Used 1994 Volvo 940 Consumer Reviews - 51 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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1994 Volvo 940 - Consumer Reviews

1994 Volvo 940

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51 Total Reviews

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Among the very best gasoline automobiles ever made
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Martin
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 940 4dr Sedan


Review

This is my 3rd 940, and just the 940 I really want. The 1st was a 1994 Turbo sedan with sunroof, great car. Plenty of acceleration, reasonable highway fuel economy, around 26 MPG. Best seats of any car I have ever sat upon. Got it with 125,000 miles, put 200,00 on it and gave it to a young family member. Routine maintenance at an Independent Volvo shop was very reasonable, maybe $450 - $500 / year. A few things were a chunk of money: Replace head gasket / valve job / head surfacing = $1,200. This was at a private (unlicensed) mechanic. Strut: About $400, licensed Independent Volvo shop. Front wheel bearing, also about $400. A real winner of a car. 2nd 940 was a 1995 940 non-turbo, no sun roof. About $2,000 in necessary repairs at purchase, then it gave good service for 100,000 miles when I gave it to yet another young family member. One night around 2:30 AM while traveling South on Interstate 5 from Oregon to California, I hit a dead moose (cow, deer, Bigfoot) at 65 MPH. The car was launched airborne - all 4 wheels off the pavement and into the (unoccupied) next lane. During the slight instant of panic I thought: "Relax, you're in a Volvo". Sure enough, hit the pavement in the next lane and kept driving. A few miles further down I-5 there was a California Highway Patrol truck inspection station so I stopped in and reported the dead whatever in the slow lane about 2 miles back. They have guys in orange trucks that deal with this sort of thing. Something to note regarding the 1995 940 Volvo: The main fuel pump is inside the gas tank. Volvo 940's prior to 1995 have a pre-pump in the gas tank, and the main fuel pump is between the structural framework underneath the car just aft of the driver's seat. This main fuel pump is right next to the main fuel filter so everything is neat, safe, and easy to get to. Alas, the heavy landing from the moose / Bigfoot incident damaged my fuel sending unit so effectively I had no gas gauge. If you are going to replace a sender unit, you might as well also replace the pre-pump and the main fuel pump while the access port is open. The access port is located inside the trunk at the forward end, so you do not have to drop the gas tank to service the gas tank. This is a big plus in the sense that you can avoid the genuine hassle of dropping a gas tank, but then you must work within a (cramped) trunk. They give you this, but you pay for that.... My 3rd Volvo 940 is a 1994, non-turbo, no sunroof, and so Base that it does not even have heated seats. This is the first Volvo without heated seats that I have seen. The good / bad part: This car belonged to a close friend who had taken care of the routine maintenance. It did blow a head gasket at 226,000 miles, though. I got the car for the cost of towing, $320. So this, the latest and perhaps last Volvo 940 of my life, was put into my favorite Independent Volvo Repair shop where it sat for 3 months. During that time both the mechanics and myself searched for a suitable replacement engine. Finally a good engine was found on the 3rd or 4th try. This engine lived on an engine stand for a month and a half while the guys worked on it in their spare time. All seals were replaced, new timing belt and timing belt tensioner, water pump, distributor rebuild kit; any consumable or wear item that could be serviced was replaced with new. New motor mounts, transmission mount, struts, shocks....this 1994 Volvo 940 approaches "new" in all of the important ways. It is everything I want in a car, and nothing that I do not want - there is an absolute minimum of electronic stuff which always fails, eventually. Safe, reliable with inexpensive routine maintenance, very easy to drive with excellent visibility. I have found that at 2750 RPM (the RPM of "maximum torque", where the engine is at it's highest efficiency), 65 MPH, I get a solid 29 MPG on a fairly flat roadway. The steering and handling are always very predictable, at any speed. It is easy to imagine the "RPM Committee" at Volvo deciding to set the transmission and final drive gear ratios to achieve 65 MPH on flat ground at 2750 RPM. After all, 65 MPH is the speed limit so why would one go any faster ? For a gasoline car, these Volvo 940's will go down in Automotive History as among the very best. Someday, I guess these cars will be gone forever, so I will enjoy mine while I may.


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Was leery at first - now I am a fan
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By oldcarandguy
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 940 Turbo 4dr Wagon


Review

Bought this 940 turbo wagon with 203K. I have had to replace a few switches and a few gaskets, but I have to say - I like this car a lot. It handles well, is easy to work on, you can find parts very easy at a reasonable price, it is fun to drive, and the visibility all the way around is great. I drove it for a few months before deciding to invest in the minor repairs. The original owner had the service down regularly by Volvo and had the book stamped by a certified dealer, so I know it had all the critical services done when required. I like these old Volvo's - great reliable transportation.


Best Features

Easy to drive, easy to work on. I like the built-in dog bars


Worst Features

modernize it and build it again


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So uncool, it's cool.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ursan
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 940 Turbo 4dr Wagon


Review

This being among the last of the classic RWD chassis, Volvo really did their homework.

It's tight, refined and quite possible one of the finest production cars of the 1990's.

Even a basic Turbo model will have power seats, A/C, rear child booster seats and the wagon can fit up to seven.

Avoid the non-turbo if you can. 114 HP in a 3,300# vehicle will make you understand the phrase, "Volvos don't accelerate, they gain momentum." Turbo gets you 162 HP with only slightly less MPG. (worth it)

With proper maintenance they can last a long long time (mine is now 20 years old) With a little skill and $$ they can easily be made to perform well (just ask David Letterman)


Best Features

Thought it's not really a feature, being a RWD car makes for a more predictable driving experience. With a longitudinally mounted engine makes for easier and often less expensive maintenance and repair than FWD contemporaries. Remember, this car has more in common with a Mercedes or BMW than with a Honda or Toyota. The 9 series has plenty of seating comfort for up to 5 (7 in the wagon with the rear facing seats) Factory 6 speaker stereo produces good sound and with its great build quality, interior rattles and squeaks are almost non existent. One last thing, this car is TALL people friendly. Thank you Sweden.


Worst Features

Even with the turbo's 162 HP (@ ~7 PSI) this car is not very stellar in performance. With minor modifications, 200 HP (or more) is obtainable with even 300 HP not unheard of. (again, just search "Volvo David Letterman") The design aspects of this car is basically with a straight edge and a T-Square, so it'll never be a head turner. It's been said that the wagon is a better looking car than the sedan and I'd agree. As for other improvements, I can't really make any suggestions. The car, even in "Turbo" trim isn't very sophisticated. I think I'd appreciate it more if it had a manual 5 speed over the stock 4 speed automatic.


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I'll Miss These Good Old Volvos When They're Gone for Good
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By sdaigle
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 940 Turbo 4dr Sedan


Review

Love, love, love my 940! I bought this car in 2010 with 94k miles. It currently has 128k miles in 2012. I inherited many of its problems when I bought it. I get the impression it was not taken care of. This disappointment aside, the 940 is a great car. The transmission takes getting used to, however. It shifts very hard and holds gears WAY too long before upshifting. It actually makes the car feel much slower than it actually is. The turbo 4cyl. is a strong engine with good power. It's a very comfortable foreign car. Even as old as it is, people still tell me "That's a nice Volvo". I'd buy another in a heartbeat, except Ford ruined them! Not what they used to be, by far.


Best Features

Seats are very comfortable. The driving position is perfect for me, even without a tilt steering wheel. I like the way it rides and handles. A nice balance between American comfort and European road feel. The turbo engine has a pleasing deep tone at lower RPMs. Love how it sounds cruising around town. The brakes are phenomenal. The best performing brakes of any vehicle I've ever driven. Very strong, confident stopping ability. As bland looking as this car is, it has so much character and that's important to me. I don't like driving an appliance.


Worst Features

I like the firm, crisp shifts from the transmission, but it just holds gears too darn long before upshifting. Not a problem during slow acceleration, but in moderate acceleration, it's downright aggravating and detracts from the enjoyment of driving the car. Wish fuel economy was better. I average only 20-21 MPG doing 100% rural driving on 55mph country roads. People over 6' tall just don't fit in this car, front or back. It's rather embarrassing.


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Tractor motor, truck tranny, scan design interior and plane jane exterior
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By drjjjj
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 940 4dr Wagon


Review

Comfy, quiet, torquey 4 banger with toyota truck transmission (yep, same one)! Very reliable when given basic maintenance, marginal if not! 1992- had SIPS side impact design that all use today, antilock, hydraulic motor mounts with motor to submerge in collision, ballistic seat belts and crumple interior! Also, limited slip rear end works well in snow! Neat car even today, $25K new back then tells ya somethin about the build quality/components! My air bag light is still off/functions 20 years later, the wagon is the size of an SUV and the 90- 92 is geared the tallest and so gets the best mileage -about 18/20 town and 24/26 highway on reg! Love the cars, had many, will get a prius next!


Best Features

Limited slip, seats, torque at avg driving rpm, build quality, safety for it's era-even today!


Worst Features

They don't make em like this now, so point is moot! Air conditioners are weak, they need to be tuned every 25K miles and mpg is marginal-could have been geared taller. Anything newer than 95, 16 valve, 6 cylinder, 5 cylinder motor, turbo problematic!1990-1995 volvo 240, 740 & 940 may just be the most reliable cars ever made and kinda hip too! The 740/940 are larger and more upscale. Picky Engineer


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