1996 Volvo 850 GLT Wagon from North America


Nice family wagon that will last forever!


An assortment of problems over the 10 years of ownership.

General Comments:

To be honest with you, this car has had its share of problems. My wife and I live in Connecticut and we see our family down in both New Jersey and in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and the wagon has rarely let us down since we got it back in 1996. It's very comfortable, very safe, and very reliable.

So if you are in the market for a safe family wagon with plenty of room inside, but do not mind the upkeep on these wagons, go out and buy one.

Trust us, you will have it forever, as these Volvo's will last forever with the proper upkeeping of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2006

1996 Volvo 850 from Norway


A great car in every way, but a bit slow


Exhaust pipe, suspension, nothing serious.

General Comments:

Excellent car that still runs like a clock in spite of the high mileage. In the winter it's a monster. The car stands outdoors all through the year, and since I live in rural Norway, the weather conditions can be extreme. The car never fails.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2006

29th Jan 2008, 08:25

It's the same in Switzerland. Cold and nasty wetter conditions. My Volvo 850 never faild. It is expensive to keep it up (regular services), but it's worth. Now I've got 340'000 kilometers and all still working fine (I do about 40000 a year).

1996 Volvo 850 GLT 2.5 from UK and Ireland


A car with good points, but expensive to fix, nothing cheap with volvo


I bought this car with high miles 178000. OK the miles were high, but after reading all the reviews I trusted this motor with perfect service record. After 4000 miles I noticed I was losing oil so I took it into the shop to find it was burning oil and needed some major work. £1200 later I was driving a car that felt like new. 2 months later the oil looked like mayonnaise and I was told the car was not breathing correctly so another 100 for the cleaning out job needed to help it breath. The next problem was the seal on the steering rack and loss of transmission fluid I discovered the cost of replacing and decided to replace the fluid every 2 months instead. The car is great looking and drives fine, but I would recommend going for the younger model with less miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd March, 2006

1996 Volvo 850 850R 2.3 from UK and Ireland


A fast future classic


OSF steering support arm.

Turbo return seals replaced at 120K miles.

Retractable load cover broke.

Low pressure switch in Air-con system blew.

Think I'll need a gearbox rebuild in next 10k est'd cost £1,500.

General Comments:

For a large estate, the car is very quick and handles excellently. Just as fast as my wife's Audi TT (225). Will see off all boy racers from the traffic lights. Surprisingly for a front wheel drive car it gets the power down very well.

Suspension can be a bit hard, but that's the trade off for excellent handling.

Usual Volvo reliability, this car is good for another 100K.

Interior is a beautiful place to be, the Alcantara interior has hardly worn. Long journey are a joy, with the exception of the (numerous) fuel stops.

Plenty of space for our 2 Labradors and the car has an integrated dog guard. The downside to this is it's very difficult to park, so we've bought a Peugeot 206 diesel as a town car.

Externally the car still has fantastic lines and the 17" alloys still look the part today. Beware these are easily kerbed due to the low profile tyres.

Front tyres will last at best 10K, and Pirelli P-zero's will cost you about £120 a corner.

Fuel consumption in economy mode 22 mpg (combined). Bizarrely though in sport mode I'll get 26 mpg (combined). I'm not alone here, a friend with a V70 T5 finds the same. Those Swedes must just design them to be driven fast.

Warning, if you've got a heavy right foot don't be surprised to see 12 mpg around town.

These cars look great even by today's standards. People of a certain age (30+) know what the badge means and it has a certain cult status. Fortunately most youths don't know what this car is capable of and wouldn't even think about stealing it.

Volvo always make strong cars, the engine on mine should be good for another 10 years. A good example of an 850R can now be bought for about £5K so they can't depreciate much further. All in all a good investment if you can live with the fuel cost.

My tip is to get one of these for weekends and/or long runs, and a small diesel for running around town.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2006

26th Feb 2006, 03:09

These cars are surprisingly fragile, not like volvos of old, proof being you think you need a gearbox rebuild soon.

26th Feb 2006, 20:01

"Usual Volvo reliability, this car is good for another 100K." It's always good to have the spirit of an optimist, but the proof's in the pudding. You won't make it unless you refrain from "seeing off the boy racers from the stoplights." Tell us about it when it actually hits 250,000 miles.