1996 Volvo 960 V6 from North America


Nice safe luxury car, good engine, though lots of things will break on it


Radiator went out at 100,000 miles, which seems to be normal for this model.

Rotors warp easily. Replaced 3-4 times. Though this may be specific to my car.

Heater core went out at 130,000 miles, cost a fortune to fix (pull the dash out) and now the car smells like anti-freeze (and you really really don't want to be inhaling that stuff!). Had the car professionally cleaned to get most of the anti-freeze cleaned up.

Defective glue on doors causes leather to come off. Bothers some people.

Paint scratches and chips easily, most noticeable on front bumper.

Other minor fixes here and there, not too expensive, normal up keep maintenance.

General Comments:

Has a pretty solid safe feel about it; driver, side and passenger air bags. This was one of the main reasons I bought the car.

The driver seat is well positioned in the car and the center dash is tilted towards the driver so everything is easy to reach. Though the co-pilot seat seems to be a bit of an after thought. Not too roomy and a little less plush. The back seats are nice though.

Good sound system.

Sun roof is nice.

Mileage is decent considering it's an older card and has a V6, probably getting around 20-25MPG.

The major problem with this car is that when (not if!) the heater core goes out it sprays anti-freeze all over the inside of the car. I was able to get most of it out, it pools up on the bottom of the floor in the indentations in the metal. You have to remove the carpet and padding and clean it up. But it also gets in the vents, and I don't know how you'd get it out of those. Nor does it evaporate since it's an oily substance. If you check the warning labels on anti-freeze you'll defiantly not want to be inhaling it, it makes smoking look perfectly safe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th July, 2004

6th Jan 2006, 20:44

The heater core goes and you rate the car terribly?

13th Apr 2007, 05:52

Got a 96 Volvo 960 cheap $6000 but I spent $4500 on cambelt, water pump, tensioner, idler, pulley, control arm bush, wing mirror, 2 front shocks, new steering rack, washer pump, sway bar bushing & link, flush trans oil and whole lot of little things.

1996 Volvo 960 CD Luxury 2.5 from UK and Ireland


Grace, space, pace and safety - a winner!


Water pump went at 60,000 miles.

Transmission "PNP" switch failed at 75,000 miles.

Ignition coil went a 60,000 miles.

Drivers seat leather stitching went at 70,000.

General Comments:

This car has been a pleasure to own. I find it very comfortable to drive even when all 5 of us are inside.

We have the ‘CD luxury version’ with climate control, leather seats and electric everything! Both my wife and I really enjoy this level of luxury.

Good space for passengers and luggage make this a very useful car.

The 6 cylinder engine is very smooth and quite powerful enough for the weight of this car.

We have owned our 960 for over 6 years and put on over 70,000 miles. Although our car is now 7 years old it still feels as if it could go on forever.

I would say this is not a good car for those that like to do their own servicing as the engine compartment is very compact.

My one pet hate is the painted bumpers which are forever getting scratched.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2003

24th Jun 2004, 15:17

I had the same problem with the bumpers getting scratched until I had my repair shop find a pair of add-on strips of bumper material that does not scratch. It only cost a couple of hundred dollars, which is a lot less expensive than having the original bumpers repainted all the time.

RS, Chicago.

1996 Volvo 960 GLE 2.9 petrol from Taiwan


A good alternative to Mercedes or BMW's


Radiator replaced at 60,000 KM.

Air-con replaced three times.

Both front and back suspension units replaced.

Both front and back brake discs replaced.

Power window switch replaced.

General Comments:

This car is great on highway travel, especially on long distance trips.

Great seats and roomy for both and front occupants.

Air-con is not its strong suit and was a nightmare here in Taiwan for the summertime.

Parts are expensive comapared with the likes of Mercedes or BMW's.

Fuel consumption is not that great, I got 5.8 KM per liter in mixed driving.

Other than these minor problems, this car has been very reliable and great to handle.

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

Review Date: 15th October, 2002

1996 Volvo 960 965 Wagon 2.9 from North America


A reliable, efficient car, albeit expensive to maintain


Air conditioning compressor went at 120,000 miles.

Transmission "PNP" switch failed at 110,000 miles.

Replaced water pump at 122,000 per dealer advice.

General Comments:

While very reliable, they are VERY expensive to maintain, MUCH more so than my previous BMWs. I bought the Volvo because my last BMW (a 540i Touring Car/Wagon) had so little interior cargo space compared to the 960 wagon.

For instance, the dealer charged $1200 for the A/C compressor, $800 to repair the PNP (?) sensor in the transmission (the car thought it was in gear when in Park and wouldn't start), and the water pump (part only) was almost $300 (Plus labor). Even the small plastic clips that retain the window trim was $12.00. The dealer also seemingly keeps no parts in stock, and everything must be ordered for my car.

On balance, however, the 960 has been a wonderful car, and at least the equal of my beloved BMWs, albeit at twice the maintenance costs whenever work is needed (however seldom).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2002

23rd Aug 2010, 06:06

I would certainly find another dealer.

I have had the opposite experience, with BMW being the extremely expensive and always faulty car.