1997 Volvo 850 GLT Wagon 2.4L from North America


Buy a Subaru Outback


Replaced cracked engine oil pan.

Replaced rear shocks, front & rear brakes.

Re-welded poorly designed driver's side front door hinge.

Replaced tie rods.

Complete replacement of air conditioning system.

Replaced rear main engine oil seal.

Replaced rear shocks again.

Replaced bad front struts.

Replace left & right front axles.

Replace failed fuel pump.

Replace failed rear hatch door lifters.

Repair rattling rear door panel attachment.

Replace timing belt (twice).

Replace failed heater blower motor.

Struggle with terrible AM radio static problem (still not resolved).

Turbo oil leak.

General Comments:

Very comfortable driving car, fine road handling. A real money pit, however. Six years of ownership have cost over $18,000 in maintenance.

The AM radio static problem is a disaster. Have installed ground loop remedy for antenna, also alternator noise suppressor... neither have solved the problem.

This model, according to my auto mechanic becomes very expensive to maintain after five years. This is substantiated by complete maintenance records of former owner. Every invoice for regular maintenance from Volvo dealer is at least $700, often over $1,000. I have owned five or six Volvos, am now a committed Subaru owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th August, 2009

20th Aug 2009, 16:01

Hello, I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with your Volvo, I own a 1998 Volvo V70 which I acquired in 2002 at 35,000 miles from an authorized Volvo dealer and the maintenance have been substantially low. Now, I have 137,000 miles and the car runs excellent with no problems. Of course I had to replace the front passenger wheel bearing at 82,000 miles, ignition key switch at 100,000 miles, front passenger door lock mechanism and timing belt at 132,000 miles. These are wear and tear. You may have purchased a lemon which was not well maintained from the previous owner. These cars have to be maintained properly from the beginning, otherwise it becomes costly at the end.

30th Nov 2009, 14:37

Funny, in the 1997 Outback section, there are posts that say stay away from the Outback. Would be funny as hell if one of one said, "stay away from Outback buy a Volvo 850."

26th Jul 2010, 13:17

Hello, I am also very sorry to hear of your problems regarding your Volvo and how now that you like Subarus.

I own a 1997 Volvo 850 GLT Turbo sedan, that I purchased at a dealer auction in Washington DC last February 09 with 142843 original miles.

So far, as of this writing, I have 164,200 miles on it having driven all over MD, VA and now MI, and have only thus far spent $700 on a timing belt/idler pulley/waterpump that was recommended that I get done considering the high mileage.

The engine runs strong, transmission shifts smooth, with a little jerk in the sport mode. I dumped in $400 worth of 4 Yokahama 205/60/R15's over the winter.

Overall, I am very happy with my Volvo, and next car/SUV/crossover I get had better be another Volvo! :-)

1997 Volvo 850 Turbo 2.3 from North America


I love this car!


Head gasket leaked, making the car over heat. This is common if the cooling system is not maintenance.

Head gasket was fixed. Cost for parts $250.00. I did the labor.

ABS light goes off and on (sensors were dirty), cleaned and light went away. Cost; free, I cleaned them myself.

General Comments:

Very well built car for one.

Very fast.

Handles very well.


Seats are very comfortable (even in the back).

The sound system sounds very good for a stock one.

I have not felt fatigued while I drive!!

It's a very fun car to drive anywhere.

Car does not look intimating to fast cars, but it definitely holds its ground.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2009

19th Apr 2009, 18:46

Yep, 850's are lovely motors. The interior might have a lot of plastic but the car is lovely. The 5 cylinders make a great noise and seat comfort is great. Autos are best but are harder on fuel. Give me a 2.5 auto anyday. Sounds great and it's like sitting on your mother's lap. Fuel bills may be an issue though. Go for a diesel, but then you wouldn't have that wonderful warbling 5 cylinder to listen to!!!

20th Dec 2010, 06:26

I have a 1997 850 GLT Turbo sedan, I LOVE MY CAR! I bought it at an auction in DC in 2009 with 143,818 miles on it. Test drove it and fell in love with it.

I had to replace the timing belt and water pump. A very good friend, who is ASE certified, suggested they needed doing in all 2nd hand high mileage cars. Thank God I did, the belt was ready to break when they pulled it off at Midas. Total cost $700.

Today as of this writing, I have bought 4 new tires costing $350, a tuneup at a dealer $125, recent maintenance at a dealer of a lower control arm/ball joint and a trans seal $450. That's it! Now she sports 171118 miles and can give a run for their money to just about any American or foreign job on the road today. She is peppy, she is fast, she handles like a dream, has the tightest lock to lock turning radius, the sound system is awesome for stock speakers.. and above all, she is SAFE!