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!


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.