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I need to buy a work vehicle before long, to replace one destroyed in an accident.<P>I'm thinking maybe a volvo wagon might be nice.<P>I figure I'd like to keep the cost down by buying a vehicle that's 5-10 years old.<BR>I need some comfort items like A/C, power windows & locks, that sort of thing, but don't need the sort of excessive luxury that some cars have.<P>So, what models should I be looking at, what sort of issues do they have and what can i expect to pay?
 

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If you want a nice car that you can also haul stuff in then a 240 from '88-'93 would do the job just fine for about $1500-$7000 (depending on year/mileage/condition). Those years had good wiring (unlike some of the '87 and earlier models), and the rust proofing is also improved over earlier years. Starting in '89, the 240 gets power windows standard, a drivers side airbag is standard starting in '90, and starting in '91, ABS is available.<P>The '87 and earlier 240s are still great cars, but most will have well over 100,000 miles. While the drivetrain will have plenty of life left, the rest of the car may need some maintenance or restoration. If you can do a lot of work on the car yourself, it can be very cheap to own (things like exhaust, timing belt, heater hoses, water pump, shocks/struts, bushings, motor/tranny mounts, etc might need to be replaced on a 15 year old car that's around 150K miles). Otherwise expect to put a little money into an older car to get it into nice shape. A good site for advice on maintaining Volvos is <A HREF="http://www.brickboard.com" TARGET=_blank>www.brickboard.com</A> <P>A 740 wagon is a great car too, and sometimes they're actually cheaper than similar 240s because the 240 is more popular. The 700 series cars are a little more modern feeling according to owners, but still maintain the solid feeling of the RWD Volvo. You mentioned it'd be a work vehicle, so I'd recommend that you stay away from the 760 with the 6cyl engine (the "high end" luxury model with a weak engine by Volvo standards), and the 740 with the 16V 4cyl, because both will require a bit more maintenance, and neither are as strong as the B230F (8V 4cyl, same engine used in the 240/740/940).<P>If the non-turbo engine is too slow for you, then look for a 740/760 Turbo, or even a 940 Turbo. The newer engines were the strongest, so look for '90 to '92 if possible, or at least '87 or later for a watercooled turbo on the 700 series. The best Turbo engine in the 940 was in '95, followed by '93-'94, followed by '91-'92. All 940s in the US had automatic transmissions, but the 740 came with a manual up through '91.<P>Good luck.<P>
 
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