1993 Volvo 850 GLT 2.5 20v from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, reliable, durable


Battery problems, though the fault was with a cheap Kwik-Fit battery; in other words I don't really blame the car.

One of the rear brakes jammed requiring a new caliper. Volvo agreed to pay half the cost.

The gas struts on the boot lid failed.

Other than that there was just routine stuff, so the car was pretty reliable.

General Comments:

This was, and is, my first Volvo. Before I test drove one I didn't think much of them, but compared to the BMW I had previously the 850 was very nice and very comfortable indeed. When I first got the car it was aged three with average mileage and it felt just like new. Today it is slightly over 10 and it still doesn't really feel or look much different. The leather seats are great, specially with children, and the built-in booster seat has been in daily use for all that time. The odd thing about this car was that ergonomically it felt right from the word go. Everything is where you expect it to be, and for the most part it just continues to work. Dealer service costs are high, but I get peace of mind. It is incredibly relaxing to drive on long journeys, and the amount of space helps to keep the family happy.

The engine can be a bit rough when pushed hard, but in general the 2.5 20v gives the car a reasonable turn of speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2003

1993 Volvo 850 GLT from North America


A disappointing letdown not worthy of Volvo


I bought my 1993 Volvo 850 in 1995 with 30K miles on it. It now has 165K miles on it.

At around 80K the transmission was leaking fluid somehow. The Volvo dealer determined that the transmission housing casting was porous and the fluid was just bleeding through the walls. They got a new one, installed it, and it leaked during the test drive. The third one has been fine.

The rear main seal started leaking at 130K and $1K later it is repaired.

This car was my primary commuting vehicle with no passengers. The driver seat wore completely through at the bolsters. The rarely sat upon passenger seats ripped at the seams. I got some nice seats out of a 1995 850 and installed them four months ago.

The radiator cracked last year and had to be replaced.

The lights in the rocker switches on the dash went out. For 1993 and 1994 those little bulbs were soldered into the switches, so you need to buy new switches- $30-$60 each.

General Comments:

Contrast this to my 1992 740 wagon with 265k miles with one valve job and no other work other than regular maintenance. Everything is far better in the 92 than in the 93.

This car has the same style drive train as the new XC-90. I won't be buying one of those.

I would not recommend any 850 or any of the newer (cheaper manufactured) Volvos.

I traded in my restored 1969 2002 BMW as down payment for this 850. The 2002 was a better car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th September, 2003

25th Apr 2008, 10:46

With regard to your seats, I have 95 850 turbo and the car has 266xxx km on it and the seats are not riped or worn on the seams at all. The condition of the seats is a function of how hard you are on them, you need to take car of leather seats in all cars.

1993 Volvo 850 from North America


Nice Whip


Rails on sunroof broke and won't close the sunroof all the way. I got it closed and disconnected the switch to prevent rain damage.

Driver's seat controls stopped working.

And most recently a hole appeared in my brake line of the right rear wheel and I keep loosing Brake Fluid.

Cruise Controls drops randomly drops speed after being set, even without braking.

General Comments:

Nice looking car.

Cheap leather used for the seats. Every car like it has cracked leather seats.

Why no built in cup holders in a luxury car?

The timinig belt was changed to 112,000 miles and the car is very clean.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2003

23rd Jul 2004, 23:39

The reason for no cup-holders is because the car comes from Europe. They don't use cup-holders over there. It's purely an American thing. However, you will notice in the later models that they do install cup-holders because of the high American demand.