940 is one of Volvo's higher end cars. Produced roughly from 1990 to 1995, it was intended to be last evolution of the 240-740-940 series.
Major differences include:
A body style patterned off of the 740 but higher and less sharply angled.
A more advanced electronics package (fog head and tail lights, electronic sunroof).
Padded headrests (no more hard vinyl from the 240s).
940 Basic (uses the same 4 cylinder from 240-740s)
940 Turbo (same engine with light turbo added, also the model that I drive)
940 16-Valve (only sold in Canada to my knowledge)
Positives for owning a 940:
It looks a lot better than the brick 240 and more modern than the 740.
The standard tire is a 16in as opposed to the 740 14in tire.
The tires usually have a nicer alloy rim that allows better airflow to the brakes (large enough for visual inspection of the rotor).
The ride is a little bit higher than 240-740, but quite comfortable.
Handling is great (Constantly drive from IL to UP,MI and it is easy).
Brakes engage all four tires.
The paint/body seems to hold up well under winter conditions (200,000 miles on my car and only the smallest dots of rust are starting to form).
Volvo safety of course (the ONLY cars I will ever own).
Negatives for owning a 940 (may not apply to all):
Relays in center console can overheat.
There are two fuel pumps, the tank one is hard to get at through trunk floor.
Some days it likes to be grumpy and not start/run poorly.
The radiator fan is electronic and sitting at a stoplight on a hot day, when it kicks on the feeling is that it might stall but never does.
If you want to put in a new stereo, a built in amp needs to be by-passed, also the plugs are different (will have to be professionally installed). Parts can be a bit expensive.
This is a great car for first time drivers as there is little unpredictability with this car and if they get in a crash this car will protect them. Normally, crashes that demolish cars will only dent or minorly damage a Volvo. I have personally seen three wrecks where officers said that if they had been in any other car, an ambulance would have been needed. I was able to pick mine up at auction for around $2800 and 140,000 miles. After putting about $3000 of repairs into it, I just turned 200,000 miles a bit ago. It has gotten me through college and I hope it will last until I can afford another Volvo.