I did not know about how the airbags worked, but have since learned quite a bit about how they work. I was wrong there.
As for the radiator problems - this car was serviced by a Volvo Specialist. Radiator problems are NOT uncommon in these cars. The upper fittings were made of plastic, and after years of heat, they become brittle and break. That's a design flaw in my opinion. As for the water pumps, they've failed, I've serviced the car regularly, and that's all I care about. They've been OEM pumps as well, not some cheap after market stuff of questionable quality.
As for the leather, you're right. It's a 13 year old car. But for the mileage, I've seen cars with more mileage (aka more sitting time), and the seats were in better condition. Volvo leather hasn't even been considered the greatest quality.
As for test driving it, it was my moms car initially, and it has been passed down to me (although she won't let me sell it). So, I didn't really have a say in whether it was fast enough or not. Hey, at least I've got a car - but from my experience with the Volvo I've got now, and what I've heard about the new ones (being unreliable), I'll look else where when I can afford a new car.
It sounds like your mechanic has been putting the water pump drive belt on way to tight which ruins the bearings.
I've owned 7 Volvos to date and the one thing that I have noticed is the drop in interior quality. I sold my 1979 245 and bought a 1 year old 1981 242 and while I loved the car the interior was made from sublevel materials. I'm very surprised you haven't had to have your head gasket replaced with the overheating.
My leather seats also look horrible. My 1992 Mercedes with 60k more miles looks brand new.
We don't believe in spending $$ for "depreciating assets", and will not pay more than $7,500.00 for a car. Do much research and find an honest mechanic. Save your $$ for something that is a real asset.
CPA in Charlotte, NC.
We have a 1987 wagon with 220k. The body and interior (velour) are in such good shape that we will completely rebuild all mechanicals because we know what a good car it is. The ignition switch has worn out and is causing some electical problems at this point, but we don't believe in "depreciating assets". We also own several real SAABS and have no payments or high insurance expenses. I think so many people display their financial stupidity by driving vehicles that will all lose value instead of ones that are known to have longevity.
Is Volvo now owned by Ford. The car is ratted below avearge in lemonade car books.
RE Ford & Volvo - Yes. Ford does own Volvo Cars (not the people who manufacture trucks, buses & marine engines) and I have heard many people say that the quality went down when purchased by Ford, but I have no personal experience as to that subject.
I can tell you that the rear wheel drive Volvo using the non-turbo 4 cylinder B230 engine (I have no experience with the turbo models) is safe, dependable and, considering how much it weighs, good on gas. I have had the 240, 740, and now the 940, and all are great cars, and great cars for safety if a deer runs in front of you, which is how two of my cars ended their lives. (The cop at one of the accidents saw all the body damage to the front left where the deer hit the car, and wanted to know where to have the car towed - my wife told him she was going to drive it home, which is what she did!)
After a decade of driving several 1985-1994 Old-School RWD 230F NON-Turbo Volvos, I feel moved to comment that the reviewer seems to have had very improbable issues and problems, which leads to the supposition that the car they had was a lemon.
After a cumulative total of nearly 1/3 million miles driven by my son, daughter, and myself, spread among:
1. 1987 740 GLE, 35,000+ miles 3 years, my son & me
2. 1990 740 GL, 65,000+ miles 5 years, my son & me
3. 1994 940, 50,000+ miles 3 years, me
4. 1993 940, 55,000+ miles 6 years, my daughter
5. 1985 240DL, 30,000+ miles 3 years, me
6. 1989 740 GLE, 40,000+ miles 3 years, my son
7. 1992 740 GL, 30,000+ miles 3 years, my son
8. 1993 940, just bought with 155,000 miles, me
Our shared conclusions are that the 240, 740, and 940 series Volvos may well be overall among the finest quality cars EVER built by any manufacturer.
#3 saved my life, in 2006 when an 82 year old Buick driver bolted directly in front of me. I was moving at 40 mph with the right of way, when he made an abrupt left turn in front of me from opposing lanes, giving me just enough time for my foot to have reached the brake pedal, before impact.
My car was totaled, both air-bags deployed, but I was able to drive my Volvo home.
My observations are those of one that has driven German, Japanese and American autos, including Ford, Lincoln, Chevy, Buick, Olds, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota and Nissan models over the past 40 years.
1. To call the RWD Volvos uncomfortable is ASININE. The seats are orthopedically designed for maximal back support and minimization of driving fatigue. #6 Volvo above was driven over 2 days from L.A. to Seattle by my son, who has a less-than-perfect lower-back, with no complaints about fatigue or discomfort. #7 was driven back to L.A., likewise with nothing but praise for long-trip comfort. #3 was probably the most comfortable car for long drives that I have ever owned. The only place I feel more comfortable is my Sealy Posturpedic bed!
2. Get a tune-up! The 740's and 940's accelerate, when in proper tune, to snap you up to 60+ mph even on a shortish freeway on-ramp. From 50-70 mph happens quickly, and all the 7 and 9 series Volvos I've driven, would cruise happily at 80+ mph. Too slow? Get off the drugs you're taking - they're obviously distorting your sense of time and distance!
3. I agree the Volvo leather does not wear particularly well. Their cloth upholstery however seems to last nearly forever. If you have leather your comfort is compromised in temperature extremes, and I've always covered my leather seats with decent sheepskins anyway. I've seen Bimmers and Benzes with badly worn leather seats, so Volvo is hardly the only car susceptible to this.
Finally, the person who wrote this diatribe has obviously not driven many of the competing models out there, which might allow him to open his tightly closed mind to the many positive qualities that pre-Ford Volvos possess. This story should help illustrate where I'm coming from:
In 2000, her mother and step-father gave my daughter a 1992 Pontiac Grand-Am, one of America's sorrier examples of how to be a global laughing-stock in the car-building arena. The car, which had belonged to an older relative, had fewer than 50,000 miles at the time. Within 3 years, she'd put another 30,000 miles on the car and it was giving her all kinds of mechanical trouble. Her boyfriend at the time was encouraging her to go into hock to buy a new VW Passat, and she was a bit apprehensive about signing her life away to spend $800 per month between car payment and required insurance to protect the bank.
I had her meet me at my favorite used Volvo dealer. To appease her boyfriend, she visited a nearby VW dealer first, and test-drove both new '03 Jetta and '03 Passat.
We found a 1993 940 with 135,000 miles, in charcoal metallic and gray leather interior, which she liked, at a price of $5,000 cash, and took the car out for a drive. Once we were driving, in traffic, on the street, she commented that this 10-year-old Volvo with 135,000 miles, felt better-put-together than had EITHER of the BRAND-NEW VW's, and she was amazed at how NEW the Volvo felt! Today, over 6 years later, she's still happily driving her '93 940, and doesn't appear to be thinking of replacing it any time soon.
How's that for an unbiased testimonial?