1995 Volvo 480 Celebration 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Interesting bargain


Electrics can misbehave.

General Comments:

The 480 is an interesting reliable car that is pleasant to own and drive and fairly cheap on the gas (currently averaging 40-42 mpg).

But don’t buy one thinking you are getting a sports car, or a classic. Despite its aerodynamic looks and light weight (it has a better power/weight ratio than a Porsche 912) it just doesn’t have the mojo. The interior is dull and plasticky, pure 1980s Volvo. The 2-litre Renault engine pulls okay but is nothing inspiring. The handling is front-heavy and vague, the gearbox is obviously filled up with glue at the factory, while the clutch feels like you are flushing an old-fashioned loo. The best thing about the ride is that it is very grippy on the corners, which means it can be driven surprisingly fast on the twisties.

On the upside the Celebration model is well equipped (mine has air-con, full black leather, airbag, power steering, and some kind of traction control thing, but no sunroof although that doesn’t matter too much since the 480 sunroof is a bit useless as it does not slide back). The info centre has loads of gizmos and although it is said to be unreliable mine works fine. On the downside the seating is cramped for someone 6.1 (although headroom is just okay) and whoever said the seats are comfy must have an iron backside. Certainly not comfortable to get into and out of. Visibility is fair.

The electrics can act strangely. Example: the pop up headlights may suddenly start popping up unbidden. And then they won’t pop up at all. On the other hand if you just ignore the problem it will often sort itself out. Giving the dashboard a sharp blow can also help.

Over all and considering it is a Volvo, the car feels flimsy, especially the switchgear. But then I am used to the family Audi, which is almost the same age but light years ahead in build and materials quality. All the same, nothing has gone wrong with it yet, and at £850 (plus £240 for a service – tracking, brake overhaul and two new tyres) for a two-owner 54000 mile car with full history, no rust, and a moderate amount of grin factor, who is complaining? Not an investment, but definitely a bargain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2008

1995 Volvo 480 T 1.7 turbo from UK and Ireland


Fast as lightning, and cool as a cat


Suffered from Turbo lag, but tuning-shop fiddling with the boost pressure seems to have sorted this.

Rear windscreen wiper seized up, easily repaired. CD player faulty, replaced twice! Left electric window intermittently fails.

Installed specialised GST dump valve, blacked-out windows, alloy wheels, engine management chip, stainless steel twin exhaust system. Car has been professionally tuned.

General Comments:

I was always impressed by the performance of the 480, from the moment I first sat in the front seat at 110mph I knew this was the car for me. It's our 6th year together now, and I haven't looked back once.

Reliability is sound, no major problems. Just the rear windscreen wiper. The ride is firm, but the seats comfortable and the fan-blower very effective.

I was impressed with the performance of this car even before I had it tuned. Now it is manic:

0-60 mph is achievable in 6 seconds ever since the engine management was chipped. The fastest I have had this car was 144mph (on a private road, of course.) I think it can do more.

Since the tuning it is the fastest car I have ever driven, I now use it for private rallies and seldom find a car as fast. It can easily leave behind my neighbour's Calibra, and my friend's Ford RS2000. I have yet to duel with an Impreza Turbo, but I await the day with bated breath, I'm sure it will not let me down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2005

19th Oct 2005, 14:10

Where did you get a performance exhaust from for this model?

24th Oct 2005, 07:47

MotorWorld, although the original twinport exhaust wouldn't have fitted properly. You need a manifold conversion, which the tuning shop did for me.

13th Jan 2007, 18:45

480 turbos are in the "quick car" category as they do 60 in about 8.6 seconds and on towards 130mph. You can't do any more until they are chipped. 6second 0-60 times are possible, and yes it would be quicker than a standard RS2000, they don't have a turbo! wind the boost up on a 480 and you have 150bhp, same as an RS2000 but the 480 is lighter. No, you won't beat an Impreza, they have 4 wheel drive and do 60 in around 5 seconds and top 150, theres no chance of that at all, on a straight or through corners, 4 wheel drive traction wins every time.

16th Apr 2009, 21:13

150 bhp may be same as the RS2000, but it's not the weight that makes the Volvo quicker. It's the bucket load of torque from a turbo on an already very torquey engine, this gives a far wider usable band of power. Not just an engine wrecking peak bhp which can't be hit all the time whilst accelerating. Cheers.

1995 Volvo 480 Celebration 2.0L from UK and Ireland


Love it


Nothing has gone wrong.

It's needed nothing but routine maintenance.

General Comments:

Best seats so comfortable.

Great performance; it really shifts in all gears.

Useful features such as the rear wipe that activates when reversing with the wipers on (a great deal more too)

Great web site the Volvo 480 club europe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2005

16th Apr 2006, 04:49

Just got one! -a dream. -an 80,s icon - . A little thirsty,but -for a little bit more expense - style with individuality-- Something to make you smile ;-) (these days a rare thing)is yours!! p s , It even tells you when its going to snow - honest!!!

1995 Volvo 480 GT Turbo 1.7 turbo from Netherlands


Speedy luxury



General Comments:

Excellent roadmanners.

Turbo version has even better performance than the 1.7 or 2.0 versions, real driver's fun.

Chiptuning possible for astonishing results.

Lots of luxuries.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2000