Other motorists don't cut-up a 13 year old Volvo
The first failure was the starter motor. I was able to get away with bashing it with a golf club for a couple of months before resigning myself to buying a new one (about £30 if I recall correctly). Fitting it myself was a doddle (I have NO previous mechanical experience).
The bush in the distributer cap became worn, so I replaced the cap (about £10).
The carburettor has a couple of screws which work their way loose over a period of a month or two. I had to retrieve one from inside the carburettor once! Solved this by coating the screws in a locking fluid.
The boot pistons are shot, so I use a golf umbrella to prop the lid up.
Clutch is starting to slip; got a quote of £127 for a new one today. Haynes reckons it's a "3 spanner" job, which should just be within my capability.
Fuel lines into the pump were starting to leak, so they were replaced.
Bodywork is starting to rust, but nothing structural, yet.
Exhaust fell off, but this too was easily replaced.
I was quite lucky because my 340 was previously owned by an old guy who covered about 2-3000 miles per year and had Volvo service it religiously. I'm pretty sure that the clutch wear is due to my driving style - so I'll be kinder to the new one.
The first time I drove it I couldn't stop laughing at how much guesswork is involved with steering. I've never captained an oil-tanker, but I imagine it's not too different from guiding my 340 along a wet motorway.
Beware of approaching roundabouts in the wet. I've never gone through a 360 (yet), but I've certainly scared myself a few times.
It's quicker than it looks; you can easily upset Wide-Boys in their Novas/Clios/Fiestas. The brakes are good too, which is fortunate because there's a lot of metal to stop.
Comfort is quite good; the seats are like armchairs and the cabin is large.
It's a very easy car to work on (even for a novice) and I'd recommend buying a Haynes manual.
Despite all of the above problems, I'm glad I bought a 340. I laugh at boy-racers who think they look good in Novas with lowered suspension, blue headlights and holed exhausts. I know the 340 isn't sexy, but I don't care. When I do finally enter the midlife crisis, then I'll get an Impreza and start harassing other road users. Until that time, I'll steam around in my tanker with a big grin on my face.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd October, 2003