Two Swedish Turbo sedans- which do you prefer, if any?
From R&T’s 1981 January issue, here’s the SAAB:
And the Volvo:
If I only had these 2 models to choose from….it would be a coin toss. When these were new, I was still in my “it HAS to be a 2 door or nothing” mind set. Yet, I was also a sucker for the newest thing.
I lean towards the Saab but would prefer the “classic” hatchback.
Make mine the Volvo.
For me, it has to be the Volvo, no questions asked. Simply because it would last a lot longer.
I like them both but would only go with the Volvo if it had 4 doors, never been into the 2-dr thing.
I remember these two cars, the Saab 900 Turbo Sedan and the Volvo 240 GLT Turbo. I was too young at the time to drive. But between the two cars, I found the Volvo better looking than that of the Saab 900.
If running one of these today, the Volvo hands down for ease of serviceability and parts availability over the long haul.
Volvo, but I like both.
I’m mainly amazed that the typo in the Volvo headline went unnoticed.
I haven´t driven a 240, but in my experience with others rear rigid axle Volvos (740 and 940) and with Saabs 900, these must be a lot more fun to drive than the 240 Turbo.
Perversely, I find 900 sedans very attractive, despite they look very different from 900 hatchbacks.
240s drive like much twitchier 740s, quicker steering, better brake pedal feel, and better steering response if less relaxed on the highway.
I’d take the 240 just so I can actually work around the engine, Saab 900s were pretty cramped.
Interesting that the Volvo article refers to the “GTL” model, when the actual name was “GLT”. Did somebody put one over on R&T?
When new the Volvo equated to a well optioned Australian V8 sedan as was raced with them due to the weird way stock standard race cars were classified on price, Kiwi Robbie Francevic raced a turbo Volvo with moderate success, while reasonably fast they were said to handle like a block of flats(apartment block). Neither the Volvo or the Saab appeal to be honest both were taxed into a luxury price range they didnt belong in here which limited their saleability.
Volvo also raced and won the European Touring Car Championship in 1985. They beat V8 Rovers and V12 Jags as well as 6 series BMW’s.
But then the M3 was introduced and the rest is history.
I grew up in a 242 and we have had several in the family and yet racing is so far from the nature of this car that I often forget it was axtually reasonably successful at it.
It would probably be the Volvo for me but that’s mostly due to the process of elimination. I’ve discussed before the self-immolation of my brother’s 1981 Saab 900 Turbo sedan.
I worked at a Volvo dealership in the 80’s. For time and place, the 240 GLT’s were pretty spiffy……but only until the intercooled models showed up. All of us in service wanted intercooled wagons, but none of us could afford one. Oh, well.
As a weekend toy, the Saab, if I needed the car to get to work in the morning, the Volvo.
+1 And don’t forget about servicing. The volvos never seemed to be hard to get parts and service. My buddy who owns a 2007 95 can’t get anyone to work on it and has to airfreight parts from the UK to Canada.
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