1990 Volvo 740 GL 2.0i petrol from UK and Ireland


Reliable, comfortable and BIG!


No faults (apart from both side light bulbs going - £3.49 the pair).

Shock absorbers all due for replacement, not a fault as these do naturally wear out. Watch out for self-leveling shocks at the back of the estate; these are very expensive to replace. You can downgrade to standard ones if you are on a budget, in which case the springs have to be changed as well (but still cheaper than the self-leveling shocks option).

Squealing clutch can be a problem on models around this year. I didn't believe it when the main dealer told me that Volvo used a coating formula for the clutch plate that had this problem, but independent garages have confirmed this fact. Ours has just squealed its way through 18,000 miles, and still no sign of the clutch failing.

General Comments:

Well it's big! Once you have owned a 240, 740 or 940 (or their variants), you will never be phased by anything that the local timber merchant can sell you!

But, because it's rear wheel drive, it turns on a relative sixpence, meaning that it's brilliant on the school run when you have to do three-point turns in a road that a Ford Escort wouldn't try!

Fuel consumption is surprisingly good for such a big car, I calculated 29Mpg in normal driving (school runs, shopping, carrying small planets in the back, that sort of thing...). The 2.0i engine struggles when pulling away, but overtaking is actually very good if you remember to take it down through the gears before pulling out.

If you want a car that is very reliable, comfortable and BIG, then this is the car for you. If you want a Ferrari, then buy a Ferrari!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2003

1990 Volvo 740 Turbo Wagon turbo from North America


Great car for the first 10 years, but sell before 150K


You name it, and it's gone wrong...We've spent $5,000 in the last two years on repairs...

*The computer died.

*The radiator had to be replaced.

*The water pump had to be replaced.

*The alternator had to be replaced.

*The AC control panel had to be replaced.

*It burns oil.

*The turbo keeps coming on for no reason and can't be shut off.

There's lots more, but I can't remember it all...

The latest and greatest - as of Saturday, the sunroof won't close. It wouldn't be a big deal except that you have to take out the headliner to work on it.

General Comments:

The car was great until the last two years. It was comfortable, reliable, and pretty good looking. At that point, everything started going wrong.

The dealer we were going to cheated us by claiming not to know what was causing it to run hot. After we got wise to that, a second opinion revealed that it's common for Volvos of this year (and others) to have radiator problems. The other mechanic told us that anyone reputable that works on Volvos should know that. And yet the dealer claimed not to!

I'd steer clear of prominent Volvo dealers in Marietta/Smyrna area, but I won't give any names.

If we had not had all these problems, I'd have loved to keep driving the car for many years...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2003

29th Jan 2005, 21:28

Just so you know, you cannot turn on nor turn off a turbo. It is controlled by the exhaust. It's a beautiful thing, power on demand. The further you press the gas pedal to the floor, the more air and fuel is drawn into the engine. This equals higher exhaust pressure which turns the turbo faster, forcing more air into the engine. If you force more air into the engine it will demand more fuel to keep the fuel/air mixture stokeometric. More air and fuel equals more power. So, in a nutshell, if you don't want "turn on the turbo" don't mash the pedal to the floor.