Volvo 240 DL

volvo
240

#1

Hi,

I am considering purchasing a 1987 Volvo DL 5 speed from the original owner who has kept it garaged and regularly maintained at a very reputable garage specializing in such makes. The odometer stopped at 111K and the owner (whom I trust) feels that the true milage is <140K. There is some minor rust on a running board and it needs shocks.



I like the car as a potentially safe, reliable car for my daughter to use driving herself and her two brothers to and from school.

I am concerned about what comes with a 23 year old car and how expensive it would be to fix these problems when they arise. Also wondering if buying a newer car with airbags would be safer than what this car provides.

I appreciate any thoughts or advice.

Thanks


#2

While the 240 was safe for it’s time, it is far less safe than a car made after, say, 2000. Since this is a car for your teen children, the most dangerous drivers on the road, I would get a newer, safer car.


#3

What was the safest car on the road in 1987 is now–unfortunately–no longer the paragon of safety.

In reality, the cheapest new car sold these days is light years safer than a 1987 Volvo, or for that matter, anything manufactured prior to 1995 or so. With a new driver, you should really be looking for a car that has the maximum in passenger protection, and a 23 year old Volvo is not that car.

If you are skeptical of my statement, I have a video for you to view. A TV program in the UK, Fifth Gear, did a head-on crash test pitting a '90s era Volvo 940GL wagon (larger, more safety equipment, and more robustly built than an '87 240DL!) against one of the smallest, cheapest new Renaults sold in Europe. Let me tell you–the outcome was not pretty as far as the Volvo was concerned.

Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBDyeWofcLY and tell me if you still think that a 23 year old Volvo is a safe car, as compared to newer cars.


#4

I was going to suggest the same video VDCdriver directed you toward.

If you still think an old Volvo tank is the vehicle for your kids after watching it, go ahead and buy it.

23-year-old technology is just that: OLD.

The kids would be safer in a three-year-old Corolla.


#5

Here’s a site that has a lot of information on how cars perform in the safety tests. One thing they do that seems worthwhile is take into account the size of the car, recognizing that small cars with good crash test scores still fare worse that large cars in a crash.
http://www.informedforlife.org/


#6

Thanks very much for your thoughts. I’ve decided to pass on the Volvo 240 and will look for something newer/safer.


#7

Thanks very much for your thoughts. I’ve decided to pass on the Volvo 240 and will look for something newer/safer.


#8

Thanks very much for your thoughts. I’ve decided to pass on the Volvo 240 and will look for something newer/safer.


#9

Thanks very much for your thoughts. I’ve decided to pass on the Volvo 240 and will look for something newer/safer.


#10

On second thought, that 23 year old Volvo does have a significant safety feature that other, newer car does not have. That is the probability that it will spend at least several days each month at the mechanic’s shop, while he attempts to get it running again. While it is in the shop, your daughter won’t be exposed to driving hazards!

Seriously, however, this brand has–in my opinion–an undeserved reputation for reliabilty.
For the first 3 years or so, Volvos can be a joy to drive. But, once the warranty is over, owners experience much pain in the region of the wallet as they return to the shop again and again for expensive repairs. At the age of 23 years, this car would be a money pit, in addition to not being particularly safe by modern standards.