1996 Volvo 850 SE 2.5 from Australia and New Zealand
Great car for the family
No major issues; mechanically it just goes on forever.
The car has a service every 5,000 kilometers by the same dealer I bought it from. The dealer is now an ex-dealer, as Ford-Volvo amalgamation saw all the small dealers gone. These guys are great with the models up to the V70. There has been normal servicing costs, but no surprises. Done by the book. Notice of expensive items for the next service, so cannot ask for a better car for maintenance and reliability.
I used the Volvo/Jag/Landrover dealer for 2 services over a 6 month period, when I had a rattle in the tail gate, and a squeak from the front suspension. They were super expensive and did not fix the problems. I took it back to the original dealer, and he identified the problems and fixed them.
The only bug I have had, is with the rear tailgate. The struts needed replacement (done with OEM units off eBay) and the lock rattles (due to slamming against a lock after the driver's door was locked).
The fan for the A/C & heater played up. It only ran on full speed. Needed to be replaced.
Interior has held up well (all leather), and still looks good outside. Stone chips to the front, and the lights have covers, so still running with the first set of headlights. The old girl has seen the Red Centre, and done several runs from Melbourne to Perth across the Nullabor. It is the normal 2.5 litre motor (non-turbo), so not the fastest car around. It has good acceleration in mid area for overtaking; 80-120 is good.
I carry a pod on top of the car (helps the wife to spot it in the car park) so economy is not as good as it should be. Around 7km/litre is about it. So 400 to 500 kilometres from a 70 litre tank. Without the pod, it gives a respectable 10 km/litre. So just air resistance. The suspension is good, no issues. Brakes need regular checking. Does not use oil between services.
BTW, I have a Jag XJ6, Land Rover Discovery and the Volvo, so the dealers lost big time when they failed to help me. Volvo 850 - I have 300,000 on her today, just had the service done. I will hang onto it and want to see the Magic Million - maybe before I die. She is our daily runabout, and does not get caned. Love it!
Do not use the dealer for these older models (pre V70 series 1). Find a good knowledgeable workshop, and follow the 5000 km service (oils and book checks).
Would love to try the Turbo and AWD models, but the reliability on this 850 is outstanding.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th March, 2012