1991 Volvo 240 Review


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Edmunds' Expert Review

1991 Highlights

SE wagon added to lineup. DL trim dropped, leaving base trim.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1991 Volvo 240.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The reputation as a tank or brick is accurate.
Karl Hungus,10/04/2015
4dr Wagon
Above all, it should be noted: in a 1991 Volvo has been well maintained, it will run forever. If maintenance has been shoddy, all bets are off. That said: I love this car. This thought runs through my head all too often while driving - whether because of surprising uphill pulling power, filling the back of the wagon with an astonishing amount of stuff, or the general comfort of the ride. That's saying a lot, the 240 is not really anyone's idea of a comfortable, powerful car, but from the correct perspective it is nothing short of a treat - nothing about the car should inspire confidence or excitement, but the 240 is full of surprises. Right off the line, the 240 is a bit of a lazy beast. 1st gear gets the car moving, and you have to wonder if the 4 cylinder is up to the task. The 5 speed hits its stride around 35 though, with plenty of big, lazy power. This car will never spin its tires, but it keeps up with traffic perfectly well. A 25 year old wagon has no business going 100mph on the interstate, and it only adds to the confusion that the 240 is so stable and assured at that speed. Fast highway cruising benefits, no doubt, from the 3000 lb curb weight. It feels heavy and european, like a poor man's Mercedes. This heavy comfort applies all around - cruising the main strip, a weekend jaunt on curvy 2 lane highways, you are reminded that this car is definitely NOT a sport coupe and yet...and yet...it feels so *good*. Heavy, smooth, surefooted. Strangely like a very low pickup truck, but somehow different. Better. The rear wheel drive is great, absolutely amazing in snow. This is where half of the TANK comes from. The other half is pure build quality. The car is solid, overbuilt to hell, full of big clunky metal parts. It isn't unfair to say the car is full of simple 1970s engineering, but here it is a compliment. In our modern era of puffy plastic lozenges, a spare, hard, pure steel box stands out both for its unusual, utilitarian appearance and brilliant security. This car will take a thrashing, and come out running like a champ. Volvos have saved countless lives - yes, safety technology has come leaps and bounds since 1991, but these are the cars that safety standards were once measured by. You know someone (or at least someone who knows someone) who not only lived through a horrific wreck in a Volvo, but walked away. Repairs are easy for even the most rudimentary shade tree mechanic - with a Bently manual and a metric tool set in hand, almost nothing is off limits. I replaced my own timing belt in an hour and a half in a parking lot - thanks to more smart, simple Swedish engineering, a broken timing belt does not ruin the engine. It's nothing more than a nuisance, a protracted inconvenience. On the downside, these inconveniences increase with age. The legendary engine may run for upwards of a million miles (and beyond, again, with good maintenance), but in that time plastics become brittle, electronics corrode. The fuses are idiotic in placement and execution, the tail light contacts require almost monthly upkeep to avoid a ticket, some relays will burn out and introduce a cascade of electrical gremlins. As a tall person, I take some issue with the size of the cockpit. I fit, I've become used to it, but there isn't a ton of room. The 3rd row seat, while novel, is in the rear crumple zone - a significant rear-ending may not limit the Volvo's ability to limp home, but it may easily kill anyone seated in the way back. But the bottom line is that if you are patient, your expectations are realistic and you have a AAA card on hand, a Volvo will be your friend for a long, long time. We have a hyundai for quick jaunts to the store. Its fast & easy, but has been in the shop far more than the old beast.
I love these cars
4dr Wagon
This is the fourth 240 I've owned and the first wagon. I love the car. It's comfortable, safe, reliable and it drives well. I got this one from a doctor that owned since it was new and he had the engine replaced in June of 2008. The reason I bought it was because the engine he had put in came from another 240 and had only 31k miles on it (certified). When I picked it up he had put 8k on it, so it's a 1991 240 wagon with a 240 engine that has only 39k miles on it. I'll be driving it 20 years from now. I also have an all wheel drive 2002 Passat that I use when it snows heavily, but when I have a choice I choose to drive my 240.
Swedes' tank
4dr Wagon
I love my wagon. Easiest car to work on. Plain and simple. I've driven it 300K miles and its still going strong. Yes, its not the fastest car on the road, but how many Ferraris have enough miles to encircle the earth over 15 times? None. How many Porsche's have 375K mile and are roomy enough to go camping in? none. For some one who wants a reliable car that has utilitarian attitude, the Volvo 240 wagon is THE car.
They don't make them like they used to !
Jaime Obando,08/07/2006
4dr Sedan
I've had 2 types of 240's a station wagon 87' and now a sedan 91'. The station wagon saved my life. . I was hit head on collission and all I had was a bruise on my knee and some back ache. I immediately bought another volvo but this time it's a sedan. I love the euro style.. Yes it's boxy but I would say euro-boxy which makes all the difference in design. It's rear wheel drive so you don't have to mess with axles and boots going bad. . and since the engine is not. I repeat not crossed from right to left. You have plenty of space to work on it.. I've replaced the starter once. I have done a tune up myself. . and it's got plenty of space to move around. Solid design, roomy, Reliable!!!


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1991 Volvo 240

Used 1991 Volvo 240 Overview

The Used 1991 Volvo 240 is offered in the following submodels: 240 Sedan, 240 Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, SE 4dr Wagon, and 4dr Wagon. Pre-owned Volvo 240 models are available with a 2.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 114 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1991 Volvo 240 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1991 Volvo 240?

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Which used 1991 Volvo 240s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1991 Volvo 240s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo 240 for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,242.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,408.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo 240 for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $22,753.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $9,421.

Should I lease or buy a 1991 Volvo 240?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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