The 850 is the car that saved Volvo
The radiator leaked in cold weather, we replaced it at 360,000 km.
A cable in the drivers seat needed repair, the dealer charged $200.
The parking brake cables seized and the parking brake pads fell apart.
The throttle will freeze up in minus 40C weather, but really, who wants to be out in that anyway?
The heater fan blew up at 425,000 km. The replacement fan had a much thicker and stronger outer ring on the squirrel cage.
With proper maintenance, the 850 is a car that you can be happy with for a long time. Ours gets 45,000 km a year, most of it 50-80 km at a time.
Our operating costs are comparable to our old Camry, which is still on the road at 740,000 km.
In the last 50,000km we have replaced struts, tie rod ends, lower control arm bushings, brake calipers, front rotors, and overhauled the alternator. The car now drives better than it did when we bought it at 165,000km.
Most impressive is what we haven't had to replace. How many 14 year old high mileage cars have the original exhaust system? CV joints are original, with no noise or vibration. Ditto wheel bearings. The paint is in good as new condition, zero rust, and the interior is free of tears and cracks. Volvo's are rare around here, and people are stunned when we tell them the car is a 1993.
This car was made for highway travel. Anyone that has driven the car has made the same comment, getting up to 100 kph is a disappointment, then wow, this thing flies. We have made numerous 3-4000km road trips, we consider it travelling in first class. Fuel mileage is good in Canada, on U.S.fuel we get an extra 100km.per tank.
With good tires under it, the car is really good on snow or ice. The heater is only fair.
The key to keeping maintenance costs down is to purchase parts carefully. Items like the radiator, heater fan, struts, bushings etc. can be purchase over the Internet at a substantial savings.
We plan on putting another 200,000 km on it, then maybe one of the kids will end up with it. The worst thing about the car is that it spoils you with its classy feel, it's hard to go back to a cookie cutter Camry.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th April, 2007