1995 Volvo 850 GLE Wagon B5252S 5 cylinder 2.4L 10v 142 from North America
Honda Odyssey price with Ford Taurus reliability. Handles and hauls very comfortably.
All maintenance & repair work except starter rebuild were done by authorized Volvo service centres per Volvo maintenance and inspection schedules, from brand new.
Listed below are exceptional repairs beyond routine maintenance, tire replacement and body work, costing over $90 CAN for parts & labour:
90 (90,000 km:left side mirror defrost in-op
108: headlight glass broken on highway
111: front stabilizer link replacement
119: engine rear crank seal failure
121: transmission coolant line failure, transmission in-op
128: rear spring rebound rubber replacement
137: front stabilizer link replacement (warranty from 111 job)
143: left side mirror defrost failure
148: front brake rotor replacement
153: right lower ball joint replacement
162: rear tailgate wiper transmission failure
166: front stabilizer link replacement (not covered by warranty from 137 replacement - missed by 11 days, but Volvo Canada would not budge)
169: console transmission lever indicator light failure
169: rear brake rotors replaced
173: starter rebuild
175: sudden brake hose failure at l/f wheel, loss of brakes
175: left front axle seal failure
175: engine mount torque arm bushing failure
176: head gasket failure.
Excellent ergonomics and safety features. Goes well in snow with 4 snow tires.
Great utility and comfort, but reliability disappointing and repair costs are expensive.
Rear crank seal failure and transmission coolant line failure had high potential for serious engine/transmission damage.
Brake failure had high accident potential.
No serious rust yet after 7 winters of heavily salted Canadian roads.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 13th April, 2002
7th Mar 2004, 12:12
Is the brake problem experienced by other owners as well? I was looking at one of these used, but do not want to put my son in an unsafe car.
7th Mar 2004, 17:56
I run a taxi company in the UK, and we used to have a fleet of 12 Volvo 850s of varying ages (1993-1996) and mileages (one reached 290,000 miles by the time it was sold).
Over the time the company had the cars (which was from new or nearly new until 150,000 miles minimum), I never experienced the sudden brake failure problem with any of the cars. And they were taxis and worked damn hard.
Generally speaking, they were very reliable; most of the work that was required was standard service items or items that were expected to have a limited life. Had a couple of automatic transmission failures at high mileage, a turbo failure, some suspension replacements and new clutches at 100,000-125,000 miles and a throttle housing replacement. Considering that's over 12 cars, it's not bad.
One thing that always wore out quickly on these cars was the tyres. The front tires always used to wear slightly unevenly, but that's a consequence of a deliberate Volvo design feature.
And they're safe cars too - one of them hit a narrow concrete bridge support at 80mph. The front passenger was bruised, but otherwise unharmed and the driver only received a broken leg. I use the term 'only' because 18 months later a similar accident occurred in the same place. Similar speed, different car of a similar age and size - unfortunately this time there were two fatalities.