We have a 850R wagon with automatic. When I put my 850 in sport mode, the computer lets the engine rev and the turbo give more boost. I don't want to admit it, but this little red wagon will beat my 2003 Porsche Boxster. The turbo power keeps pushing and the engine is a tiny 2.3l inline 5. I laugh as I pull away from cars - those Mustang GT's don't have great takeoff. The suede/leather seats are very comfortable and the heat is nice. Of course the safety aspect is tops for Volvo. Handling is good. Brakes are solid. Reliability is good for a European car. We've had the odo, radiator, ash tray, mass airflow sensor go out. The rear view mirror shook loose and was put back on.
POWER. A red Volvo wagon is a sleeper. I love watching people as I walk away from them. The comfort is great, has all the features you need and a very solid feel. There's a lot more room inside than you'd think. Volvos are typically invisible to police.
2nd row seat is tedious to fold down. When I start my 850, the engine isolation isn't great (I can feel a shudder). A little stiffer suspension would be nice. Usable cup holders and a better stereo system. I don't think the red paint has a clearcoat - red on the rag when waxing.
Our Volvo 850R wagon was suppose to be a Home Depot weekend hauler and occasional camping car. Then I discovered the economy/power button! Wow! This car really moves. The economy mode allows the transmission to shift at lower rpms and less boost. The power mode lets this wonderful little engine roar! Turbo boost up, rpms up - right in the power band! If the numbers are correct, this car will beat my Boxster. After feeling the boost, I believe it will walk away from my Boxster up to 80mph. The seats are also very comfortable, the car has nice features and it sure is fun to drive. The suspension is okay at best. Overall a very impressive little box.
Power, Turbo, Acceleration! Very unassuming little wagon surprises many other cars as I walk away from them. Seats are very comfortable. Heated seats a nice touch. Great heater. Lots of space inside. I hauled 800 lbs of slate and she did okay - impressive! Great visibility! Easy to drive.
Cup holders are almost useless, like our 960 wagon. Suspension is suppose to be sport tuned, but they missed the mark - a tighter suspension would be nice. Second row seats don't fold as nice as the 960 wagon. Speakers don't sound too good for a "premium" stereo system. Just minor stuff.
I love this car. Never thought I would even own a Volvo, let alone say I loved one. Keep them maintained and they will keep on going! Do a few modifications and these will not only get better gas mileage (30+ if you can keep your foot out of the turbo) but also blow the doors off of most cars out there.
Reliable, low key, wickedly fast when you want it to be!
As to the reviewer who wanted more horsepower, the right shop can fix that! Improvements I can't fix: the cup holder being directly over the window switches, but I shouldn't be drinking anything in a car with pwr heated leather and suede seats anyway.
Fastest/safest most reliable car i've ever owned,, at 156,000 it still "cruises" at 135 mph.. Ac dumped at 150,00 pirelli p zero' 17" hold the road like a custom glove.. If the abs/trac lights goes on/off it's the ignition key switch.. See one,, buy it !!! 25Mpg even at demon speed..Oh ,.. And the cd stereo ,,sounds like heaven and this is an 850 turbo "r" with the spoiler on the trunk and spoiler under front bumper
Heated suede/leather seats stereo....Fold down rear seats..Bring home an 8' ladder...Window controls at right hand