Midsize car; Built in Sweden
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,900*


1990 Volvo 240 DL 4-door wagon


1990 Volvo 240 DL 4-door wagon


1991 Volvo 240 4-door sedan


1992 Volvo 240 4-door sedan


1991 Volvo 240 interior

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Fuel economy
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Acceleration (w/automatic tansmission)

While the 240 ranks low in both performance and accommodations when compared with others in the competitive and fast-growing near-luxury class, its durability may be a factor if you’re considering a used model for roomy, basic transportation.

Overview

The entry-level Volvo 240 sedan and station wagon models rode into the ’90s with a driver-side airbag and an underdashboard knee bolster. The GL series was dropped for 1990, leaving a new base model and the uplevel DL. All models still came with a 114-horsepower, 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, and either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock brakes weren’t added as an option until 1991.

Yearly Updates

1991 240
Antilock brakes are a new option as the major change to the 1991 Volvo 240 models.
1992 240
Antilock brakes are now standard on Volvo’s lower-price 240 sedan and wagon. Among other changes, Volvo has shifted its model lineup once again. The rear-drive 240 is offered as a 4-door sedan in base form and as a GL model. The 4-door wagon is offered in base trim only.
1993 240
The highline GL sedan is dropped, leaving just a standard-issue 4-door sedan and 4-door wagon. Among the few options is a locking differential that’s effective below 25 mph, for extra traction on slippery surfaces.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

All Volvo 240 models still come with a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. It provides 114 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 136 pound-feet of torque at 2750 rpm.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/141
Engine HP 114
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 136
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
21/28
20/25
24.3

Road Test

In most categories the 240 performs adequately, with one glaring exception–acceleration. Performance from the 114-horsepower 4-cylinder and automatic transmission is lackluster to say the least–even laconic–and the small 2.3-liter engine is coarse when under a load or in hard acceleration. A heavy throttle foot is required to keep abreast of traffic, and when cruising at highway speeds the engine gets quite noisy. Fuel mileage is above average, however. We averaged 24.3 mpg in a 1990 wagon with 5-speed.

Handling is competent, with a ride that is firm and stable. Relatively thin roof pillars ensure good visibility, and interiors afford four adults plenty of room. The wagons can haul an exceptional amount of cargo.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 Volvo 240

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 2
20%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 3
30%

Total: 35

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 189.9 67.3 56.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.0 15.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.9 36.1 40.1 36.4
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 190.7 67.7 57.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
76.0 15.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.9 36.8 40.1 36.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 240 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 108
Injury 91
Theft 50

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: Tiny water droplets may spray from the center vents because condensation is not draining properly. An insert installed in the drain hose will cure the problem. (1990-92)
Cold-starting problems
Description: If the engine is hard to start when cold, a new computer with a revised program is necessary. (1990-93)
Cruise control
Description: If the noise from the cruise-control vacuum pump is annoying, the bracket can be modified and new rubber insulators installed. (1990-93)
Sunroof/moonroof
Description: Felt spacers at the corners of the moonroof are acting as wicks. When they get saturated, water runs along the guide rails and into the car. (1990-93)
Suspension noise
Description: A knocking noise from the front end may be due to a loose sway-bar bushing. (1991-93)

Recall History

1990-93
Description: If car has been subjected to flood conditions, attempting to start the engine could cause airbag deployment; car should be towed to a dealer.
1990-93 Accessory Child Car Seat
Description: Predynamic test-buckle release force is lower than required by federal standard and may not retain child in seat in event of a crash.
1992 244/245
Description: A nut that joins the wheel spindle and ball joint in the front suspension was improperly torqued. The ball joint and strut can separate, causing loss of steering control.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.