1989 Volvo 740 GL 2.3 liter from North America


I want my next car to be a Swedish Volvo -- if this one ever wears out


Car was in an accident and "totaled" at 200,000 miles. It got a lot of body work and a rebuilt engine and transmission. That's when we bought it.

Air conditioning wore out and was too expensive to repair.

Cruise control wore out.

Minor repairs.

General Comments:

I love Volvos.

There's great visibility from the driver's seat.

The turning radius is tight -- I can hang a U-turn on back country roads.

I feel safe driving my car. (As opposed to the recycled tinfoil feel of so many I've driven--Datsun, Toyota, PT Cruiser.)

Last summer we drove from Seattle to Chicago and back. Put over 5000 miles on the car. Our Volvo station wagon was one of the oldest cars on the interstates, but it was totally reliable.

And it probably got some of the best mileage of any of the cars we saw.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th July, 2010

1989 Volvo 740 GLT 16 valve 2.3 DOHC from UK and Ireland


Quality car, beware of maintenance costs


It's 20 years old, so in common with other 740s, the usual saggy headlining, work-when-they-feel-like-it gauges and seat heaters.

General Comments:

Big and comfy, the GLT was a slightly sportier version of the 740 sold for one year only in the UK with a 16 valve engine. It will go if you really get the revs up, but overall it's not a car that encourages enthusiastic driving.

Handling isn't too bad for something so big, old and heavy - you can normally take corners quite fast with a squirt of throttle, although if the roads are wet, caution is necessary.

I like it as a cheap everyday car, but I don't think its performance justifies the heavy fuel consumption. It's rarely bettered 25 mpg even with careful driving. It's quick, but not THAT quick. Not really worth the effort of tracking one down if you are a 740 affectionado.

Timing belts need to be changed religiously along with the balance shaft belts, and it's NOT an easy job. Aside from the cylinder head, it's the familiar red block 4 cylinder they put in everything else back then, so it should last the course.

One thing I should mention, even though it's 20 years old, it still has excellent bodywork and still feels taut. Quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2010

1989 Volvo 740 GL B230F from Australia and New Zealand


Beautiful, solid and reliable


Odometer has been broken since I got the car. I estimate around 240000km's are on the clock now.

Speedometer gets stuck, fuel gauge isn't accurate.

All repairs are on order from when I bought the car.

Replaced overdrive solenoid, selector rod bushes.

Repaired oil leak: Extension housing, front seals.

Replaced timing belt and crank seal.

Cleaned/reset throttle body, replaced throttle position switch.

Replaced gearbox seals, gaskets, mounts and rear main oil seal.

Replaced engine mounts and front rotors and pads.

Reconditioned the injectors.

General Comments:

This car is amazing, despite the repairs. Interior is immaculate, body has no rust, highway driving is a dream!

The engine and gearbox combination is what makes this car so great, both feel solid and strong like nothing could ever break.

The car has developed a rather annoying vibration when idling, but drives smooth.

Smallest turning circle of any car this size, a dream to park.

Interior has held up extremely well over 20 years, with only a small tear on the drivers seat and the dash is only beginning to crack now.

All in all, I would recommend a 740 to anyone!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2009

1989 Volvo 740 Wagon Turbo Intercooler from Australia and New Zealand


Love-able Swedish turbo brick load carrier


The turbo seals have started to leak, and it just blew a heater hose.

Passenger seat is totally split, even though the driver's is intact (strange, perhaps my bottom shields it from the sun).

The rear main seal has failed and is about to be replaced at 310,000kms.

Fuel injector relay failed at 271,000 ks (mechanic replaced the in-tank fuel pump first and charged me for the part)

Plastic trim doesn't like the harsh Aussie sun. These vehicles really deserve a garage anyway due to their leather and plush interiors.

General Comments:

I bought the car as a work vehicle, and drive it daily and through all sorts of conditions. Australia's weather is now hotter than I remember, but the air con is great, if a little noisy on the 4th speed.

The handling is great (Pirelli P6000s help there) and the suspension travel is enormous. I have never bottomed out the suspension on speed humps, unlike my later model ('91) bone jarring Holden Commodore. The high speed stability of the chassis is great; the car is rock solid on the road and rarely deviates. Mid corner bumps also don't upset the handling.

The fuel economy is averaging 12l/100kms, which is OK considering the amount of stop-start driving I perform. Highway performance is ample with the kick-down coming on whenever needed. I love blowing away unsuspecting drivers at the lights with the turbo boost.

A BMW 3 series driver changed lanes without checking, but my bumper corner caught his front wheel, snapping the BMW tie-rod and then ripped off the BMW front bumper. Damage to the Volvo: a couple of scratches on the bumper skin. These cars are super tough and I feel very safe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2009