Used 1994 Volvo 850 Consumer Reviews - 55 Car Reviews | Edmunds

1994 Volvo 850 Consumer Reviews

View reviews for a specific 850 model:

sort by

Most Recent|
Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Original Owner, I love Volvos
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By PH
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 850 Turbo 4dr Sedan


Review

Ok this is being written by a woman with a little info but not all the facts, so some people reading this will smirk and quit reading it. I bought this car new, after waiting 2 yrs for the motor company to "shake the bugs out" of the "new" 850 model. I was immediately happy with this car, and in general have been happy with it. It is attractive in its styling, and still resembles the boxy old Volvo look, with a slight bit of a rakey race car aggression. It doesn't look like a Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota or Subaru. I also own a 1985 Volvo 740T wagon, and I am also its original owner. The sedan is in no way as comfortable as the older (5 speed standard transmission) model wagon, which boasts full size sofa cushion seats. The 850 seats are typical race car style, bucket seats that are small, and you feel squatty when sitting in them. For the price of this vehicle, the seats should be more comfortable and larger. The car came with "bun warmers," which naturally burned out in about 4 yrs. (replaced driver side once only) I almost laugh at myself, now 23 yrs older, trying to get in an out of this vehicle. The 740 model is much easier to enter and exit, to and from both back and front seats. The 850 handles well, especially on curves, and until recently, in quick acceleration. In my little world it's an excellent turbo charged vehicle. With the ABS brakes I have trouble. I'm afraid to, and fortunately never have had to, stop suddenly. Only once did I feel the ABS and it's a very unusual feeling for someone who hasn't felt it before. Both cars, being Volvos, are expensive to maintain, (approx and usually more than $2000/yr) and when the smallest bit of plastic breaks due to impact with a rock or due to collision (I've been hit several times in the wagon over the past 32 yrs) it is extremely expensive to replace. The dashboard plastic shield began to crack within 2 yrs of buying the car. I now have a giant crack running from bottom to top of that. To replace it would probably cost me $400. (I never work on the Volvos myself) I like my cars to keep a new and clean look and running in excellent and reliable condition, and in what I have chosen to pay for, it's cost me dearly. As for the 850 specifically, I pay a lot for high performance low profile tires, which wear out quickly. I've tried moving to a harder rubber, which only stretches the tire wear an extra 5000 miles or so. I replace the tires at the most, every 35000 miles, generally more frequently. I also live on a mountain road with steep curves. The engine seems to be in excellent shape, but the Turbo needs replacing every so often. I am on my second or third, I don't recall. Mind you, this is with regular maintenance including oil changes (at 3500 miles) and inspections. One thing about the car that I found confusing was when I bought it I was told I would never have to replace or change the transmission oil. My mechanics tell me that is absurd, and have replaced it about every 4-5 yrs/40-50,000 miles. It has been expressed to me by both Volvo mechanics and independent mechanics that it is also imperative that one periodically replaces the timing belt in the 850 model. Because of the close quarters of the transverse style engine, if that belt goes, you are a dead duck-as the belt can get tangled up in other parts of the engine and cause collateral damage. I believe I have replaced it once at around 111000 miles. The car is at 182000 miles now. For 10 yrs I have had troubles with the Engine Warning light, which comes on after being reset with codes cleared, within 15 miles of the automotive shop. It supposedly signifies an O2 sensor that has been replaced several times in 20 yrs. Recently (past 3 months), I'm seeming to have some sorts of transmission troubles. Lately, the gear shifter locks on me and I can't get out of Park. So far, no problem is detected, was told the car is cycling in some fashion, and then it releases. Yesterday I noticed the arrow-up shift light is flashing. I'm going to follow some internet tips to see if I can reset it, and make sure my husband or me by accident haven't flipped the "Winter Mode" switch. Other than as mentioned, for about 3 yrs the car has developed a slow seep of oil which appears to be involving the Turbo. Presently there is dye in the oil to try to identify exactly what's leaking out of where. Probably time to replace it or something related. Have had no obvious electrical problems, though the car did lurch and then fail on me while driving in 2009. I don't remember the reason, but fortunately after a few minutes I was able to restart the car and luckily it was on a quiet city street that it stalled. I don't recall the reason and how it was repaired, but it hasn't happened again in 8 yrs. Overall: though expensive to operate and maintain, with only barely 22 mpg in gas mileage, this 23 yr old car has been reliable for long distance trips.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Best car I've ever owed
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Aaron
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 850 Turbo 4dr Wagon


Review

These cars are good if you have little ones there's a booster in the middle the stereo system is premium quality and if you have a dog plenty of room I drove my car all the way to Tampa and was turning heads this red wagon is a one of a kind that even stands out with Ferraris and yet you some how know you have the better car it's won over 12 car shows because of its rare and unique look


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Best Car I've Ever Owned
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kfluharty
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 850 GLTS 4dr Wagon


Review

Don't let the miles scare you when you are looking for a used Volvo. Mine had 152,000 miles on it when I bought it. Just passed 230,000 and this thing still runs and drives like a new car. She's built like a tank. Regular maintenance and the odd sensor or ball joint and this thing will run forever. FOLLOW THE VOLVO RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE!! I bought this car used 3 years ago after it was recommended by 3 different people. I have owned over 25 cars including Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, Jeeps, a Ford, several GM products, and a BMW and this one is BY FAR the best vehicle I've ever owned. My friends kept telling me "Once you own a Volvo, you'll never own another car. They were right.


Best Features

Most comfortable seats in the world. Build quality is AMAZING. Other car makers (BMW and Mercedes excluded) build throw away cars that are designed to be replaced after 100,000-200,000 miles. Pre-Ford ownership Volvo built cars to last you a lifetime. The bad reviews ever given this car are from people who don't understand that parts WILL wear out. The difference is that the major automakers build them so that when the parts wear out, it is uneconomical to keep the car on the road. Volvo built cars to replace only the part that failed. The basic structure of the vehicle is bulletproof. That said, learn to work on your own car, because the Volvo dealership prices are ridiculous.


Worst Features

The front suspension is problematic with this being Volvo's first front wheel drive car. Control arm bushings, ball joints, etc are not as high quality as the rest of the car. I'm in for an alignment once a year, although I do drive 30-40k miles annually. Also, if it matters to you, the cupholders are worthless. In Sweden, driving is driving and you don't eat or drink while doing so. They were added by Volvo as an afterthought for the American market.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

A Good Car...all in all
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Joe
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 850 GLTS 4dr Wagon


Review

has 137k, bought with 103k. Problems: - Throttle body hose, mass airflow meter, and spark plugs (about $700) at 129k - New ceramic brakes and rotors ($475) -New wiper/cruise control stock (replaced on my own at $35) Benefits: - Very comfortable car, perfect for long trips! - 26-30mpg highway - Rear seats fold flat...and passenger seat. It can sleep somebody in there!


Best Features

Dual climate control Flat rear seats Comfortably seats 5


Worst Features

Peppier engine. It's better than your mother's tan 240, but it barely keeps its own amongst 4-banger Camrys or Accords of today.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

FUN CAR! :D
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By brando
on

Vehicle

1994 Volvo 850 Turbo 4dr Sedan


Review

FUN TO DRIVE! VERY PRACTICAL!.......WILL LAST A LONG TIME... MINE HAS 195K.


Best Features

Traction control, economy and sport modes. STYLING!


Worst Features

none yet!


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT