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

1997 Volvo 850 base 2.4L 1-5 DOHC from North America




A lot, but there just wear and tear yo.

General Comments:

I love this car. you couldnt go wrong about buying one, built to last, safe, comfortable. and its just a great all around car yo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2007

1997 Volvo 850 GLT 2.4 turbo from North America


Good when working, a nuisance when in need of repair


Undetermined oil leak.

A/C leak.

Needs new tires frequently.

Heated seats no longer heat.

Transmission will not allow shifting from Park for first 10 seconds after start-up.

Minor electrical problems with radio.

General Comments:

Despite the many problems that I have had with my Volvo it is still a good car. A used 850 is affordable and the insurance is fair. The engine is strong enough for most people and the car seats 5 comfortably. My advice would be to have a dealer inspect the car before buying a used 850 to ensure that there are no faults with major components.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th July, 2007

20th Jul 2007, 01:07

I agree, a great solid car, mileage 23 - 25 hwy, quick enough acceleration, but repairs are frequent.

Electrical problems and transmission issues (electrical switches that seem to need replacing every 10k miles.)

Stupid mechanical glitches, trunk latch broke (on its own).

Check engine light goes on so frequently for petty annoying reasons that I had it disconnected, and after that, the car ran great!

1997 and prior Volvos are still non-Fords, and likely to run well over 200k without major overhauls. I owned the 97 850 GLT for 7 years / 140k and still regret trading it, because it seriously never left me stranded. And you probably won't find a safer car on the road. Spend $5k for this car used, be prepared to service it and don't defer any maintenance, and it will reward you back.

12th Dec 2007, 15:37

If you can't shift out of Park, it's probably what I think is called the PNP switch? It's a common fault on the 850.