1997 Volvo 850 GLT 2.4L I5, 190 hp from North America


Amazing car, love it


Battery wiring problem, + side was heating or something, $100 fix.

Check engine light permanently on, an air filter was removed before I got it, not a big deal.

Sunroof seal broken, won't open, have not fixed.

Antenna is iffy, has been opening correctly lately, but some times chooses not to rise.

General Comments:

Lug nuts are a pain in the ass on these things, according to Les Schwab guy it is because they are more like bolts and rust on the inside.

This car has the best cruise control ever. It stays perfectly level, up hill, down, no matter what, perfect. (Except for the fact there is no light to tell you it is on)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2009

1997 Volvo 850 from North America


A good used car that won't turn heads, but still needs occasional work


Retractable antenna does not go down anymore.

Heater only works at highest setting.

Tie rod frozen.

Tire flap falling off.

Left windshield wiper does not cover too far to the edge, especially during snowstorms.

Timing belt replaced at 120,000 miles. (standard)

General Comments:

Good sound system for a used car.

Heated seats on very nice in the winter.

Very comfortable seating for four.

The dash is fairly outdated compared to newer cars.

Very easy to mess around with parts under the hood.

Very sturdy design, decent handling and acceleration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2009

19th Nov 2011, 01:00

My '96 850 also has the issue with the driver's side wiper not covering the entire left part of the windshield, and oddly enough, my problem is amplified by cold weather (and particularly after a snowy night).

I wish I could point you in a direction to fix it, other than mashing down on the wiper arm, but I've yet to find one.

22nd Aug 2013, 15:54

I have a similar problem (but on the other side - I'm in NZ and we drive on the correct i.e. left side of the road) on my 93 850 GLE sedan, although it's not too bad at the moment and I hardly ever drive this one in the snow; I save that for the XC90. There's a fix for this shown in a video clip on IPD.

1997 Volvo 850 GLT 2.4L turbocharged from North America


A whole bunch of headaches


Engine tick that comes and go.

Oil leak (rear main seal)

Oil light comes on even though oil is topped off. Must be an oil passageway problem that causes the erratic tick. Since this is a beater car, repair has been held off.

Power steering went out, $500 to repair.

Exhaust rust through.

Rear disc brakes warped.

A/C is out.

General Comments:

Car is surprisingly fast with the low pressure turbo- sure its no sports car, but it is quite speedy considering the conservative looks. It has surprised a few wannabe racers (I don't condone street racing), though it certainly can't hold a candle to some of the newer sedans.

Handling is good and the car is a real "driver's" car - a real pleasure to drive back and forth to work.

Charcoal leather interior has held up really well - very comfortable and the leather still looks great. Heated seats are a pleasure in Michigan weather and the winter driving mode / traction control has helped in the bad blizzards.

Even though it hasn't been %100 reliable, the car has never left me stranded. A bonus considering the other troubles I've gone through.

This car leaves me divided about Volvo - my wife's 850 has been quite reliable while mine is a money eater. Reading the reviews of the latest models makes me question Volvo's overall reliability. I really like the safety features and don't know how I can go to another car manufacturer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th November, 2008

10th Sep 2009, 07:22

Sounds like you have a clogged PCV system.

1997 Volvo 850 T-5 2.3L 5-cylinder turbo from North America


Best first car


Leather seats worn slightly.

Had to replace the rear speakers.

Several of the lights on the console have gone out.

Previous owner replaced:

ABS controller

All hoses


And a lot of other stuff, however it has never had any engine or transmission problems.

General Comments:

In sports mode it has good acceleration, however its gas mileage is comparable to most modern small SUVs (17 city, 24 highway).

It is very reliable and is built like a tank.

It's my first car, and with the rear seats folded down, it has plenty of space for a bike, my surfboard, or whatever else you want to stick in it. It handles amazingly and is just a great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2008