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.