1996 Volvo 850

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$26,300

starting MSRP

1996 Volvo 850

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 1996 Volvo 850 trim comparison will help you decide.

1996 Volvo 850 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

OK, it’s a Volvo and it’s a wagon, but it wasn’t as bad an experience as expected in the few days behind the wheel of the conservatively styled hauler for the grandparents of the generation X’ers.

The 2.3-liter, 222-h.p., turbocharged, 5-cylinder engine is surprisingly swift and the 19 m.p.g. city/26 m.p.g. highway rating is a pleasant benefit considering the performance.

Four-wheel ABS, dual air bags front and side, traction control and daytime running lamps provide security behind the wheel.

Standard equipment runs the gamut from power glass sunroof to leather heated seats, walnut trim, headlamp washers and power memory seats.

But at $38,830, including freight, it’s a Volvo wagon for goodness sake. A Volvo wagon. Practicality personified.

An early-to-bed, early-to-rise, laced-shoes, cuffed-pants, hat-plus-earmuffs, clean-your-plate, Lawrence-Welk, I-Like-Ike, don’t-leave-the-house-without-an-umbrella, if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice-about-a-person-don’t-say-anything-at-all Volvo station wagon.

Money, they say, can’t buy happiness, but $38,830 will get you a comfortable Mercedes C-280 or a radical BMW Z3 or an impractical Plymouth Prowler and not only leave you change, but also ensure that the grandkids start visiting again on Sundays.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 4.3
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Well Designed

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.

4.3

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.

4.0

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.

See all 23 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volvo
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/unlimited miles , upgradeable up to 10 years
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 1996 Volvo 850 articles