1996 Volvo 850 Base 2.3 turbo


It really does look like a brick..


Washer pump motor was not working.

Driver and rear passenger door locks broke.

Interior trim slowly warping.

ABS module needed replaced.

Exterior trim faded.

Trunk struts failed.

Cup holders are horrible.

General Comments:

I purchased this car as a beater for daily driving to work. For 1700 bucks I got a straight and narrow, solid running vehicle with decent gas mileage. The ride is comfortable and it handles quite well. All the issues (minus the ABS) are quick, easy, and inexpensive fixes.

I replaced the spark plugs, oil & filter, and the fuel filter as a start. A tranny filter and fluid change are on the horizon.

I'm looking forward to doubling the miles on this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2012

4th Mar 2012, 17:54

The ABS-module issue is very common on 96-97 models.

You don't need to buy a new one. There are many easy DIY-guides. You only need to reheat and re-flow a few cracked solder points (probably due to use of RoHS lead free solder when manufacturing the module).

I did it myself with no prior knowledge of soldering, and it is now working flawlessly, 6 months later.

1996 Volvo 850 GLT I5


Great car... will definitely buy another Volvo when this one dies


Timing belt - Replaced for 2nd time at 160,000 miles (1st owner replaced at 77,000).

Tires every year - Blew about 4 tires in the first 3 years owned.

Brakes every year - have never replaced the rotors.

Heater blower had to be replaced at about 140,000 miles.

Sway bar (right side) just replaced at 190,000 miles.

General Comments:

Overall, an extremely reliable car... has never left me stranded.

Some parts are a little pricey for repair, but labor is usually what is expensive, because not many places really work on foreign cars in my area.

Engine still fires right up, and still runs fairly smooth - is starting to eat oil, which can be expected of an older car.

Car has taken a beating over the 7 years I have owned it, but it's still truckin'... would recommend to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2011

1996 Volvo 850 GLE B5252S


The best overall car I have owned to date


Bought the car well used and with questionable maintenance.

Upon purchase I had to:

- Replace the park brake cables and shoes.

- Repair rust (fenders, front doors and liftgate).

- Replace window switch.

- Four new summer tires.

- Replace timing belt.

General Comments:

This is my second Volvo (I previously drove an '86 740 GLE, auto, non-turbo) and in both cases find the acceleration is better than the HP and torque numbers would have you believe.

The handling is great, and the ride is comfortable. Amazing how much of my family's things will fit into it.

Wish Volvo never stopped building the "box" styling, however these are great cars and I will keep driving them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2011

1996 Volvo 850 GLT 2.4 I5


Fantastic winter driver


I've had to get the oxygen sensor changed twice (first time mechanic installed a faulty sensor).

Brakes need to be replaced more often than other cars, probably since it is a little heavier.

Fuel pump needed a replacement, along with fuel filter, at 170k.

Handbrake cable needs a tightening every 30k or so.

General Comments:

My Volvo has an Eibach suspension upgrade, which lowered the front by 1.3 inches and the rear 1.1; it handles better than my old BMW 328i.

Great throttle and brake response, with plenty of room to gently accelerate/brake in the pedals.

Sound system is great.

Great for long highway rides, not the quietest, but will get you to your destination in a smooth ride.

The different driving modes (winter/economy/sport) certainly make the car respond to the driving conditions.

Fantastic winter car. The heavy build along with great handling certainly gets you through those heavy Canadian snow storms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2011

1996 Volvo 850 Turbo wagon 2.3 turbo


A sweet car that will stand the test of time with some work


Not much. Only little things. Wiper arm needed to be replaced and upper engine mount. Very DIY stuff.

General Comments:

Let's get one thing out of the way. This is a 15 year old car now. Do not buy this car if you have no idea how to work on a car. You will pay the price at the dealer. Not sure why? Parts are cheap and are very easy to work on.

Much better then any Japanese car I've had in the past. Don't be fooled by what people say. This is a very well made car. On par with BMW and Benz of the same year.

The car is fun to drive if you want to be under cover. No one will look at you. The cops don't see you. Or the chicks. LOL. What you get is a sleeper from the pits of hell! With less than a 1000 bucks, it can run with any sports car made. No lie. The 850 is great for road trips with some of the best seats ever put in a car. Can pack almost anything you want in the back, and the car never feels over worked.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th February, 2011

22nd Nov 2011, 20:54

Well the 850's life came to a end. Wife got hit. Total loss. Thank you Volvo for making such a safe car. She walked away from a 50 mph side impact. Not a full t-bone. Hit towards the engine. Spun the car 90° into another car. I even drove the car back home! The other two had to be towed. Replaced with '98 V70R. We both hate the V70. They look nicer, but feel cheaper.

21st Dec 2011, 07:27

I don't understand, why did you vote NO for "buying another car from this manufacturer" after such praise?