1996 Volvo 850 Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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great performer overall
By jsrobinow on 06/13/12 10:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon 4dr Wagon

Review

We have owned this car since new, now in the family 16 years. Has been very reliable comfortable and versatile. Manual gear box makes it fun to drive. Station wagon configuration makes as useful as any large SUV with vastly better gas mileage and nicer road handling. Odometer gear failed and I replaced the gear with an e bay source that included instructions on installation. ABS module failed and internet lead me to a place to buy a rebuilt one and installed it myself. These are two classic weak spots of this car that are easily fixed by the owner. Fuel pump did fail and was replaced. We now have 181K on odometer. Still running well. This model supports the legendary Volvo value
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Not A Good Idea
By kittycrabbs on 01/17/10 13:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon GLT 4dr Wagon

Review

People like to say Ford screwed up Volvo, but the 850 was made long before Ford took over and it's a dog. Constant front alignment problems, tire wear, abs problems, shifter wouldn't move, glove box decided not to open. I got rid of the car when the seat belt wouldn't pull away from the door post- wanted $650 to fix it. Never left me stranded, but the smallest repair job cost a fortune. I thought I'd have it a lot longer than 130k miles.
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Solid fun brick, expensive repairs
By ADub on 10/15/09 08:32 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

Bought mine used at 170000 miles, now has 230000. Right around 200000, had to replace starter, fuel pump, and the odo. went out. Have not replaced odo. Have computer, overall 30 mpg, probably 26 city, 35+ hwy. I drive it slow, 55 mph on hwy. Just replaced head gasket, $1250 at ind.gar Volvos are super safe (built in roll bar in roof), built to last, superior handling, even for the wagons. I believe that the non-turbo engines are peppier than the turbos (when not in boost range). Parts are very expensive - the starter as a rebuilt was $200, not incl. labor. Found a used one for $30 and did it myself. Could have done the fuel pump myself, and saved $400 on labor (part was $200).
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non turbo wagon
By off road monster on 03/18/09 20:38 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon GLT 4dr Wagon

Review

I had it for about two years and so far, i had to replace the header, the catalytic converter twice, O2 sensor, the starter, a CV axle and a head lamp wiper motor. It is a some-what easy car to work on and I would be willing to try my luck with another in the future.
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Keep on runnin'
By Lifer on 08/30/08 19:11 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon GLT 4dr Wagon

Review

Original owner, car has 160k miles. Solid reliable comfortable car. A/C is somewhat weak, have had some issue with the front end alignment. MPG overall is around 21. Plenty of cargo space, with fold down seats and roof rack, I carry all I need. After 12 years, this car runs like it did when new. Engine performance is sound, and the 168 hp five cylinder engine is very reliable. I hope to keep this car for life.
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Love my Volvo
By Paula on 04/03/08 14:49 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon Turbo 4dr Wagon

Review

When I bought this car it needed a new timing belt, which also means a new water pump. Other than that it is so much fun to drive, lots of pep,easy to haul my 100 pound dog and cat in, and easy for them to get inand out. It gets better mileage than our 2003 Cadillac, and looks great doing it. The cup holders are the only problem, and they're horrible.
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Served us well and then some
By Chrissie on 03/17/08 07:05 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon 4dr Wagon

Review

When we bought our Volvo it was older, but with low mileage. The car has been very good to us. We've done a few minor repairs ourselves, thanks in part to the great Volvo message boards. We've had no major repairs which is saying something for a car that is now 12 years old. I feel safe and comfortable in my car. Fuel mileage is pretty good considering the size of the car.
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Volvo Forever!
By Greg on 11/11/07 14:06 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon 4dr Wagon

Review

Bought this car new. Wife drove it for over ten years. My daughter has just gotten her license and is using the car. The only thing that makes this car seem old is when I drive my S-60. Aside from normal maintenance over the years, we have only had two out of warranty issues( 1- broken caliper 2- external thermometer which regulates the heating & A/C). I also use my local dealer for all service, which I believe has kept repairs to a minimum. My family is sold on Volvo cars.
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Fantastic car
By I love my Volvo on 10/31/07 08:59 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon 4dr Wagon

Review

We bought our 96 Volvo Wagon in 1998 with 30,000 miles on it. We love this car. It now has 106,000 miles on it and is still running like the day we bought it. It is very comfortable, has decent pickup and handles very well. The ride is nice and controlled. Only weak spots are the brakes tend to warp to easy (you just need to upgrade to a higher quality rotor) and the factory A/C unit will only last a few years before you have to spend $1000 to replace it. The A/C in general is not great, but I have never been in a European car with great A/C.
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Solid but quirky
By Jerry on 10/20/06 07:20 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Volvo 850 Wagon 4dr Wagon

Review

I bought this car used in 2004 and still own it today. It still avgs about 20-22 mpg combined, and drives nicely. The car is as solid as a tank, but it has some of the quirkiest problems. The "idiot" lights for abs, traction control, SRS and check engine cycle on and off randomly, and there's nothing wrong with any of these items. The driver's door makes a banging sound when I open it, and currently my horn is stuck and "blowing", so I had to physically disconnect it until I can have it repaired. Enjoy the ride, if you can live with the quirks.
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