1994 Volvo 850 Turbo 2.4 turbo gas from North America


An evil Swede plagued with hundreds of reliability gremlins


Oxygen sensor failed twice.

Heated seats never worked properly from the get go.

Rear tail lights mysteriously went out three weeks after purchase.

Thousands of squeaks and rattles throughout interior.

Power antenna motor failure.

Power driver seat failed.

Check engine light is always on for various reasons of its own.

Transmission failed twice resulting in the car being towed both times to the dealership.

The emissions system cannot be depended upon.

Pieces of the interior breaking and falling off. Center armrest has broken four times and is broken right now as a matter of fact!

Dozens of other electrical-related and expensive problems still run rampant as we speak.

General Comments:

Buying this thing was the biggest mistake of my life. I thought Volvos were reliable, well-engineered cars. They are not at all! I can't wait to get rid of it for something else! This Volvo makes my mom's old Jaguar seem like a Lexus in terms of reliability.

Acceleration is pretty good, if you can get over the torque steer.

Seats are comfortable, audio system is OK, rear visibility is not good at all.

Lately, the steering in my car has become more heavy with a disconnected, ponderous feel to it. The quality of the interior materials is awful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2001

6th Sep 2001, 14:49

Maybe you just got a bad egg! I haven't heard a lot of bad things said about this car.

Bill U.K.

10th Dec 2001, 07:05

It sounds as though you may have purchased a lemon. I frequently deal with Volvo automobiles of various years and models, and have never heard reports to this negative of an extent before. I wouldn't lose faith in this great car company!!

Pat, U.S.

1994 Volvo 850 855 Wagon 168 hp 5 cylinder (non-turbo) from North America


Great grocery getter that should last forever!


Air conditioning condensor leaks.

Center console lights required replacement by the dealer (including seat heater switches).

General Comments:

Very pleased overall with vehicle. This is my first foreign car and thus my first Volvo. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

The interior is very well appointed and extremely comfortable. Well made and solid. Undercarriage is aerodynamic and smooth. Very few places for road salt to wedge into and rot the frame or body.

Only complaints are the dealer costs for servicing. I'm one who usually does my own service work and most auto parts stores don't stock parts or even show listings for the 850. I'm starting to use the internet more for these things but dealing with core charges and getting the right parts is difficult when the store isn't right around the corner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2000

26th Feb 2001, 17:13

IPD have saved me a ton of money with my earlier cars (I'm on an extended warranty now). They're at http://www.ipdusa.com. They're seriously helpful.

23rd May 2004, 00:15

I have a Volvo 850 GLT wagon and I love it. One thing to be very careful about is to make sure the service centre you use uses only Volvo oil filters. The non-Volvo ones tend to be longer and dangle too close to the road. Because of the vehicle's low clearance, the oil filter can catch on speed bumps and tear off. This is a quick way of emptying the sump oil all over the road and destroying your engine.


12th Mar 2006, 14:14

I like to do as much work on my cars as possible. I have experienced the same kind of thing with my '94 850 turbo being more of a pain than usual to get parts for through the stores. Shopping online has greatly helped, but is a pain like you said due to core charges and such. The first time I attempted to get parts for a tune-up from the local Autozone and had to wait several days so they could order them was a hassle. Not to mention the parts cost were a bit shocking. Never have I had to spend close to $100 on tune up parts alone! I'm used to spending about $25 for tune-up parts for my past cars.

1994 Volvo 850 GLT 2.0 20V from UK and Ireland


One minor problem, locked out of glove box & had to break in causing some damage.

General Comments:

After having several models: 1 340, 2 240's, 2 740's & 1 940, the 850 is by far the best. Having covered nearly 115K miles it's still as good as the day I got it. This model has surely has got other drivers thinking where the old man image has went to. I'm now in the process of purchasing a V70 as a replacement. All round I haven't found a car that gives the same quality & service costs in its class. As a reasonable young driver (35), more people should have a test drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 1999

1994 Volvo 850 Turbo Sport Wagon 5 Cylinder Turbo from North America


Nothing - only normal maintenance items: Timing belt, Air Conditioning Recharge.

General Comments:

A fun car to drive... has tons of power.

Fairly nimble for a big wagon. This car is built like a tank with just about every creature-comfort you can imagine.

Can have a slightly harsh ride when driving on bumpy roads. This car gets excellent marks for quality - it should last forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 1998