Water pump, 1986 (replaced under warranty)
Steering control arm bushings 1996.
Mass airflow sensor 1997 (just unplug its connector and you can drive it again, home or to the service garage) ; cost $Can 500.
Starter motor 1995.
Clutch cable, 2001.
Gas tank leaked, sender unit also gone, 2003.
Brakes serviced in 2001.
Battery is only the second one.
Timing belt 2003 (replaced as regular maintenance item)
I've had this car since it was new and it has been very reliable in the coldest Canadian winter weather. It starts every time even at -20C, though I had a block heater installed for the cooler days. One problem in winter is that plastic parts get crisp and are easy to snap off (I hacked off a piece signal light thinking it was ice during the '98 ice storm).
Handling on ice and snow is not easy past about 40 km/h, as fishtailing sets in easily. However, it can plow through deep snow as long as it has some momentum, due to its weight.
The cabin offers great visibility rarely found in other cars. It is amazingly roomy and ergonomic as well. I like the floor mats, which are really hard plastic trays that hold the winter salty slush well.
It is a very sensibly-designed car. It is almost impossible to lock yourself out, or to leave the headlights on when you park the car.
The car is still very solid and drives well. It feels safe, everything works and it has no unpredictable computerized gimmicks. Economy is decent at 10 km/100l.
After the clutch cable broke in 2001, forcing me to hitch-hike home from school with the kids, my wife nagged me to buy a newer car. I bought a 1996 Saab 9000 (with an American-built engine). The Saab's cost of ownership was too high, service was poor, and it had too many options that needed up-keep. I sold the Saab 1 year later and kept the Volvo. (Later I came to know that the new Saab owner suffered a demised engine due to timing belt failure even though I had its maintenance up to date according to my records. It cost her Can $10000 to repair the GM engine).
So, I was glad that I had not yet sold the Volvo. I have had it oil-sprayed since 1995 and repainted a few rust patches, but structurally it is sound in spite of the salt used on the roads here. I intend to keep driving it for a good few years yet. It passed the Ontario emissions test with flying colors.