Your definitive Volvo 240 buyer’s guide


For a nearly 20-year run, the world's college professors, newly-minted teenage drivers, and secret Scandinaviophiles were gifted with a perfectly rectilinear, absolutely safe, and surprisingly affordable go-to automobile. The Volvo 200 series (which began production as a 1975 model and left the showroom in 1993) was never intended to ascend to iconic status, and some enthusiasts might be puzzled that such a dowdy, anti-styled, modestly-powered vehicle was able to rise to the much-adored status that it achieved.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/01/definitive-volvo-240-buyers-guide


I don’t own one of these but I do own a 2008v70 wagon. My family dearly loves this car. It rides so smooth and quiet. Everybody that rides in it comments on the car and can’t believe it is ten years old. We made a 3000 mile trip this fall with no problems. We get a few looks as it is a rare Ruby Red color and I keep it all shined up. We keep it garaged and use it for trips and such. I use my 2006XC90 for every day driving. I plan to keep these cars a long time as I do not like touch screens and such. Give me buttons and knobs.


My daughter’s first car was a 1976 242. Bought used in 1989, it carried her safely and reliably through high school and college. Years later I purchased my own 1982 242. It’s been V8 powered since 1996 - first a Ford 5.0L and now a GM LS3. With handling and braking upgrades, 230,000 miles later, it turns and stops as well as it goes. Just as good - it consistently gets 18-20 mpg around town and 25-27 mpg on the highway. Just about the same mileage my daughter’s '76 model achieved with the stock 4 cylinder. Technology is a wonderful thing - especially when applied to a “brick”!


A very thorough write-up of the Volvo 200 series. We had two in our family when I grew up, so I’ll point out the only omission I saw: Volvo made a GLE model that was the top-of-the-line for the model (officially, 264 GLE). A light blue 1982 GLE happened to become my first car–not a bad hand-me-down, as it had a leather interior, manual crank sunroof and an interesting stereo tape deck with a dictation feature geared toward professionals. The latter was a hit with my friends as we’d cruise around and record our stories with the attached corded microphone. I believe also that the distinctive open-frame headrests were upgraded to include a padded cover.


Very interesting article. We had a 1984 240 4-door we bought new. Had a 1974 164E before that. Those cars were safe and dependable. Plus, you could tell what they were from a distance. They had been designed to make it easy to make repairs. It was easy to fix broken door handles, had to do a couple of times, and remove the instrument cluster – just took a few minutes. Our last Volvo, a 1995 850 Turbo, was not designed to make many repairs easily. I have a fond spot in my heart for the '84 240 which my wife inherited when I bought a 1988 Toyota Supra before buying the 1995 850, which we donated to charity last January when my wife bought a 2018 Honda CR-V. I don’t care much for the style (To me, the 850 was the last good looking Volvo.), and high prices, of the current Volvos and don’t consider them to have the value to be found in Hondas; I have a 2012 Honda Pilot.


In the wagons, one of the hidden beauties of those distinctive open-frame headrests is their double duty as lumber racks!


I had a 1983 Volvo 244 Turbo back in the 1980s. At the time, it was the fastest production series Volvo ever built. Top speed was 199 km/h (123 mph) and acceleration 0-100 km/h in 9 seconds. A friend of mine suggested that I should trade in my Volvo against something more sportier (true, the chassis did not reveal what was under the hood), as he himself had a Jaguar XKE, MGB and a Porsche 911. But once he had been taken for a ride in my Volvo Turbo, he quickly changed his mind. One summer, we decided to travel nonstop from Sweden to Spain (a distance of some 4000 km), without any overnight stops (only stopping for food and fuel). In 33 hours, we had reached Madrid, the Spanish capital. How I still miss that Turbo-charged Volvo!


In November 1983 I purchased an 84 244 GL in Toronto and drove off from the dealer to Calgary in 4 days fighting snow storms through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana and finally Alberta. I quickly realized that I made the right decision as this vehicle was build for the harsh climate. In July1986 I barreled rolled the car many times off a mountain in the Banff National Park avoiding an elk. My passenger and I crawl up the mountain for 15minutes with only scratches, the doors, hood and truck stayed latch.
I replaced the car with an 1984 244 turbo which I drove until August 2002.This 244 still had it’s original turbo when I it gave up at +500,000 kms. Maintenance was the key to it’s longevity but a moose cut it’s life short and spared mine. Cheers Ben Gee


Had 4 240’s up until last year. Now just 3, 1983 that we bought new, 1985 wagon - tranny quit, so got rid of, 1992 240 and 1993 240, which is my daily driver. Great cars even though they are under powered.


We own two 1993 240 Classics, both are daily drivers. They offer immense utility. Proper maintenance is the key to longevity. Parts are easy to source and reasonable in price. Lots of fun to drive especially with the IPD sway bar upgrade.


Not to brag, but I lost count of redblocks I’ve owned after having 100 plus. My ex and I got our first used from the original owner that commuted in the 79 244dl in Cimarron red brown, like the 245 pictured above. I liked the car so much I started buying and selling them over a long period of time. Usually had six per year, first year I even had 3 164 cars in the mix. Loved the 245s for pure utility they can’t be beat… Really liked the 740 and 940 wagons and sedans, preferred the turbo but all were fantastic . Even managed to obtain two 780 bertone turbo coupes. They had the turbo plus package on the red block making 188hp. The extra weight warranted the extra ponies. Just can’t find them anymore like I used to… Would love to have a 242gt or 240-245 turbo.If you find any of these red block beauties get it and cherish… Like real estate they’re not making any more of them…