1988 Volvo 740 GLE 2.3 turbo gasoline from North America


One of the best turbocharged station wagons you can own


Only things that have gone wrong are the following:

- Headliner sagging (reupholstered for around $50 in one weekend).

- Intake rubber coupler blew off a few times (fixed with new clamp).

- Idles a little high.

- Likes to fishtail (solved with 2 cinder blocks near each wheel).

- Sunroof leaked & stopped working (sealed with caulk until I can replace).

- Hatch supports stopped working.

- Dinger removed (wouldn't stop ringing while driving).

General Comments:

This car is a blast to drive. Bought for $600 and did the usual replacements (fuel, oil, and air filter, oil change, etc.) and only have about $150 into it. For the $750 I spent total, this was a fantastic deal for this wagon.

The engine runs strong and needs little maintenance, and with the turbo you'll have a lot of fun. Putting out around 165 HP stock, this wagon takes off pretty quick for being an '88. Handles like a dream, and gets decent fuel economy for its age. If you like station wagons or are a Volvo fanatic, this is one wagon you should definitely consider.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2014

1988 Volvo 740 GLE from North America


Headliner falling down (yes the particle dust is annoying) - needs fixing this year.

Mileage not as good as before, still good for its age.

Minor oil leaks; was fixed but still showing.

Brakes are weak (pedal is soft) - still stops as usual, wish I could fix the brake pedal softness.

Some rust bubbles showing last year (2013).

Plastic cracking or easily cracked.

General Comments:

I have had this car since new. Really enjoyed driving it around, was getting really decent 10.3-11L/100km for mostly city driving, and better if more highway driving.

Good acceleration despite 110 HP; runs quiet and best mileage at 100-120km/hr, engine more noisy at 80-100.

Fish tailing in snow (two or three 10-20lbs sand/cement bags help) or rear spin on wet surfaces (the solution is to use new or better tires).

Amazing - my car passes vehicle emission tests with results near or better than average for all makes and years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2014

15th Feb 2014, 11:18

Colored thumbtacks work well for temporarily fixing a sagging headliner on these :-)

1988 Volvo 740 GL Wagon 2.3L N/A from North America


A great tank of a car


Basic maintenance performed - tune-up, clean MAF sensor, etc.

Both driver's side power windows stick.

Heated seats don't heat.

Front turn signal assemblies missing.

Speakers go in and out.

Heater selector doesn't slide.

A/C not functioning.

Transmission needs to be finessed to shift.

General Comments:

What a great old car. While a lot of the ancillaries aren't working, keep in mind it's 22 years old with nearly 300.000 miles on it. We bought it to replace a '99 Volvo V70, which got totaled.

I bought it for $500, and after a tune-up, the durable old B230 motor runs pretty well. While it's far from a speed demon, it's a torquey motor that will keep up with traffic far better than its power ratings would suggest. With an injector cleaning, this motor should last as long as I need/want it to.

The interior is not in great shape - cracks on the dash, trashed driver's seat upholstery, disintegrated headliner - but as cheap as the plastics look, there's no rattling or squeaking, a real testament to how the Swedes made these cars back then. The V70's interior wasn't even holding up this well with less than half the miles and age. The seats are fantastic, easily some of the most comfortable ever made. It's distinctly roomy inside both for passengers and cargo.

It rides like a truck in town, but on the highway it smooths out and it makes for a superb road car - stable, smooth ride, reasonably quiet. Even before I got the overdrive working, it got 25+mpg on the highway, and it should be capable of 27+ now that overdrive works.

As mentioned, the automatic transmission does require some technique to drive. 3rd and 4th gear come only if you let off the gas while you drive. A transmission service is in order.

This is a fantastic car for the price I paid, and I would do it again. Where it counts - the mechanicals and structure - the car should outlast nearly anything else on the road, including more modern Volvos.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2010