1995 Volvo 440 S 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Cheap, reliable, well equipped and spacious old workhorse


Integrated child seat stuck in raised position.

Intermittent fault with starter motor developed at 144,000 miles.

Central locking failed.

Handbrake cable and brake pads replaced at 143,000 miles.

Paintwork starting to dull and black vinyl trim on gutters and window surrounds has started to peel.

General Comments:

Bought as a replacement for my company car when I changed jobs. I had previously owned a 340 and always considered Volvo as an under-rated brand when it comes to cheap second hand cars.

Poor fuel economy for a relatively small car. Uncommon to achieve more than about 30 mpg. Not helped by the fact that the acceleration is extremely quick for an unfashionable old family car!

Old fashioned interior and cramped driving position come as quite a shock after running a 2 year old Renault Megane. Seats are like huge comfy armchairs and there is plenty of headroom. Somewhat marred by garish blue/yellow/red/green "fruit salad" trim!

I consider it to be a major problem that the car is so low slung. At junctions with multiple lanes it can be difficult to see over the bonnet of the car next to you.

For an 11 year old and 145,000 car the build quality has certainly stood the test of time. The interior trim is wearing well and the body is mostly rust free. However, compared to my 340 it feels insubstantial and despite the Side Impact Protection System, prominent roll over hoop in the ceiling and driver airbag, I am not convinced that it would provide particularly good protection in an accident. Having said that, compared to its contemporaries (Peugeot 405, Ford Sierra, Vauxhall Cavalier, etc.) it feels like a tank!

I look forward to upgrading to an S40!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2006

1995 Volvo 440 Si 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Unreliable, but good when it works


Dampness in electrics causes car to jerk severely and sometimes cut out. The engine then does not start again. Whilst jerking the car will struggle to make it to 30 mph.

Catalytic converter needed replacing at around 80,000 miles.

Rear washers spray stopped working (and it is not blocked) early 2005.

Dashboard lights failed within a few months of purchase.

Recurring front day running light failure, replaced frequently.

Alternator failed at 95,000 miles.

Thermostat issue means the car doesn't seem to be able to always maintain the right temperature, either too hot or too cold. The engine then loses power when it overheats.

Various plastic parts of the interior break easily.

The car is developing several rust patches.

General Comments:

When the car actually works, it is brilliant. The 1.6 litre engine can pull the car with full load and even tow another car (I've towed another Volvo with it) with relative ease.

The seats are very comfortable.

The let down is reliability, especially the jerking caused by the dampness overnight. This gives you no peace of mind when driving the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd November, 2005

1995 Volvo 440 1.8i from UK and Ireland


Not the nicest car ever built, but solid and reliable


Alternator went at 95000.

Entire exhaust replaced at various stages since buying the car.

Water pump went days after buying.

Bumper has taken a knock and a bracket has broken (bumper still remains more or less in place and doesn't 'wobble')

A valve connected to the cooling fan went at 100000.

General Comments:

In my mind a good solid car with few faults, the faults I have had are things that can just 'go' as far as I'm concerned.

Quick when it needs to be and a full tank can cover around 500+ miles on motorway/A roads and around 350 miles in general city use.

It may be 10 years old, but I can see it going for a few years yet!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2005

1995 Volvo 440 GLE 1.8 single point injection from France


So far so good


Rear bumper attachments broke.

Admission valve changed at 83000 (apparently a common problem on these 1.8 single point injection motors).

One set of tires lasted less than 30000km.

General Comments:

This late model is reasonably well equipped, even by today's standards (air conditioning, partly leather seats...).

It is quite cheap to run -- cheap insurance and burns less than 7.5l gas per 100km at autobahn speed.

High torque at low revs makes driving pleasant at low-to-medium speed although it's clearly not a race-car (and could use an additional 20hp or so).

Comfort is OK for long highway trips, but the car it is seriously bumpy on small country roads.

Drives OK on snowy mountain roads.

It would be close to the perfect cheap family car if the trunk wasn't so small!

One problem I overlooked when buying it is that it is a relatively uncommon car in France so parts or additional equipments (eg roof bars) are hard to find. And the local Volvo dealer is not especially helpful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2003

20th Nov 2003, 13:17

I am a Hungarian Volvo owner for over a year and a half. I add this comment to the above assessment to join the author. I mostly agree with all written, I had the same experience, good experiences (fuel consumption, stability, torque, brakes, handling is all very good, though very little luggage rear room). I had one uncomfortable problem with my safe and good car: oxygen sensor has went wrong TWO times within the first year, I run the car. It took much energy and a bit of money to find the problem, but the electric system was checked and to a great part replaced. This may be useful with a 9 years old car. So, I plan to buy a 850 estate, and remain a Volvo owner. Thank you.

17th Feb 2004, 15:14

Update from the original poster:

At around 100K the driver seatbelt tensioner blocked and the whole seatbelt needed changing (around 200€ at the local Volvo dealer).

Recently, a rubber strap holding the exhaust pipe snapped and needed replacement (15€ including labor -- cheapest trip to a garage ever).

Now the idle is showing signs of erratic behaviour again: jumps to 2000rpm at startup, stays high or oscillates when the motor is cold and never seem to go below 1200rpm (instead of around 950 usually). Likely culprit is the AIC (automatic idle controller?) which will eventually need changing (for an additional 200€ or so).

Also I wrecked the retractable antenna by oiling it -- my fault entirely: these should apparently never be oiled.

Apart from that I am still rather pleased with this car in general. It is a good size for 4 people and performance is vastly sufficient in a country where the highest speed limit is 130 (km/h).

Living in an often foggy valley, the only piece of equipment I miss is fog lights -- I would be interested in any information about fitting fog lights without getting charged through the teeth by a Volvo dealer...