1988 Volvo 740 GL Turbo Wagon from Australia and New Zealand


Best car I've ever had


Some faults turned up at vehicle inspection, and I used them to lower the price substantially:

Exhaust needed replacing - fixed.

Windscreen wiper washer not operating - fixed.

Oil leak at transmission - fixed.

Prop shaft centre bearing carrier rubber was worn, causing vibration on acceleration (new $900), 2nd hand $100.

Rear shock absorbers worn - new replacement.

Badly worn timing belt & 2 seals - New belt 80,000km use.

Wheels wrong size and tyres $150 each - replaced wheels and tyres to standard & front end alignment.


(1) Lost gears, replaced shifter swivel pin & extension arm, reset starter inhibitor switch & position rods.

(2) Lost gears, replaced top rod on gear linkage relay unit & reset.

(3) Park lock forced. Car in motion while selecting park (cost $320 to fix). Must stop car before selecting reverse or park with the gear shift!!

Honda's cost $4,000 to replace the park lock!!

General Comments:

This car is a muscle car when the turbo kicks in - unfortunately I have been clocked exceeding the speed limits twice, with fines and demerit points. It is hard to keep an eye on the road and the speedometer at the same time, and the performance needs to be monitored carefully, especially when overtaking slow cars.

The lost gears were due to fair wear and tear, however I did not realise that changing gears from reverse to drive in auto, while the car was in motion, however slight, would cause the parking lock to be forced - causing loss of gears and another tow job.

The car is spacious, leather seats and in good nick for its age. It's great for large families with seats in the back under the rear luggage space carpet for 2, and great for moving furniture & stuff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2007

1988 Volvo 740 GL 2.3 from Sweden


Treeat it with care and it will run forever :)


Nothing has went wrong since I bought last year.

The fuel gauge lives a life of its own. This problem is very common on these cars. However, if you don't feel like fixing it. Just fuel up every 500 kms.

Hopefully you will have some fuel left :)

General Comments:

I got this car from a relative of mine who needed place in his garage for a new car. I paid about €400 for it and saved an excellent car from the horrific fate of ending up at the scrapheap.

My model, a 2.3 litre B230F is not the fastest car in town. But Hey, if you haven't got a rush: This reliable 116 HP engine will outlive every sportscar there is.

My automatic gearbox shifts between gears smoothly.

Fuel economy is decent. Mine is using about 0.85l/10km on the motorway. When driving in city traffic it rises to about 1.3l/10km.

However, even though fuel costs could be somewhat high, as spare parts are cheap and basic maintenance is easy the overall economy is fine.

The interior environment is really nice. The seats are extremely comfortable in my opinon. The long seats give great support for your legs and the headrest is soft. The plastics are and doesn't generate any squeaky sounds as some old plastic interiors do.

The backseat is roomy so your backseat passengers won't complain about leg space. And if you flip the backseat armrest down there is a hidden door behind whichs lets you to put for example skiing equipment in the boot, via the "door" and into the cabin. This is also a good idea to place the bass vent on loudspeakers. That way the bass really comes in to the cabin.

The turning raduis of this car is amazing. I can turn this massive car in less space that my girls Opel Corsa can. Power steering is standard and works great, you can use your finger to manoeuvre this car.

As mentioned, the best thing about this car isn't its speed, or handling. It takes you from A to B in a comfortable way. And you treat it somewhat nice it will take there for many years to come.

As a bonus, you feel very secure inside the car and according to a swedish insurance company it is 40% more safe than your average car. Not bad for being 20 years old.

I also recently read an article in a swedish magazine about a driver whose Volvo 740 just passed the 1 250 000 km mark. Still on its original engine.

Say what you like about the boxy shapes of the exterior, but I personally like it. Other cars all look the same and interior spaces are compromised due to exterior design.

Some people may find the engine sound a bit different from others, but a good way to make it more silent is to replace the fan with an electric fan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2007

7th Jun 2007, 04:59

Yeah I also think they're great cars. Reliable and well built, and also stylish (in an unusual way).

1st Oct 2007, 02:28

I agree. Incredible cars, but not so much stylish as unique. In this day and age of "cookie cutter" car design, they look like nothing else on the road and are immediately recognizable.

31st Jul 2008, 12:08

Down and out, I came about my 740 not by design but out necessity, and a lack of transportation options. Best car deal I've ever had. At 210,000 American miles, mechanics have told me she's got plenty left in her. Now I can afford "better" but I'm going to stick with my 740, because she was there for me when I needed her.

I disagree that the 740 "immediately recognizable"... a Toyota "Cressida" (US) of the same era seems to mimick the styling of my beloved Volvo.