1996 Volvo 850 GLE Sedan B5252S 10 Valve from North America


Safe and comfortable tank for the highway!


Minor wear-and-tear; the car was very well maintained before I bought it.

General Comments:

I bought this car to use as a daily highway commuter vehicle, and so far, have been quite impressed.

The seats are comfortable, the structure is solid, and the car rides and handles nicely.

I'm aware these cars need regular maintenance in order to be trouble-free. The 10-valve, 5-cylinder engine gives the car decent pickup, and feels like it car withstand a lot of hard use.

Cruising the highway at well over the legal limit is this car's forte; it feels effortless. In accelerating, it sounds great, too!

I've only used high-octane fuel, and so far the mileage is good (about 10L/100K). I'm sure the car will need work down the road (CV joints are wearing, and the rear strut mount is rattling), but for the time being, I'm really enjoying it.

The usual 850 problems have all been experienced and rectified in this car (A/C evaporator, leaky rear main seal, burnt out light bulbs, broken odometer etc.)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2010

30th Dec 2010, 23:44

Update on the above posting: Just sold the car. Enjoyed it, and drove it hard for a year and 30k. No complaints from me, nor the car! The nice thing about these cars is that they can be driven flat-out without fear of being broken; even with hundreds of thousands in mileage. It did need the usual maintenance (PCV service, strut bushings, ball joints, tires and brake pads), which its new owner was only too happy to do.

I replaced the 850 with a non-turbo, lower mileage 2000 S70.

26th Oct 2011, 10:43

Another update!

The 2000 S70 I replaced this 850 with just spun its CVVT, then the camshaft, and bent some valves. Sold for scrap.

Bought another 1996 850 10 valve now instead. Just like the last one.

18th Dec 2011, 16:50

I also own a 1996 850 2.5 10v, and it is the most reliable, solid, well built vehicle I have ever owned.

2nd Jan 2013, 22:13

Update: still a spectacular vehicle. Nearly 270K km, and this year, only a wheel bearing, door check strap, and a handful of light bulbs needed replacing.

PCV service is coming due for sure, and the ABS module has gone out (common), but the car still soldiers on daily without complaint.

These cars are sturdy vehicles, that stand up very well to more challenging usage.

In warm weather, there is a bit of an exhaust plume on start up (valve stem seals), but on a 17 year old vehicle with this kind of mileage, I think it's almost expected.

1996 Volvo 850 Turbo 2.3 turbo from North America


Great bang for the buck


ABS light comes on sometimes (quoted nearly $500).

PCV will need to be done soon. This is the breather box problem that causes the rear main seal to fail. About $500 to fix.

Factory stereo CD player broke. Aftermarket unit $275 installed.

Some driver seat wear (but the car is 14 years old).

General Comments:

What a great car! Luxurious interior, and the turbo provides more power then I need. I can't believe that I traded a Ford Taurus straight across for a car of this quality! I highly recommend this car for anyone who wants to spend less than 4K on a car... overall I am better off that some moron plowed into my old car...

The seats are the most comfortable of any car I have ever driven.

Most problems with this model are known issues by now. Find a good mechanic - they will tell you what will need to be done well in advance. If you can find one that has had regular maintenance from a reputable shop, then don't worry too much about the miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2010

17th Jan 2010, 23:02

Your ABS module needs to be rebuilt, either by yourself or a third party. It is pretty easy to rebuild the unit yourself, although I sent mine away to a guy on eBay for $36 to be rebuilt, and it works perfect now! Here is all the free information you will ever need to know about your ABS module; http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12651

Good luck!

- Jesse.