1990 Volvo 440 GL 1.7 injection from UK and Ireland


Underrated gem


Driver heated seat failure.

Rear brakes (disc type), the handbrake mechanism on the calipers is rubbish (usual story - crap auto adjusters).

General Comments:

This car is much faster than you would expect by looking at it - will do 0-60 in sub 9 secs and top speed of over 120mph.

These cars like speed - cruise happily at a ton, but when driven slow twitches about on the road a bit, steering as secretive as the KGB. heavy without power steering.

Engines love cold weather.

Engine is noisy at revs (typical Renault), but with the Fenix multipoint injection it's very smooth.

Despite what the motor reviewers say, these cars are reliable and very underrated; the likes of comparable Fords and Vauxhalls bought for similar money can't hold a candle to these motors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2001

13th Feb 2001, 11:59


Hi, I own a 92 GLT and would like to know if you (or anyone else) knows what the deal with the driver's seat heater is. Mine, and others on these reviews, has stopped working as well. Is it an easy fix?

Also my car likes to overheat quickly in traffic in the summer. The fan fails to come on until too late. Again do you or anyone else know of the fix.

Would really appreciate any answers.

Thank you.

27th Mar 2001, 04:52

The heated seat elements really are too tricky too fix when bust. I tried pulling the seat apart to mend one but to no avail. The best option is to get a replacement seat from a breakers yard. There are two elements in the seat; one in the base and one on the back and these are wired in series so when one gets an open circuit the other won't work. If you don't mind having just the one element working (whichever isn't broke) you can bypass the broken one with the wiring under the seat.

On the point of the coolant - these engines just love to leak. Make sure the water level is correct quite frequently and please, top up only with coolant/water mix NOT just water. Where the fan doesn't cut in till too late it is probably due to the sensor mounted on the side of the radiator - this is the one which regulates the fan. The injected models also have an auxiliary electric water pump mounted near the gearbox, try to ensure this is working also as this usually runs on with the fan after switching off a hot engine to prevent heat soak around the injectors etc.

1990 Volvo 440 GLTi 1.7 multipoint petrol from UK and Ireland


Bargain all rounder


My Grandad was the previous owner and when he drove it through a Ford in the Dales once, it sucked in water and bent the conrod, thus requiring a new engine which Volvo were glad to pay for after admitting responsibility. The first engine had only done about 40,000 until its untimely demise, but it now leaves me with a fairly decent engine. Apart from that only minor trim problems have affected me.

General Comments:

A really good, unassuming all rounder. The squarish looks are helped on my model by the spoiler and alloys but overall a fairly pleasant looking car. I don't have a clue why this car gets the "Grandad" stigma along with it. Goes round corners pretty good, but doesn't tell you how far you can go as I found out to my cost.

Engine needs a good old poke to raise the speed but once in third you can watch all those boy racers pass you by. I reckon (if my speedo was working right) that I got 130MPH with a good run. Loads on the market now for under a bag of sand, that's how I ended up with mine. Not bad motoring for 600 brick.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2000

23rd Aug 2001, 07:58

132 and a bit... I didn't actually have time to see the boy racers pass by!

1990 Volvo 440 GLi 1.7 from UK and Ireland


Excellent all round car


An elderly lady was the first and only other owner of the car, she lived in the wilds of Cornwall and did very short trips between home and the dairy the family owned, consequently the rubber bushes in the gear change mechanism needed replacement (bushes £4.00 labour plus VAT £36.00), quite expensive but well worth the money.

General Comments:

On a run from Exeter to Edinburgh 43 mpg was obtained. It is well worth getting the injection engine. Apart from the image old boys car" excellent value at £2800 with a full service history in 1998. Why pay more?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2000

1990 Volvo 440 Gli 1.7 petrol from UK and Ireland


Alternator. Goes through tyres at a fair rate of knots (50/50 share of blame between me and car).

General Comments:

Basically a good solid work horse of a car that should last for years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 1997