I bought my Volvo in 2005 with 190,000 miles on it and have driven it daily ever since, as well as a few long distance road trips. It handles very well and is very comfortable to drive. It now has 328,000 miles and is still running great! I have had regular maintenance done and replaced parts as they have worn out. It doesn't leak or burn any oil. The maintenance and repair costs have been low, but I have a very good Volvo mechanic. I don't ever want to sell my Volvo!
The 740s are cheap to buy because some people won't buy an ugly duckling but the square shape maximises interior room and makes for a quality practical car. The Turbo model is well worth the extra cost. Go for a low mileage car - it won't cost a lot more and it will have a longer trouble free life. Like all Volvos these cars go forever so it is worth getting a dealer to service it. It costs more but, hey, you could have this car for 10 years.
Although I bought my 740 GL used, it has proven to be a reliable if somewhat quirky car. I have had very few problems with the car considering that it has just rolled over 150,000 miles and it appears that 200k is well within the realm of possibility. While you won't be winning many drag races with other cars, you do feel very secure knowing this car is built like an armored personel carrier.
Well, this car won't die! My last posting in 7/07...nothing hasn't changed since then. The Brick now has close to 300,000 miles on her...and she's still going strong. I've beefed up the suspension with all Ipd performance equipment, repainted the vehicle, interior refurb in progress, done the timeing belt, trans flush, and changed the rear main seal. All in all, the car hasn't cost me a whole lot of money. A very safe and reliable car....I'd rate it at the top for a 20 year old car. It's the ultimate sleeper on a curvy road...handles like a dream now! Almost as fun to drive as my Porsche Cayman! No leaks, doesn't burn oil, and get's stares and compliments! COLD AC! Not bad for a geek-mobile!