So, I bought this car a couple of weeks ago. Its a 20 year old car I paid $1,300 for and I'm loving it. It has its small things that will need repaired but it is reliable, I feel very safe toting kids around in it, and I love being the only person in town with a cool vintage looking car. Now all I need is my NPR bumper sticker!
My Volvo 850 has been a very good first car. It is very comfy, has a really long features list for a car of its age. Love the sound of the inline 5. Has a good amount of power for the non turbo (168hp) I have had the car a little while and the only maintenance that it has needed was the rear brakes needed replacing. I've been getting above average fuel consumption, it's rated at 19 city/ 26 highway and I've been getting 26+ mixed driving. Would love to upgrade to a T-5R or a S70 T5
I bought this car for my daughter about a year ago. I bought it from a private owner who had it for about 10 years. I took it to my mechanic he told me the car was in sound condition. All it needs mechanically is a tune up and redo the front suspension. My wife has always loved Volvos, she is on her third XC90. My daughter likes the look of 1995 850 turbo. We bought it for $1900 put another $750 into it as of right now it is a fun reliable car to drive.
The turbo model really helps this car move and its low stance looks great.
I love my 850. It is my first car that my family has owned since 1997. Four years ago when I started driving it I was admittedly ashamed to have a "soccer mom car". My attitude quickly changed. Its a N/A four speed automatic that is going on 274000 miles. The car is showing its age with little squeaks and rattles, the hatch no longer stays open on its own, and little bits and bobs seem to be wearing out. Despite this it has been an incredibly safe form of transportation. While repairs are far from cheap, the engine and transmission are bulletproof and continue to work well, and I tend to push this wagon very hard.
The interior space and comfort is the best thing about this wagon. I call it my front-wheel-drive pick up truck because when the seats are folded down you realize how cavernous this car can be. The seats are the most comfortable I have ever sat in and road trips are a breeze.
Do yourself a favor and buy a manual. The automatic is quite sluggish and not very efficient. If you can't drive stick, make sure to get one with the sport switch which lets you more easily access the higher RPM's.
I bought a 95 Turbo wagon 14 months ago. It had been loved by 2 owners, 220,000 miles. Finding it was not easy. I looked at 6 different wagons before I found my car. Luckily, I met a local mechanic/enthusiast in LA, twice I was close to buying but hired him to inspect the vehicles which I highly recommend. Both times I avoided buying pieces of junk from liars. Do your research, know the common problems. I bought the car and restored the interior for next to nothing thanks to all of the junkyards in the area. Also had the engine restored and swapped my auto trans for a manual. The car is amazing for what I paid. I purchased a tune, and the car is so viscous, a blast to drive.
Turbo, manual trans, spacious cushy road trip wagon. Durable, I drive it very hard and it takes it all. I blast the engine to red line, it's tough. An impressive engine, great car for the price.
The dashboard. Was very noisy, read forums for suggestions and strategies to reduce rattling.
Know that if you buy this car, you will need a trustworthy mechanic at your disposal unless you are willing to learn to work on them yourself. This is a great car for novices to work on, but you will need a stocked local junkyard at your disposal.