1996 Volvo 850
1-10 of 19 reviews
Test drive review

Very Good First Car

by from Hanover,Pa on September 11, 2017

I bought this car as my first car about two years ago and I haven't had problems with the engine or any other mechanical problems. Plenty of leg room throughout the car. Trunk is very large and I was ...
I bought this car as my first car about two years ago and I haven't had problems with the engine or any other mechanical problems. Plenty of leg room throughout the car. Trunk is very large and I was even able to fit a 4-burner grill in the box in the back. Gas mileage is decent for a starter car and for the weight of the car. Made with strong metals so the body is basically a "tank" as I call it.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Do not make like this anymore

by from Fistown on May 6, 2017

What a car, can last a lifetime if taken care of, they don't rust, keep up with the maintenance and enjoy this car, built like a tank.
What a car, can last a lifetime if taken care of, they don't rust, keep up with the maintenance and enjoy this car, built like a tank.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Love these 850

by from Philadelphia on May 3, 2017

These 850 are built like a truck, keep the oil changed, and use at least 89 octain at the pump. The 850 can last a lifetime if you take care of it, 30 plus mpg on highway at 70 mph with a full trun...
These 850 are built like a truck, keep the oil changed, and use at least 89 octain at the pump. The 850 can last a lifetime if you take care of it, 30 plus mpg on highway at 70 mph with a full trunk. If you are thinking of buying one spend the extra dollars to have it checked by a mechanic. If the 850 has not been maintained it will cost you big time, these cars do not rust.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Long live the volvo

by from Anoka, MN on March 20, 2016

I have owned a 850 turbo with over 300,000 miles on it for just over a year have not had one single major issue with it. Good proformance, good ride, and it goes though the snow good
I have owned a 850 turbo with over 300,000 miles on it for just over a year have not had one single major issue with it. Good proformance, good ride, and it goes though the snow good
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

A Transportation TANK!!!

by from Denver, CO on January 6, 2016

Have owned many American, Japanese and European-made cars, and this year, make and model has impressed me the most. The value of exceptional reliability from over-engineering in auto design is epitomi...
Have owned many American, Japanese and European-made cars, and this year, make and model has impressed me the most. The value of exceptional reliability from over-engineering in auto design is epitomized in this car. Comfortable, solid performance, predictable and tight handling are just a few of the excellent characteristics. Any 20-year old car requires occasional part replacement, but this car has required far less maintenance than ANY older car I've owned. My local privately-owned Volvo garage offers loaners for its customers - several of these I've used are 850's with over 250,000 miles on them! They are STILL running strong and reliable, and I simply can't say that about any other vehicle I'm aware of. If you're lucky enough to find a well-maintained model for sale, you would be remiss to pass on it. Mine? No, sorry - it will never be for sale!
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

THE BRICK

by from Santa Monica, CA on April 8, 2015

Bought it new in 1996 for my wife and the only major problem has been a broken headlight wiper. Depsite its boxy looks (it's a wagon) it's great for hauling things because the trunk is MASSIVE. Fuel e...
Bought it new in 1996 for my wife and the only major problem has been a broken headlight wiper. Depsite its boxy looks (it's a wagon) it's great for hauling things because the trunk is MASSIVE. Fuel economy isn't great, however a comparable midsize sedan could be a lot worse. It's also safer than any other car for the price and the interior is still tight and has aged very well. It's also surprisingly quick and comfortable on the freeway, but the brakes are a bit squeaky. Overall is an amazing car, I'll NEVER sell it.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

the best thing in engineering ever bult

by from northumberland on October 29, 2014

I have read all the other reviews and have been disappointed you all have been buying cars that have a good mileage on and have probably not been looked after ,in the last 15 years i have owned many o...
I have read all the other reviews and have been disappointed you all have been buying cars that have a good mileage on and have probably not been looked after ,in the last 15 years i have owned many of these cars in all denominations from the 2.0 liter to the r and t5r I still to this day cant find a car that fits what I require I am an engineer and I know what works the whole car is over built both in style and engineering so stop winging about having to repair it
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Love love LOVE my 850

by from Boston, MA on February 11, 2014

I've owned my 1996 850 Wagon for going on seven years. It was my very first car, purchased from a man who meticulously maintained it so he set me up quite nicely. It's got a little over 180,000 miles ...
I've owned my 1996 850 Wagon for going on seven years. It was my very first car, purchased from a man who meticulously maintained it so he set me up quite nicely. It's got a little over 180,000 miles on it and aside from a few things here and there, drives like a dream. Not only does it drive well, it. Is. Safe. My first few years of owning my 850 I was a typical teenage driver who had some learning to do and have had my share of accidents in this thing, but it keeps chugging along. I've never heard of a car that's been in five (yes, five) accidents and still runs perfectly. Granted they were mostly fender-benders but there were two where the Volvo was not looking great but it came back good as new! The key for owning an 850 though is having a good mechanic and really maintaining the car. This isn't one of those cars you can just let do it's thing. As soon as you notice something isn't right, get it fixed because if the issue gets worse, you're in for one hefty repair bill. You also do need a mechanic who knows what he or she is doing. A mechanic that wasn't my regular guy once fixed a minor issue in my car and it turns out that while he didn't do fatal damage, he didn't fix it correctly and the same part had to basically be dismantled, reconstructed, and put back in. So make sure your mechanic actually knows Volvos. Also, the brakes will squeal. It's a high-pitched squeal that is not necessarily an indicator that they're dangerously low. Other Volvo owners have noticed the same thing in their Volvos, and it seems to be worse in wet weather.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Reliable with flaws

by from Seneca, SC on December 5, 2012

The mechanical performance of the car has been excellent. However, there are some "parts' that have failed that should not have. e.g. leather seats cracking and splitting; glove box latch failing; hea...
The mechanical performance of the car has been excellent. However, there are some "parts' that have failed that should not have. e.g. leather seats cracking and splitting; glove box latch failing; heater core failing; CD player failing; ceiling material falling down; rear view mirror won't stay in place. You get the idea. It has been a very reliable car (175,000 miles and counting), with parts that have broken that should not have.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

By far the worst car I have ever owned!!!

by from NC on December 30, 2011

I bought my 1996 Volvo 850 GLT in August. It had 130,000 miles on it when I bought it, but in all of the reviews I read they were going well beyond 200,000. I needed cheap transportation as I commute ...
I bought my 1996 Volvo 850 GLT in August. It had 130,000 miles on it when I bought it, but in all of the reviews I read they were going well beyond 200,000. I needed cheap transportation as I commute 150 miles per day to and from school. I know volvos are safe, but honestly with the neverending problems that I have had, I dont care how safe they are! I put about 20,000 miles on the car in 3 months and then I sarted to have problems. first: the odometer quit working at 150,000, but that wasnt a big issue to me other that not knowing exactly when to change my oil. 2nd my radiator busted when I hit a pot hole, i replaced it $800 fix. My altenator quit working $400 fix. my abs light came on and I was told that I would have to replace the abs computer... another $500 down the drain. all of the above happened all with in 2 weeks. the week after I got it back it left me stranded at 3:30am. It stalled and after resting for a few minutes it started back up and ran for a whole 2 miles. I did this the whole 10 mile drive back home. The dealership checked it out and said that every thing with the fuel system checked out but there was no way to tell what was causing the problem. We replace the fuel pump... $300 and the fuel pump relay... $50. W still dont know what the problem is. the only other thing they can think of is the air intake which will cost another $500 if they can even find the parts to fix it. So with in the last 2 weeks I have sunk well over $1000 into fixing my car, and I know there will be another $1500 worth of maitnance to do next month that has already been scheduled. I know this may seem very strange to have all of these problems, but we are a volvo family and have a 99 s70 with less than 70,000 miles and have already had to put over $1000 into this year, and oddly enough we are having pretty much the same problems with it... we have to put a new altenator on it every 2 to 3 months. and the fuel pump has been replaced 2 times this year. We also have a 2004 s60 which is constanly in and out of the shop with various issues... and it has less miles that our s70 but is old enough that it is out of warenty. Honestly I dont care what any body says about volvo, I have enough experience with them to realize that I will no longer be a volvo owner, if i had only had problems out of one car I would try them again, but 3 pieces of junk... NO THANK YOU!!!! I am going back to a Toyota at least their parts are cheaper and most of them are just as luxurious as any volvo.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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Our Expert Review: 1996 Volvo 850