I bought it last year (second owner), and couldn't be happier. Very solid, powerful, reliable, and smooth. Very fun to drive. I feel very safe in it, and therefore feel comfortable with my kids driving it. I've had to replace the alternator, that's all, but I have 175,000 miles on it, so what do you expect? Despite the mileage, it still runs very smooth, I imagine as smooth as when it was new. I love driving this car! I would definitely consider another Volvo on my next purchase. The only other fix was the gas cap cover, it no longer locks, but it's very minor and have yet to fix it.
Exterior style/look, solid feel, its power(Turbo!), and reliability. Leather seats are comfortable. Drives very sturdy. Paint job is outstanding! Been parked at work in the hot sun for 13 years and is still bright shiny red. I don't notice any fading, and people don't believe it's original paint job.
Interior design, particularly the location of controls (window, etc.). Control center for all windows is in the center as opposed to on the doors, and the cup holders are small & located right above the window controls in the center. If a drink leaks/spills, it'll spill on the electronic controls.
My 1997 850 T5 has been a reliable and fun drive, providing good power and handling. Heading past 200K miles, it has had no extreme engine problems and has performed beyond my expectations. The 5 cylinder provides adequate power and a reliable 25 mpg, glad I found it.
I love this car, Volvo 850 turbo! I am in the process of replacing it with a newer volvo S80. However, I wish the new ones had the old shape. I like seeing a vehicle and knowing instantly what it is. They all look alike now, it is ashame. Back to why I love volvo cars, I feel so safe in this car. It is a heavy car, never hydroplaned in this car, which means a ton to me. The air conditioning is wonderful. My car is cold, on even the hottest days, very quickly. It has great pick up, too.
air conditioning outer appearance
Love the old shape vs. the newer shape All cars look alike now!
My 850 T5 has been great for five years now. MPG on the highway remains constant at about 30, (70 to 70 mph). Repairs to date: fuel pump at 175,000; timing belt tensioner at 221,000. Oil leaks are beginning to appear and the ABS waring light is starting to come on from time to time. I probably won't have these problems fixed....at 222,000 miles I can't justify spending more $$ on the car. (And yes, Volvo owners, I too have bought dozens of light bulbs for this Volvo over the years.) This was my third Volvo and I'm looking for my fourth one now. A great car oveall.
Quality, reliability, comfort, performance
Volvo interiors tend to be cheap. Why do all Volvos consume so many light bulbs?
This car has had a steady stream
of minor and moderate problems:
repairing the AC was the biggest
expense, but also several minor
electrical problems and lots of poor
fit/quality issues. I've lost the
motor on the antennae and the gas
cap...very annoying. Radio reption is
terrible...my Volvo dealer tells
me "everyone knows Volvo radios don't
work well." Lots of rattles/noises.
Moon Roof fits poorly. Also, in terms
of handlng, the car feels heavy to me.
Accelerates fine, but not very good
control in turns. I expected Volvo to
have excellent attention to detail, but
don't feel that way now.