1988 Volvo 740 from North America


The Volvo 740 is a square tank that will last forever


The strut arm bushings wore out around 110,000 miles. The leather seats cracked and went bad. They had to be replaced.

General Comments:

This is a heavy car. It's not the most economical car on the road, but it's heavy, safe, and it will last forever. The 4 cylinder version has some pick up, which is amazing due to the weight of the car. It has a great ride and it also handles extremely well in the snow for rear wheel drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th November, 2005

1988 Volvo 740 GLE B230F from North America


A great armored car for a university student!


In-tank fuel pump inactive. Car runs well if fuel level above half.

General Comments:

Great handling.

Nearly no rust for a 16 years old car, and it's a car from Quebec!

Robust construction.

Performance lack luster, but not too bad considering weight of vehicle and only 4 cylinders!

Classic looks, rugged charm!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2005

21st Jul 2014, 21:59

Does a 1988 740 Volvo have an oil overfill cut off device?

1988 Volvo 740 GL 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A Masterpiece!


Fuel pump would cut out regularily... nobody could find the cause... this is why I got rid of the car.

General Comments:

Despite a bizarr technical fault which was the demise of my car, the Volvo 740 is the best car ever. The man responsible for the design of this car should have been instantly promoted, and given everything he asked for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2005

1988 Volvo 740 Turbo Intercooler 2.3 turbo from North America


One of the best Volvo model


Rear Brakes.

Headliner starting to drop off.

Starter Motor.

ABS sensor fault.

Power Windows.

Water Pump.

General Comments:

The engine is very good and reliable.

In a 4 year span, since I own the car, it is simply the cheapest, most fun and my favorite car ever owned. I really feel like treating the car right and refuse to change it.

I'm not a performance freak, however I really like the rear wheel drive + turbo feeling and whenever driving another type of car I totally have no fun.

I would suggest this car to anybody willing to reapir a bit by themselves or if you have a decent Volvo specialist shop in your area. These cars often have some small glitches that can be easily repaired by yourself. But taking it to the dealer or an unexperienced mechanical can end up being very expensive.

The car is winter driven in Canada, always filled with nothing less than 91 octane fuel, change oil every 5,000 km. The car is a tank.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2004

3rd Jan 2005, 13:57

Thank you I just test drove this model Volvo, my daughters friend is willing to give her. I found the same things wrong with it you mentioned in your comments.

Thank you for the chuckle.


1988 Volvo 740 SW turbo from North America


I'm gonna keep it forever!


Had to replace head gasket. Car overheated (bad thermostat) and warped the head gasket.

The air conditioning runs, but won't hold a charge. It has been checked many times, but I'm always told that there are no leaks.

The sunroof leaks and has stained the headliner. The head liner is also falling apart and the foam backing is disintegrating and creates dust in the car.

General Comments:

What a reliable car! As old as it is, it just keeps going.

I have the Turbo Station Wagon and, believe it or not, I still get comments on what a good looking car it is. The paint has really held up well and still has a nice shine. Its actually pretty sporty looking with nice rims and wide tires and no ugly luggage rack to make it look like Grandma's car.

I love the turbo. I get a kick out of coming off an off ramp and accelerating (FAST!) to get past the car that won't let me over. Sometimes I'm amazed that the car is only a 4 cylinder.

My 1988 Volvo has more options on it than my 2000 Subaru. Leather, power, heated front seats; good stereo; A/C; power windows, locks, and antenna; air bag; ABS brakes; sun roof; and huge cargo area.

My biggest gripe would be the fact that I can't drive this car in the snow (what's the point of the heated front seats?). It's an accident waiting to happen. The rear wheel drive with the light rear end makes for a driving nightmare on wet or snowy roads. It fishtails with the slightest acceleration or tap of the brakes.

Although my leather seats have held up very nicely, many other interior components are showing their age. The carpet is worn, the dash has a crack in it, the dome light is falling off, and the headliner is a mess. Everything is rattling and loose.

Mechanically it is still going strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2004

8th Nov 2008, 21:57

Hi! I have a 1988 740 turbo intercooler. I had the same problem with the headliner which was totally falling apart, I had foam dust all over my hair and it became really gross plus I have a baby in the back seat...So, I became crafty and now my Volvo is pimped! I took all the headliner down which was really easy and after trying a lots of different adhesive. I used carpet adhesive to glue a vinyl like leather looking old, same color as the burgundy seats, it was kind of difficult to put it all up there and you have to get creative into hiding the "mistakes" but, sooo much better now. I love my Volvo!

18th Apr 2009, 01:22

I got my '88 SW for $800.

Cheap, yes. But it does have some disadvantages.

When I bought it, it had no headliner, just pure metal, the sunroof was leaky, the oil was constantly dripping, no interior lights worked, the dash lights were out, there are still 2 hubcaps missing from the attachments on the actual rim being snapped off.

Honestly, it needed some work. But it's a lot better now. I'm glad I got this car instead of any other. It's extremely reliable. Except for one problem. My turbo (located on the gear shifter) is broken. it's stuck, so I can't turn it off. But I can live with that.

16th Dec 2009, 08:41

To the above poster: That is not a turbo switch. The turbo is powered by exhaust from the engine. That is an overdrive switch for better fuel economy.

14th Jul 2010, 20:17

Re: winter driving. Put a couple of 20 kg sandbags in your trunk. Good for stability and if needed you can use the sand to get unstuck on/in ice or snow.