The Volvo 940 came out as a part of the long-running line of large rear-wheel drive cars from Volvo, the 900 series, a range of mid-size cars manufactured to replace the 700 series in the early 90s. Although it was around only until 1996, the Volvo 940 was able to amuse consumers with its award-winning safety features.
1990: Year one
The Volvo 940 was a four-door sedan introduced as a cosmetic reskin of the Volvo 740 in autumn 1990. It had a rear-seat adjustable head restraint, an optional child seat, and many other advanced safety features that earned it a few awards such as the “Prince Michael Road Safety Award” and the “Autocar and Motor” award.
In 1992, Volvo updated the 900 series premium sedans and wagons by adding the new 960 model to the line-up. The updated 900 series included the 940 GL, 940 Turbo, and the new 960 as a replacement for the former 940 SE flagship model. For this model year, the 940 GLE was discontinued as well as its twin-cam 153-horsepower 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine.
1993: Safer and better
In 1993, more safety features were added to the Volvo 940, from integrated child seats, to anti-theft feature on all stereos, and an air conditioning system that’s free of CFCs. The 1993 Volvo 940 also received a larger gas tank that can hold up to four more extra gallons of fuel. A new base model also came out equipped with the same 2.3-liter 114-horsepower engine.
1994: New levels
For the 1994 model year, the Volvo 940 was offered as either a Level I or Level II model. The Level I Volvo 940 was equipped with a 114-horsepower 4-cylinder engine while the Level II model came with a 162-horsepower turbocharged version of the same engine. The Level II Volvo 940 also featured a longer list of standard amenities.
1995: Back to basics
In 1995, the confusing Level I and Level II trims were dropped and model names were changed back to the less confusing base and Turbo designations–the 940, 940 Turbo, and 960 classification. The 1995 Volvo 940 also went through a couple of interior and exterior revamps. The interior featured new door panels and a more contoured instrument panel with new wood accents and cup holders. The updated 940 also showed off a slimmer grille and headlamps mounted in a more rounded front end. To reduce body lean, the new Volvo 940 also had its front suspension modified while the two separate coils used in the rear suspension were replaced with a new transverse leaf spring.
1996: Final season
For the 1996 model year, only the 6-cylinder 960 sedans and wagon were continued as both the turbocharged and naturally aspirated 4-cylinder 940 models were dropped. This was the last year for the Volvo 940.