1988 Volvo 340 DL 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Robust, nippy, fuel consuming bargain


Boot doesn't stay open.

Tail light connections a bit loose.

General Comments:

A bit fuel consuming at only 20-25mpg.

Nippy first car with excellent brakes.

Brilliant turning circle, very tight.

Steering is a little heavy.

Poor stereo system, I have had to fit two back speakers as these were not present.

However overall the car is excellent runner, very comfortable with heated seats also!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2001

1988 Volvo 340 DL 1.4 petrol from Germany


Solid and cheap, without any image


Pinion on the starter motor didn't declutch from the flywheel when the engine started; could be repaired by dismantling and cleaning.

Idle speed and mixture couldn't be adjusted, so I installed a new carburettor. Seems to be quite a common problem with these cars?

I've fitted new drivebelts for the automatic transmission, the old ones were worn.

General Comments:

A very solidly built car, no rust at all.

Driving the car feels rather strange at first, especially with the automatic transmission (CVT).

You feel safe, like sitting in a much bigger car.

Repairs are quite a problem, because it's difficult to find someone familiar with these cars; Volvo, at least in Germany, has forgotten the 340's. Best thing is to obtain the Haynes Manual Nr. 0715 and do it yourself.

Spare parts are rather expensive e.g. carburettor from Volvo-dealer DM 1200, directly from Weber (manufacturer) DM 700.

Fuel consumption is rather high.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2000

1988 Volvo 340 GL 1.7 from Netherlands


Not bad at all!




Timing belt replaced when buying the car.

New distributor cap (solved starting problem and stall of the engine upon the application of power).

Rear tyres replaced (normal wear).

General Comments:


+ Solid build quality, no rust.

+ Pleasure to drive on the highway (comfortable long distance cruising at 120-130 km/h).

+ 1.7 engine sufficiently quick and quiet (much better than the 340 1.4 CVT),

+ Unexpectedly economical with fuel (approx. 13.5 km per liter).

+ Comfy seats (relatively soft compared to new cars like the Volkswagen Passat/Opel Vectra).


- Harsh ride on bad roads.

- Heavy downshift to 2nd gear.

- Dashboard rattles when the engine runs idle.


If you don't care about the image and don't want a racing car, this will do the job. Get a 1.7 or 360 to keep up with modern traffic. Considering the amount of 340's still on the road in the Netherlands, production halted over 9 years ago, this car apparently is built to last (in line with the Volvo tradition).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2000

5th Jun 2001, 10:28

I totally agree. Although personally, with the bright white paint, extra strips down the side, chrome on the wheel arches and the spoiler, I think it looks rather good. It also has very comfortable seats, I find, and although mine is incredibly inefficient, (22MPG max.) it shifts itself like a cat with the wind up its tail!

I love it!

2nd Mar 2002, 14:44

I also agree, the part about the chrome round the wheel arches, sets the car apart from the rest quite happily.

The fuel economy on mine is about the same as both of yours, around 20 to 25 miles to the gallon.

But oh yes, does it go when it wants to, telling you now that Fiesta XR2 won't try that again!

31st Aug 2003, 02:37

Almost 3 years later and having covered about 140000 km the overall verdict is still quite positive.

Obviously on an older car more things go wrong:

-replacement of broken front coils springs left and right

-left front strut replaced

-brake booster failed and replaced

(the first two items are probably related to the large number of speed bumps found in the Netherlands...)

Actually it still surprises me to see how comfortable this car is. After a drive of several hours in a brand new car (Mazda 323F), my back hurts and it is very clear that the seats are too short and not very pleasant. I was happy to switch to my Volvo and I drove for another 1.5 hours and never had to worry about my back again. Furthermore it seems that the Volvo has more torque and uses less rev's compared to the Mazda, which also contributes to a more relaxing drive.

To be continued...