1997 Volvo 850 Base 2.4 non turbo from North America
The most fun box you'll ever drive!
I've had to replace normal wear items such as the brakes and rotors and tires. I also had to replace part of the exhaust system.
The fuel pump went, so I replaced that with OEM parts and replaced the fuel filter (not cheap!) at the same time. The pump and filter cost about $1100 total.
Next on the list of replacements is the front suspension, catalytic converter and sway arm. I think of these items as normal replacements, seeing as the car has 142,000 miles on it.
I paid cash for it and own it, so putting $5k into it doesn't scare me too much, as I think the engine and transmission are very strong. My mechanic did tell me, however, that the rear oil seal will need replacing (it leaks a tiny amount of oil, not enough to require adding any between the 10,000 mile oil changes) in the next year. I'll also need to replace the timing belt in the next two years.
I found a great service history for this vehicle on Carfax.com and it was well taken care of.
I LOVE this car! I lost my job and have driven brand new cars over the past several years, most recently a loaded '08 Honda Accord EX-L with navi. I like my "new" Volvo more than the Honda.
I've owned two other Volvos; a 2005 S40 (nightmare, it was always in the shop) and a 2001 S60 (loved this car and wish I would have kept it). My 97 850 is fun to drive, unique and feels solid and safe -- and I know it's safe. Have you seen that Youtube video where they run it off a cliff?! I plan to maintain my 850, money-permitting and hoping nothing major goes wrong, and drive it until at least 300,000 miles! I know it's capable of it.
There are things that you should expect to just "let go of" when purchasing/owning this car. Things will rattle, interior light bulbs will burn out and you'll be replacing exterior light bulbs often if you utilize the daytime running lights (all lights operate, not just the headlights at a reduced light) feature. Safety first.
I'm quite handy when it comes to fixing some of these more minor pesky issues like dash bulbs burning out, etc, so that doesn't bother me too much.
All in all, this is a fantastic car and my favorite along with my S60. It's fun to drive, looks great and unlike anything out there now, has great handling, great get up and go power, comfortable seats and an engine growl that just makes it fun to step on the accelerator!
If you're buying a used one, be sure to get service records if possible and follow your gut instinct. You do not want to buy one of these cars if it hasn't been well maintained. Also, be sure you replace the timing belt on the recommended 80,000 mile frequency or you'll be looking at having to replace/rebuild the interference style engine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st September, 2009