The Volvo 850 is one of the best family vehicles ever designed (in my opinion). We own a 1994 sedan and a 1997 wagon and we love driving them both. The size of the vehicle is just right! And visibility is excellent! These vehicles are incredibly safe, too! You are surrounded by airbags, including side impact airbags! Mileage is pretty good: we average 26-27 MPG on the highway. We have enjoyed driving our vehicles coast-to-coast. They have been incredibly reliable.
Well built automobile
I have had 3 of the 850 model, currently have a 1996 base model 850, which I like the best. This car has been to Key West, Alabama, Canada from Philadelphia a number of times. If you keep up with proper maintenance especially oil changes will last a long time. If they are not maintained can be a money pit, so if you see one spend the extra money for a mechanic to check it out.
96 850 Base Wagon 178k Miles.
We take care of this car with regular maintenance. The car has been a tank but not unusually difficult. We bought the Velour Cloth seats and the fabric has held up amazingly well for a 20+ year old car. We have street parked the car in the California sun and only the hard grey plastic interior parts have started to become brittle and crack. The engine and transmission have worked without any failure. Brake rotors and pads have been replaced twice since we’ve owned it. Mind you we’ve lived in San Francisco for the past 18 years and drive the hills a lot but except for getaways for golf or Southern California this car is no longer on the Highways a lot. I’ve enjoyed riding in and driving the 850 a lot over the years. It always gets up and starts and although it’s got faster acceleration than a base 240 Volvo it’s not a screamer. Most fellow highway drivers are sorta surprised when an 850 can easily pass them.