1997 Volvo 960 Wagon 2.9 liter straight 6-cylinder


A great, safe, comfortable long-distance hauler


Valve job performed at 150K miles

Various electrical switches fail.

Sunroof leaks during rain.

General Comments:

In addition to its well-deserved reputation for safety, the 960 is very comfortable over long distances; my wife has a lower-back fusion, and she swears the seats are the best.

The car's maintenance must be looked after properly if you want it to keep performing at factory level. The cost is appreciably less than a Mercedes or BMW, but more than a Honda, and there are parts available and specialist shops to help you.

If you do the above, there's no reason the 960 (and the S90/V90 of 1998, the same car and the last year for a rear-wheel drive Volvo) won't last 200K + miles. I have a friend whose identical car just turned 304,000 miles.

The straight 6-cylinder engine and auto transmission in the 960 are simple, robust and fairly bulletproof if you watch your fluids. I get 19/20 MPG in town, 26 highway, using 89 octane.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2013

1997 Volvo 960




Heater coil had to be replaced.

A/C will not work under acceleration due to vacuum constraints.

Never open the sunroof.

General Comments:

Love this car on long trips. Seats are very comfortable.

There appears to be no drain plug on the differential. If so, how do you change the fluid?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2010

1997 Volvo 960 LX


Well made reliabe family wagon


Air Conditioner (under warranty)

Transmission (under warranty)

Sun Visor

Sun Roof

Leather on doors bunching under weather strip

Oil Leaks a constant problem

Center cup holder terrible.

General Comments:

We bought the car new when my wife was pregnant with our second child. He is now 10 years old and going into 4th grade. The car has over 190000 miles and still going strong. This has been an outstanding family wagon. Well appointed, comfortable, excellent handling and acceleration. We have had an excellent private mechanic who keeps it going. Our Volvo dealer was terrible.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2007

1997 Volvo 960 wagon


Love love love this car


Radiator (my fault)

Steering rack just recently.

Heated seats and a/c were both busted when we bought it used.

That's it!!

General Comments:

This car is beautiful. Drives and handles easily in the city, and like butter on the highway - long or short distance. I drive all day for work in this car and hot or cold, it hugs the road, corners well, and actually accelerates uphill. Tonnes of space for so much stuff. I have even hauled full sized couches in the back with room to spare. Might not bother to make the expensive steering rack repair, but would buy another one if I can find one... even a 10 year old model!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th July, 2007

1997 Volvo 960 Sedan 2.9L 6 Cylinder


The last true Volvo


I have only owned this 960 for a short period of time, but in that, I have had to replace a few exterior light bulbs, a flat tire, and a few trim pieces. Beyond that, the car has a very, very slow oil leak (common on the 2.9L 6-cylinder units) and can get lagged when the air-con system is at its highest setting (which is an understandable issue with any car)

General Comments:

I absolutely love this car. I am, and always will be, a huge fan of the rear-wheel drive, blocky Volvo's (ie. the 700 and 900 series)

This car lives up to every expectation one might put to it, and even surpasses some. The 960 is not the type of car to throw into corners at high speed, nor is it good to dart through traffic in, however given its small turning radius, good road feel, and well modulated brake and accelerator pedals, the car is easy to drive around town, and an absolute pleasure on the highway.

I have read some bad reviews on post 1990 Volvo products, and in the end it all comes down to the condition of the vehicle at the time of purchase. Volvo's, like any other kind of European car tend to be finicky when they are left unmaintained, and driven hard. However, if you take good care of these boxes by cleaning them regularly, and ensuring that all the fluids are topped up and in good shape, and you'll be driving for many many kilometers.

Luckily I purchased this 960 from my independent Volvo mechanic, and the last (and only previous) owner of the car took great care of it.

So far I have been averaging a fuel consumption rate of under 10 Litres/100KM or roughly 24 to 25 Miles per gallon (on a mixed commute)

I would recommend Volvo's to anyone. As a teenager, we are often the ones known for planting Civics into oak trees, but for me safety is key above go fast performance, and you can't get any safer than the last generation Volvo 900 Series.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2006

19th Oct 2006, 08:52

I am the original author of this review, and I felt it was time to update my experience with this Volvo. I have had the car exactly 5 months to this day, and very little has gone wrong with it, aside from a drivers side signal light bulb that melted itself into the bulb housing.

So far I have put on about 10,000KM, replaced the oil once, changed 3 light bulbs, and that's all. Its been extremely reliable, and noticeably excellent on long trips over 5 hours.

So far, I couldn't be happier with my purchase. It's also been interesting finding little notes left on my windshield from people wishing to make an offer on my car. I would recommend the last generation 960 to anyone looking for an excellent long lasting old school European luxury sedan.