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Volvo 340 and 360 (1976 - 1991)

Last updated 20 August 2013

 
2
2.0-litre GLT is a laugh, comfortable seats, good looking in original form
Slow, ponderous, cramped, awful CVTs

Introduction

The Volvo 343 was the first all-new model developed and built by DAF after assimilated by the Swedish company - whereas before, the DAF 66 had been badge-engineered into the Volvo 66, the 343 was a ground-up model that had started life as DAF 's P900 project.

The Dutch company needed help to get it into production, and in the end Volvo ended up buying a majority stake and rebranding it. Known as the 343, the new small Volvo retained DAF 's Variomatic transmission (a manual came later), mounted at the rear in a transaxle.

Sales were slow initially, but picked up as the model was developed. In 1980, it received five doors to become the 345, then in 1983, the front-end was tidied up. At the same time, a pair of 2.0-litre versions, called the 360, were launched - one fuel injected, the other carburetted. The former was swift enough to be considered a 'warm' hot hatchback. After that, a four-door saloon version

Throughout the 1980s, the 340 consistently remained popular, becoming a mainstay in the UK top 10 sellers chart. Today, younger classic car fans are drawn to its RWD layout and low running costs.

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