When the Volvo 343 was presented in the winter of 1976, it was the first totally new car from the Dutch company Volvo Car BV. The Volvo 343 entered a very important segment for the European markets - the compact segment.
The Volvo 343 was a 3-door hatchback and the large tailgate at the rear ended in a small spoiler. The car was relatively roomy and also had a good, flexible luggage compartment.
From the beginning, the car was only available with a 1.4-litre engine and continuously variable automatic transmission. It was rear-wheel-driven and had its gearbox at the rear next to the differential to guarantee good weight distribution. The rear-wheel suspension was a De Dion system.
During its lifetime, the Volvo 343 underwent a number of changes in terms of appearance, engine and gearbox. The largest change in its appearance took place in the autumn of 1981 and included a new front and a new interior.