I bought this car used from a 19-year-old who had driven it hard for several years. I didn't expect miracles, just cheap transportation. It seemed really very nice for the $2,500 I paid for it at the time.
It's still perfect! The car handles better than any other car I've owned or driven in nearly any weather condition. It always starts immediately, cold or hot, idles quietly and smoothly, and loves to go fast--if I don't watch the speedometer on the highway, I quickly reach 90-100 miles per hour. The car is perfectly stable at speed.
Interior is still in beautiful condition, no rips or cracks in the leather or vinyl, no broken items. Power locks, power windows, gauges, lights, etc. all work without fault.
I've never broken down in the nearly 70k miles I've put on it. I've never had to replace a major component. The car still passes annual computerized emissions and safety tests with flying colors, coming in well below the state averages on all pollutants. I've driven it on numerous 1,000-mile-plus road trips around the country. It's a pleasure and I have complete faith that the ol' Volvo will get me there.
I get about 27 mpg.
The Volvo dealer I use has also been excellent. No snickers about the age of the car; they definitely respect the old models. Things like the timing and other belts, which I had done just to be safe, came in at a tiny fraction of the cost of the same parts for a family member's Mitsubishi. Similar price differences for brake pads.
It's roomy and intelligently designed--things like the ski portal in the back seat and the auto-off headlights are amazing for a car of this age.
I fully believe my beloved 740 will run another 100k at least without major incident. And I suspect I'll be tempted to keep it running for years after that.