1994 Volvo 940 Review
Pros & Cons - Not Available
List Price Estimate
$707 - $1,519
Used 940 for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
940 gets passenger airbag. Level I 940s have 114-horsepower, 2.3-liter engine; equip a 940 with Level II trim and you get a turbocharged version of this engine.
Most helpful consumer reviews
I have been in the automotive industry for over thirty years and I can say that this wagon, if properly maintained will not fail you or yours. The piece of mind you receive in terms of safety has no equal. I've seen these cars rolled, samashed and crushed and 99% of them had room to live. These cars have a time tested history of safety and reliability. Forget buying one after 1994. Rwd drive is the way to go as all the drive componets are in alignment. A very simplistic approach to good enginneering and design. It is not unusual to see these cars still on the road with over 400K on them. Make a wise choice, buy one with maint. history and love it and it will go as long as you wish.
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.
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)
I bought my base 1994 non turbo sedan in a rush (after a car accident) I immediately did tires, brakes, changed fluids and some smog stuff to pass in CA. it came with 160,000 miles. I paid $1200 and with everything including an updated stereo/speakers, I'm in $2800. I have nothing but praises for this car I've driven 15,000 miles in 6 months. One major month long roadtrip from Southern Cal, to Washington state, Idaho and back thru Utah state parks to LA. Everything works, its comfortable, its safe. Yeah the airconditioning is not the worlds best, the heater on the other hand is the best (Its a Swedish car!) The gas gauge needle now sometimes works, I'll have it fixed. I've had her at 100/110 in the desert, stable, safe, and I've sat in bumper to bumper traffic. For a 23 yr old car, everything people told me about this era Volvo is true. I had bought her as a filler, till ins. came thru on my accident. Damn if I'm not keeping her, Classically cool. She's a keeper, I hear 350,000/400,000. Well at 175,000 now, not a drop of oil, runs like she's brand new. Everything but the gas gauge works well. Two yrs later! Still have her! She has had oil changed every 3k miles. She has been tuned twice, and I've replaced a crank shaft solenoid ($100) Still runs awesome. Oh had the airconditioning purged and refilled ($250) Still runs awesome!
Features & Specs
See all Used 1994 Volvo 940 features & specs
17 city / 22 hwy
162 hp @ 4800 rpm
17 city / 24 hwy
114 hp @ 5400 rpm