Volvo 740 and 760 (1982 – 1992) Review

Volvo 740 and 760 (1982 – 1992) At A Glance


+Estates are big, solid and practical, capable of high mileage with sensible maintenance, saloons much cheaper for same levels of protection

-Poor handling, even before the suspension starts to sag, still awaiting classic status.

The Volvo 760 was introduced in March 1982 and was the first full-sized car by the Swedish manufacturer since the 140/160-series first saw the light of day in 1966. The new car was first launched in six-cylinder form, replacing the 264/265 - and was marked out by its angular square-rigged styling, so favoured in the US market at the time. Power was by a 2.8-litre version of the 'Douvrin' V6 also shared with Peugeot and Renault, and it was priced to fight the Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia and Rover 3500SE.

In 1984, the range was extended to include the new four-cylinder 740. The more reasonably priced version soon picked up useful sales in the 2.0-litre executive car market. Both cars were offered with the capacious estate car body, which maintained Volvo's market leadership in the large estate car sector. Tough and reliable, the 700-series as capable of huge mileages thanks to great build quality, and the survival rate is exceptionally high.

Join the club

Formed in 1962, the Volvo Owners' Club has 3000 members. It offers dedicated, expert advice to keep members' cars on the road and has helped preserve models that are still used daily. It also embraces modern Volvos and plays an important role in helping its solving the complex electronic issues modern cars can present. All Volvos are welcome, from traditional classics like the PV544 and Amazon, 1980s modern classics like the 700, and newer models like the S40, S60, V60 and XC60. The cost of joining the club is £35 (£30 membership and £5 joining fee) - but the joining fee will be waived for new members quoting HJ19.

Ask Honest John

Is it worth spending money on a 20-year-old Volvo or is it just good for spares?

"My sister has a 1998 Volvo 740 GL SR Sedan with 190,000 miles on the clock. The MoT and tax are due to run out next month. It runs well but the engine does need a good service and the bodywork, although in good condition is commensurate with the car's age. Is it worth spending money on or is it good just for spares?"
Here at Honest John Classics, we love old Volvos. The model you have sounds like a fine workhorse... and to some extent that is the problem. Because they just keep going and are in use regularly as every day cars, this era of Volvos have a hard time making it through to classics status. The square-styling of the the 700-series hasn't helped its cause, although plenty of people appreciate the right-angled nature of the design. If the 740 is something you love and feel an affinity towards, by all means keep it going - it sounds like it's got plenty of life left in it. At 190k, it should be nicely run in.
Answered by Keith Moody
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