This is my 4th Volvo. Volvo built its reptuation on the 122s and 240s, NOT the 850. This is a fun, spacious, somewhat fast, and terribly unreliable car. I'm at 100K right now; here's what I've had to do: clutch, cat. converter, motor mounts, cam shaft position sensor, rear door handle jammed (fixed myself), alternator (all over $2000, not including reg maintenance such as the t-belt and service). Design-wise, this car is light years ahead of the 240. However, its reliabilty falls very short of the old work horses. They still are very safe, but that's about the extent of the old reputation that still may be true today :( If you do make the mistake of buying this car, get the manual tranny
Spacious and comfortable interior-- much more durable than the 240s. Zippy acceleration (5spd manual), decent gas mileage (consistently hit 30mpg fwy, 18 city), nice handling for a soccer taxi. VERY safe.
Build qaulity! Come on guys. Yeah, it'll last forever--as long as you replace every part on it by the time it hits 200K miles. Very unreliable. Very disappointed. It seems that once Volvo decided to join the styling band wagon, it jumped off the quality band wagon. Such a shame.