Published on January 13th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez2
Volvo 740 & 760 Used Car Review_Built To Last
At its global launch in 1982, the Volvo 760 was hailed as revolutionary Volvo design as it was a far better design than the outgoing 240 and the rather boring 440. Under the skin, the suspension and many of the mechanics were carried over and improved where needed from the existing 200 range. The intial model oddering was offered with three engines; a VAG-sourced diesel turbo, a 2.3-litre four-cylinder injected turbo Volvo and a 2.8-litre PRV alliance (Peugeot Renault Volvo) all alloy V6 engine. We in Malaysia got the 760 models and they were locally assembled in Shah Alam even at the time.
Even though the styling was not to everyone’s taste, the 700 range quickly became a car known for all the best aspects of all Volvos that came before: safety, reliability and equipment. The people who mattered ie: the buying public, quickly warmed to the styling of the 700 range and the range went on to sell in decent numbers as it sat in the luxury car range side by side with the Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 5 Series which were both slightly more expensive.
The 760GLE turbo was the class best performer with an impressive 185bhp which in today’s auto market is an average power rating, but impressive in 1982 where both the E-Class and 5-Series were normally aspirated. Here was a car in saloon or estate format that would gather momentum up to 100km/h in just under 8 seconds, a time that even many hot hatchbacks could not catch it from traffic light to traffic light. What was even more impressive was the fact that the large and long 760 estate/wagon tipped the scales at just under two tonnes
Two years after the launch of the 760, the 740 entered the marketplace sharing the same body style, but with smaller engines and slightly less equipment. The Turbo continued with the 740 – so the 760 turbo was seen as a high speed executive cruiser with a GLE badge; the 740 Turbo was marketed with a genuine sporting theme with visually different alloy wheels and a substantial reduction in price.
The gearbox had the trademark Volvo overdrive button as opposed to a normal five-speed shift pattern – a feature sadly dropped in later models as cost cutting measures took place. What made the 700 turbo’s such a pleasure to drive was the fact it was as docile under normal driving conditions, its long travel suspension soaked up the ruts and bumps while its bombproof build quality gave the owner the confidence on the cars everlasting abilities. Today, the Volvo 760 is somewhat forgotten and mostly scrapped. There are some decent units still in the hands of proud owners who refuse to sell them as they keep working without fail. Just maintain them properly and they keep running. A very decent well maintained 760 Turbo fetches only between RM4,000 to RM8,000. So owners prefer to keep them. A running unit with paint and interior wear will fetch about RM2-3,000 only. If you find a decent unit and the price is right, you can see many years if good motoring with only the high consumption and turbo issues to worry about.