Words by Warren Madsen
One of Volvo's most recognizable models, the 240 wagon (or 245, 5 is for 5 door). This one looks just right- great colors, manual transmission, renewed turbo, clean and low miles.
Sweet: utilitarian, analog styling and amazing longevity. Surprising acceleration. Boost gauge. Easy to work on and affordable parts. Comfortable ergonomics and fold down rear seats for camping potential. Non-interference engine relieves timing belt angst. Steering angle at full lock goes to 11. Safety reputation is legit. Under the radar yet carries some cult following.
Bummer: that cult following usually consists of english professors, starving artists and cat ladies. Somewhat tractor like in driving dynamics and refinement- rattles, creaks and groans. Oil leaks, crummy fuel pump relays, and motor mounts. Fairly weak MPG's due to weight and lack of aerodynamics.
Awesome: nothing quite like it and they really can go forever- 500k miles or more. Great utility, turbo boost and manual transmission. Embrace your inner professor.
Upgrade Options: bigger turbo, IPD suspension, big brakes, etc. Actually common to see LS1 V8's dropped in these huge engine bays. Some prefer the look of early round headlights and flat hoods.
DWA Values: this example claims under 100k miles, which would be shocking but doesn't matter much. Odometer failure is as common as a flat tire. A few hours and a new gear the size of your finger nail will fix it, but these owners weren't always meticulous. If milage is true, this is a very good buy. Much more beat-up cars with automatics are common, at $2500-$4k. A perfect coupe with tasteful mods or pristine original cars can run five figures. Nice ones are scarce and appreciating.