cost of around £100.

Distributor cap was changed within a week after purchase.

Headlights replaced for the last MOT as well as the brake pads.

Rear window defroster worked only partially and heated seats didn't work from when I bought the car.

General Comments:

Very comfortable and spacious car but I never found the driver's seat very comfortable which might have to do with the fact that I'm a tall person.

It feels like driving a bigger car which gives a 'king of the road' feel about it.

Not bad fuel economy out of town but quite thirsty when driving in the town.

Very practical boot loading area.

Very squary and outdated body styling which I never got accustomed with and which is the main reason that their prices in the second hand market are so low. Definitely not a sexy car.

Big advantage the fact that this model sold a lot in its time so you can find many second hand parts cheap at the scrapyards- original Volvo parts can be very expensive.

Overall I can say that the 340 is a very good choice if you are on a low budget and don't want to waste your money in repairs. However, if you are interested in a car with more personality you will have to look elsewhere.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th May, 2004