Joe Miller gets behind the wheel of the Volvo 340, the unconventional Volvo that would have been the Daf 77. Here’s what he thought of it.
The Volvo 340 was an unconventional car for Volvo, which made its name in cars that could fit the family in, luggage and the kitchen sink. But it’s a car that would have been called the Daf 77 if Volvo hadn’t started buying up shares in Daf.
Initially, Volvo wasn’t interested in a partnership with Daf, who were searching for a partner to help drive production of the successor to the Daf 66 forward. That all changed when Volvo realised that Daf had access to a pool of Renault engines that were smaller, lighter and more efficient than what Volvo were producing themselves. In 1973, Volvo went on to buy a 25% share in the company, before upping that stake level to 75% by 1975 with Daf’s name changing to Volvo cars BV.
The Volvo 340 was a move away from traditional Volvo values, but meant it could tap into a new market sector, taking on the likes of the VW Golf. That being said, Joe reckons the more you drive the 340, the more it feels like a traditional Volvo, particularly with its high levels of comfort.
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