1991 Volvo 480 ES 1.7 from UK and Ireland
Infuriating and ingenious in equal measure
Mainly electrics: Info. centre bulbs went, when I tried to replace them, fuses started blowing.
Electric aerial/radio all went in space of a few weeks, never found out why, and when I tried to replace the radio, all kinds of sparks and smoke started appearing!
Dipped beam headlights stopped working.
Other than that, not much :)
I realised there were bound to be problems when I bought this 17 year old car with 100k plus miles on the clock, and to be fair it has not disappointed!
Performance wise I'm sure most speed-freaks will tell you it's nothing special, but the 1781cc Renault engine more than did the job for me.
Without doubt the 480's strongest point (apart from the styling) is the level of comfort. Extremely well equipped, it excels at motorway speeds, but unfortunately the very Volvo-like heavy gear-change and clutch make it less pleasurable in towns/cities.
Mechanically I have had very little trouble (so far) with this car, despite having done over 12k miles in 8 months.
The electrics are and always have been the real bugbear with the 480. If you can put up with the niggling problems mentioned above, you can have a really unique looking, nippy and comfortable car for really very little money.
The Volvo 480 Club Europe is a great source of parts/vehicles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th January, 2009