The Volvo 740: the Most Reliable Sedan of Its Time

By: Glady Reign

In 1982, Volvo introduced to the market their luxurious 760 sedan. This is actually a part of their efforts to place themselves among the prestigious group of luxury car makers. While the Volvo 760 is a luxury car in itself, it also posseses the safety that all Volvo cars have the reputation of having, and this fact makes this a car not only luxurious vehicle but also safe and sturdy unit which is what Volvo is known for.

From the development of the Volvo 760 comes another model which is designated as the Volvo 740. The model is a more simply equipped car which shares the same platform and design concept of the 760. While it may lack the luxurious amenities employed by the Volvo 760, the Volvo 740 is far more superior to the Volvo 200 series when it comes to style, performance and luxury.

The Volvo 740 was introduced to the US market in 1985 and production was discontinued in 1992. And throughout that time, the model has been known to be one of the most reliable 4-door sedans of its time considering the low number of engineering limitations and solid build quality which Volvo is known for. A testament to the car's reliability is a large number of these cars still being used today even though it has been out of production for 15 years now. The cars' lengthy service time is due to its sturdy construction and also through the use of high performance and engines that are built to last a very long time.

The Volvo 740, for most of its lifetime, has remained relatively unchanged, but during the latter stages of the car's production life, it has received minor changes in the design as well as in its mechanical aspects. In 1990, the Volvo 740 series received a new composite headlamps and tail lights similar to those employed by the Volvo 780 series cars. The dashboard of the cars in the series also received newer looks straight out of the more luxurious Volvo 760. These changes in the design of the cars are an effort to elevate the aesthetic value of the cars to better compete with competitors known for producing stylish cars.

The design of the cars in the Volvo 740 series not only received improved styling but the engine was also upgraded to give the cars better performance. The B230 engine employed by the vehicles received bigger 13 mm. connecting rods in 1990. The Volvo 740 turbocharged engines switched from the Garrett T3-series turbocharger to the Mitsubishi TD04 series which decreases the turbo lag but lowers the top-end performance of the engine. The fuel system also undergone improvements, from LH-Jettronic 2.2 it was upgraded to 2.4. The newer and better fuel system allows onboard diagnostics that are easily accessible under the hood. This also increased the engine's performance and its reliability. Another mechanical upgrade it received towards the end of its run is the use of electrical engine cooling fan which replaced the mechanical one previously employed by previous Volvo 740s.

The upgrades that the Volvo 740 cars received on their latter day of production proved invaluable to their performance. The improvement in the fuel system and the turbocharger further optimizes the capacity of the engine. These improvements allow Volvo 740s to still perform at a high performance up to this day. Furthermore, the safety features employed by the cars make this car not only road worthy in terms of performance but also in terms of safety. The combination of reliability and safety makes this car a real gem in the collection in the entire lineup of Volvo cars in the company's 80 years of existence.

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