1988 Volvo 340 Reviews - Page 4 of 5

1988 Volvo 340 GL 1.7 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.7 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance99000 miles

Summary:

Superb bargain at 400ukp for a very robust and reliable car, but poor high speed dynamics

Faults:

The boot shock absorbers have broken so the boot needs to be propped open with a stick.

Heated seats broke.

General Comments:

A LOT of vibrating at speeds over 65 mph. Top speed of under 100 mph.

Very very quick acceleration 0-60 for such an old car.

Engine hums sweetly.

Seats are very comfortable.

You feel extremely safe inside.

Rear end is prone to tail-sliding especially on damp roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th January, 2002

24th Jan 2003, 05:01

Hello

I've just bought a 340 too, it also had really bad vibration between 60mph and 70mph - so I got all the wheels balanced and aligned (£20) - its perfect now, feels much more stable too. I suggest you do this, well worth it.

1988 Volvo 340 DL 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles

Summary:

All it needs is a 5th gear... good car

Faults:

Boot doesn't stay open.

Boot lock fell out.

Radiator needed replacing.

New clutch.

New radio as the original gave up.

New carb seals as the originals perished.

Heater controls stay on full heat.

General Comments:

A fantastic present from my Grandparents who owned it from new. Despite lots of niggles when I first had it, it has proven to be a very capable and flexible car - albeit 'angular' in design.

Huge load carrying capability - can transport 2 bikes + windsurfer on the roof or a minimal surfboard inside with the front seat flat.

Despite being an insurance write off twice it is still going strong and refuses to give up the ghost. Nothing on the market to rival the 340 in terms of comfort, safety, durability.

Undesirable image allows it to be left without worry of theft.

1.4 engine is same as the Renault 5 GT Turbo (but without the turbo block), tempting to get it modified.

Would be ideal if it had 5th gear for long motorway work, as it can be noisy and heavy on the juice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2001

1988 Volvo 340 GL 1.7 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.7 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance121000 miles

Summary:

Luxury at a low price

Faults:

Periodic carburettor blockages causing rough idling.

The propshaft had to be replaced at 74,000 miles.

General Comments:

Comfortable and generally reliable.

Fuel economy not great as it's a heavy car - but I've had 40mpg on dual carriageways.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th May, 2001

1988 Volvo 340 GL 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.4 petrol Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 miles
Most recent distance170000 miles

Summary:

A brutally under powered Chieftain tank on 4 wheels

Faults:

Had a tendency to stall and cut out when idling, which was indescribably irritating, almost vomit inducing when in stop-start traffic. Having dismantled the carburettor it was found to be a blockage which was preventing the petrol from flowing freely (not bad for such a huge mileage).

Chucked out a lot of black smoke when giving it some welly (which was 99% of the time).

General Comments:

Its main faults were the fact it was driven by a a 1.4 carb engine which generated the bhp fit only for a car weighing as much as a small rodent. Unfortunately, the old Volvo weighed in at about 17 tons which meant performance was by no means a redeeming attribute.

This huge mass of pig iron, powered by such a viciously under-powered engine also led to a pitiful fuel consumption of about 12 MPG around town.

Unfortunately it doesn't end there. Driving in the wet was on occasions, but when you simply want to travel from A-B when it is raining it became quite irritating/life threatening. As it is rear-wheel drive the back end became very tail-happy when you turn into a corner on the gas. As the enormous weight transfer and body-roll is pushed over to one side the back just kicks out and with such a savage lack of power, it is hard to correct. On more than one occasion this happened and on one occasion I span the thing about 240 degrees on a round about.

On the plus side however, it has got a tough old engine that can take a battering and it was good for 112 mph down hill with a tail-wind (although it was delivering about 2.5 mpg at the time).

Oh, and you have to be built like a boxer to park it!

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

Review Date: 15th March, 2001

28th Feb 2002, 04:32

Rest assured it will do at least another 100,000 miles!! The steering is so vague it shouldn't make too much difference anyway! Get the wheels balanced and aligned, make sure the pressures are right and bear in mind the cambered surface of the road, it will always cause a car to pull slightly to the left or the right (depending on which side of the road you drive on!) The only thing it may cause is uneven tyre wear but I wouldn't worry too much about that if you only want the car for a year.

12th Mar 2004, 06:40

I am surprised at the original author's comments here. obviously he had either a defunct or a worn out example! I have been a fan of these things for years... They are indestrtuctible beasts. Possibly Volvo's best All Rounder to date. Buy a good one, look after it and it will be your friend for years.

Nik.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 17 reviews