Purchased new - all available options- first few years ok- This is my 6th and last ever Volvo. Dealers now charge $100 for diagnostics. Fit and finish crappy-Check engine light on constantly even though we always had dealer maintain. Now transmission shot- strut too many times to mentions- Throttle body always an issue. Electronics are a joke- expensive and unreliable- Do your self a favor and do not buy any post 1987 Volvo- Since Ford took over went from being a great to a crappy car
used to handle well- great brakes and good acceleration
transmission is garbage- electrical modules have been replaced twice at least
I agree with your overall assessment of Volvo "quality" - as much as I like my 850 Turbo wagon it can't even touch my similar-vintage Mazda for reliability and engineering - but in fairness Ford didn't acquire Volvo until 1999. Consequently, the problematic cars Volvo produced through 1999 are solely Volvo's doing. (Also, the S80 was introduced in 1998, prior to Ford's involvement.)
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