Which older Volvo model would you recommend?

Considering a 70’s to mid 90’s model with automatic, air, nice eye appeal, dependability — would be used for daily driver, errands. Would like to find something that would be enjoyable and comfortable – maybe even fun? – to drive. Are there any models/years you would recommend? Thanks

Visit a Volvo forum and get the full skinny. Unless someone here owns one you only will get negative on the model.

I will only say my parents do have a RWD 1990? Volvo 740 turbo intercooler model with close to 300k. No serious issues along the way. The motor and automatic tranny are original and no internal repairs. The car remains pretty comfortable and everything works. They have an incredible independent mechanic who knows Volvo’s well. Not sure if this is common experience.


No Volvo is a good car for daily driver errands. All Volvos cost much more to maintain and repair and are less reliable than such cars as Hondas, Mazdas and Toyotas.

If your errands a very few, it will still cost you more, but it will be manageable. If you buy one, make sure it is a model that Consumer Reports says does NOT have a worse than average repair record. And be sure you have all the complete maintenance records.

A volvo of that era will require a lot of maintenance and repairs, and I would not call any of them fun to drive. On a scale of dependability, older Volvos will be at the bottom of the list.

Volvos are expensive to buy, expensive to own, expensive to drive, and exensive to maintain. The only reason to buy a Volvo is that you are obsessed with safety, in which case you should get the newest Volvo you can afford.

As andrew j implied, the only advice you will get here is to buy a Toyota. Most of the people who tell you they are not reliable never owned one themselves but “heard about one” that was a money pit. All I can say is that in our family we have had 16 Volvos over the last 30 years and the biggest problem with any of them was a replaced clutch which was due to a leaking rear oil seal on a 1984 240DL. When that happened, the car only had 135,000 miles. Old Volvos are not particularly fun cars but the 240’s are very durable. As someone mentioned, the P1800 is a fun car but they are old and you will have to maintain them.

Go to volvoforums.com and get some information from people who actually own the cars.

You just gotta find someone selling one and take it for a test drive, we can’t tell you what you’d like. Any 70’s or 80’s car will require quite a bit of upkeep, regardless. There is a thriving Volvo community, lots of parts from shops like IPDusa.com, so if that’s your thing, you’ll be in good company. I’d stick with the 4 cylinder Volvos, regardless.

Also, there were turbo versions of some that would fit on the more ‘fun’ side of the scale ('82 240 turbo, for example), but upkeep and costs will of course be higher.

I’m curious…why a Volvo?
If utility and reliability are concerns there are better chaices.