1996 Volvo 850 T5 CD 2.3 turbo from UK and Ireland


A lot of car for the money!


Clutch Slave Cyclinder.

Front Shock Absorbers.

New Tyres.

New Discs and Pads.

General Comments:

I bought this car after having an 2.0 litre 20V 850. The difference in performance was very impressive! It's a solid car, well built and comfortable.

This car has a lot of power, 225bhp, but it can often be hard to put this power down, it should have better traction control, its cuts out at 22mph and is ineffective until then anyway. However once past this the performance from 2nd gear onwards is very impressive. In 5th gear on the motorway it will happily do anything between 50mph and 130mph.

The cars handling takes a while to get used to, however once accustomed to it, it generally handles like most big FWD saloon cars. Although it does under-steer on occasion. The handling in the wet can be a lot less confidence inspiring!

It is a very comfortable car for long journeys and in CD form is well equipped with Leather and Air-con.

The fuel economy is a joke! 21 mpg whether driven fast or slow. Parts as for any Volvo are expensive.

Overall this is a lot of car for the money. Reliability, comfort and performance for less than £4000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2004

21st Aug 2004, 12:15

The traction control system works fine with the T-5 when the car is used in the mud or when towing a heavy trailer.

The can be expensive, but they will last forever most of the time.

1996 Volvo 850 GLT 2.5 10 valve from UK and Ireland


An understated stormer, which will last forever


Recall on heated seats. (fixed free of charge)

The top engine mount has started to split.

There is persistent water leak in the boot well.

General Comments:

A lot of people think I am mad buying a Volvo at the age of 21. I bought the car because I was recommended to buy a friend. The GLT model I have bought is very well equipped and also has the alloy wheels and spoiler from the high performance T-5 model which make it look fab. The car has proved reliable and there haven't been any nasty surprises yet.

The performance is excellent, despite it only being a 10 valve. It doesn't matter what engine you go for they are all responsive, flexible, reliable, economic (reasonably) and sound great.

Don't let the size put you off, it is very light and easy to drive, and don't let the size make you believe it doesn't handle well. The handling is very good thanks to the passive rear steering (on the later models) and the only problem I find, is that it likes to break traction even with the traction control on.

The dealers are good with good after sales service. I find specialists cheaper, but the dealers prices are reasonable for most things. The only part I found expensive were a new set of keys which were well over £100 a set, so make sure the car you buy comes with 2 sets of keys.

Overall the 850 makes a comfortable, enjoyable and different rival to a BMW or Audi with added safety and practicality. Don't let the image put you off, you would be surprised how much respect people give it. Try one, you'll love it! In fact the hardest bit of the ownership experience is when you have to sell it, you won't want to get rid of it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd January, 2004

18th Aug 2005, 15:47

I don't understand why you gave this car a blue unhappy face. In your review you seemed to have no complaints. And the one problem you had with the heated seats was fixed free of charge. What's the problem?

30th Nov 2005, 04:26

New Comment from Malaysia.

Maybe when our reviewer gave the 7/10 mark, the website automatically interpreted "blue face". I gave an 8/10 on one of the ratings for my Citroen Picasso, and it turned up as "blue face".

Honestly, our reviewer is happy with his 850, as so many others.


25th Apr 2008, 11:47

I would have to say good call on the 850, I just got an 850 turbo and I'm 20. Some of my friends have made fun of me for it, but really it's a lot of car for what you pay. It way nicer inside than all there basic entry level car... not to mention safer and way way faster.

31st Jul 2008, 12:59

3 years ago I've bought a used 850 GLT 2,5 litre 20 valve wagon from Switzerland (born in 1996). The only thing missing was non-heated front seats. Anyway, my country is not in a very severe climate zone, so I accepted it. Now it has 380 000km on the odometer, so despite the ordinary maintenance like oil and filter change it was clutch (330 000 km), front brake discs (345 000 km), anyway, I'm very satisfied with this car, it's my fourth VOLVO in 16 years of driving VOLVO cars and trucks. I had a 245, 740, 760 Diesel cars, this 850 is my first petrol VOLVO but it's quite OK (8,5litres/100km if you drive according to the speed limits). I wanted to buy an XC70 but this old red Swedish buddy still makes me happy.

Dan, Lithuania