1990 Volvo 740 GLE DOHC 16v from North America


Great car, but underpowered


A/C stopped working and would cost 400 to fix.

Busted tail light, was fixed for 110.

No heat on the seat warmer.

Leaks power steering fluid.

Changed brake pads, and rotors twice in 6 months. (600 in total)

Once the car hits 60+ on highway, the engine sounds like it's struggling to keep up.

General Comments:

I feel real safe on this car... it's like nothing can stop me. The car is really under powered, but is super reliable. I've never got stuck anywhere with this car. Though it's really pricey to keep maintained, but worth it.

The car's also real comfy compared to other cars. I always push the car, but it never gives up on me... underpowered and pricey, but reliable and comfy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2004

1990 Volvo 740 GLE 16V 2.3L DOHC 16v from North America


Expensive to maintain, but lasts a lifetime


Minor oil leaks and A/C system leaks.

Cracks in the leather seats.

There is some valve tapping sound, but that disappeared after the service.

Odometer broke.

General Comments:

For the price of the car, it has been very good. I just had it serviced recently, and that cost a great deal of money. However, it does drive like "new" when it was done.

Performance of this 16-valve engine is not much better than the 8-valve engine. But passing on the highway is a lot less difficult.

Seats are nice, although the leather is showing its age. Plastic parts are easily broken. Sunroof still works well and so far has not leaked. The headliners are all, but gone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2004

1990 Volvo 740 GLE 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Very reliable, solid and safe


The rev counter has never worked from the day I acquired the car.

Otherwise I have only had to replace normal maintenance items like tyres and brake pads.

General Comments:

I think the car is very economical for its size, getting an average 28mpg, but the 2 litre engine is a bit under powered.

Handling is adequate, but this is not the car for twisting roads. The car is best suited to the motorway.

My car is a 7-seater estate and I would definitely recommend it to anyone needing a cheap, reliable people carrier.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2004

28th Jan 2005, 10:02

I have had four volvo's two GLEs 2.3 Automatics, and a GL 2.0. My latest one is a 740 intercooler (a superb car). and I have found the more you drive them, the more you get used to them, and the more you can throw them around.

1990 Volvo 740 GLE Wagon 2.4L Inline 4 from North America


Safe, strong money pit


Massive oil burn. Filled cabin with smoke when you turned on the heat, and you had to get oil when you got gas.

Hit a deer, causing over US$1,000 in front-end damage.

Seat warmers didn't work.

Third-row seat stuck in "up" position.

It died when the transmission went. I couldn't afford to fix it.

General Comments:

This car may not have been the quickest on the block, but it was heavy and you knew it was there.

Took a beating and kept running.

Extremely expensive to fix and maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2004

1990 Volvo 740 GL 2.3 from North America


Volvo's for life


Replaced the battery, cost $70.

Replaced the alternator, cost $45 after core return.

Replaced the Catalytic Converter, cost $125.

Replaced brakes, cost $20.

Lubricated power antena.

The lever that controls the AC is broken. (Not fixed yet)

Replaced all belts, except the timing belt, cost $60.

General Comments:

I am in love with Volvo's. Before I bought this car I didn't know anything about them. I was a little skeptical about purchasing a vehicle with 133000 miles on a 4-cylinder engine. I am glad I did. The car rides as if it was new. There are no creeks or noises, and it is roomy enough for a 6'2", # 230 driver. It is a little sluggish from the start line, but it flies on the highway. Gas mileage is not great, but that is expected for such a heavy car. I average 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and around 20 miles per gallon on the city. This car is easy to work on, there is plenty of room under the hood. I think the only thing you need to do to this car is change the oil, and make sure the timing belt is replaced every 50000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2004

7th Jan 2005, 18:15

I am the proud owner of a 1990 240 DL Volvo. Love every moment of "under the wheel."...bought it new... and would buy another in a heart-beat, if I could find a new one!!!

161,000 miles.

Problem: A rattle under the front part of the car. Is it the converter ?

I see one comment on your Web sit of $125.00 tag to repair. One local repair shop suggested knocking the converter out, but that affects the environment, doesn't it?


Also, how many times should my car change gears from O mph to road speed?

I am fearful that my car is not changing into it's top gear. How do I determine this changing of gears? My overdrive light is red.

Third, the windshield wipers, last week, starting making a "grinding" noise. What to do?

Thanks...and how do I get an answer to these questions?

24th Aug 2005, 20:06

To the above comment - I think your overdrive solenoid has gone bad ($142 after-market part). If you are driving 55mph and the rpm is at 3000, chances are you are only driving on 3rd gear.

9th Sep 2005, 18:51

The relays go bad far more often than the solenoids... about $40. They can be re-soldered. Also, the wiring to the solenoid needs to be checked, especially corrosion in the plug.


7th Oct 2005, 08:35

I have a 1990 Volvo. The AC lever control is Broken. Any idea the cost to fix this problem.

15th Dec 2006, 08:35

I own a 1990 740 GL wagon. For the shifting problem, on my car, I have to let off the gas for the car to shift to any other gear other that first. What do you think the problem is?