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Volvo 740 and 760 (1982 - 1992)

Last updated 11 December 2018

 
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Buying Guide

Good

  • Built like a tank. Better looking than antiquated 240 in a curious 1970s American way. 'Genteel', very middle-class, 'respectable' image (but see 'What's bad'). Seven-seat estate option.
  • 15' 8" (4775mm) long x 5' 9"(1753mm) wide, weighed from 1270kg to 1525kg.
  • Engine line-up included 1986cc 121bhp injected four from 1988 to 1990
  • 2316cc 114bhp/117bhp carb four from 1984 to 1991
  • 2316cc 121bhp injected four from 1987 to 1991
  • 2316 131bhp injected four from 1986 to 1990
  • 2316cc 155bhp twin-cam 16v four from 1989 to 1990
  • 2316cc 182bhp turbo four from 1986 to 1989 (down to 170bhp to 1990)
  • 2383cc 109bhp turbodiesel six from 1986 to 1990
  • 2849cc 156bhp V6 from 1982 to 1987 (170bhp from 1987 to 1990)
  • 2383cc 122bhp turbodiesel six from 1983 to 1990.
  • Can motor on and on and many still around in 2010 in good condition.
  • Mileages of 200,000 + common.

Bad

  • Ugly looks. Horrible handling. Very mixed image: genteel and middle-class, but, on the other hand, sometimes driven by very aggressive drivers.
  • High-intensity high-level rear brake light (one of the first) on automatics must be fitted with low-intensity bulb or will dazzle the driver behind in a traffic jam (technically an offence under the RVLR 1989).
  • Duff old PSA V6 (don't buy a 760 with a 'V' engine).
  • The market is for Volvo estates, and saloon versions are very hard to sell. Old estates that began with antiques dealers end up with painters and decorators.
  • Saloon has small boot due to fuel tank intrusion. 
  • By 2010 all were at least 20 years old.

Watch

  • Steering and front suspension damage from 'kerbing'.
  • Baggy suspension on estates from carrying ludicrously heavy loads. Fluid drips near back wheels could be leaking rear shocks.
  • Engine and exhaust system damage from 'short run syndrome'.
  • With 3000-mile oil changes engines will do 300,000 miles plus, but most of the other bits won't.
  • Previous owners may have replaced alternators, water pumps and starter motors but may have offloaded the car because the gearbox or diff is about to give up.
  • On autos check ATF: should be red, not grey-black.
  • High risk of clocking or having run 100,000 miles 'unhooked'. Cats are £600, but can be ditched because all 740s are pre-August '92.
  • Front crossmember can crack, leading to chafing of battery cable and possible underbonnet fire.
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