Used 1994 Volvo 850 Sedan Consumer Reviews
I have a volvo 850 turbo since 2005 and I have fond it a very comfortable car to drive it has a lot of power and with a proper tune up its very fast .its also nimble in traffic .Yes you have to put premiuim gas in it but that is a small sacrifice for the power you are getting . all in all I love this car .
I bought the car because of the safety features. Luckily they've never been tested. The drivers seat is the most comfortable seat as was my 240. It gets decent mileage 22 to 25 (includes some highway driving). I don't like the price of the 30K service work but it's never let me down. The finish has held up great with waxing twice a year. The antenna has gotten bent in car washes and had to be replaced. I wish the new ones had as much room. I do ocassionally have to tighten the nut on the windshield washer arm. Overall it has been good to me.
FUN TO DRIVE! VERY PRACTICAL!.......WILL LAST A LONG TIME... MINE HAS 195K.
Purchased this car new in 94 and have loved it! Car just totaled in an accident and of course everyone in the car walked away without a scratch! We will purchase another Volvo to replace this one, a used one this time. They are such great cars we have no second thoughts about purchasing a used Volvo, our first used car. Had around 108K miles and we had not had any major repairs done to the car. The yearly service was pricey, which is my only complaint with Volvos. However, they are such reliable cars that it seems like a small matter overall. This was our second Volvo and we will probably always own as least one! Tons of trunk space.
Bought with 78K miles in 2001. Amazingly harsh and brittle ride, lack of power at low speeds, tendency to wander at high speeds, narrow tires not very confidence-inspiring. Significant body roll, squeaky but effective brakes. Had a $500 problem with it once every year. Broken down only once, when the battery decided it had had enough and wanted to explode but didn't. AC evaporator tends to fail and costs a grand to fix. This car lets in an amazing about of heat in the summer, and I live in the northeast. This car is relatively cheap to buy now, but I would only recommend it to residents of Canada who don't like driving fast and have autobahn-quality roads where they live.
I'm disappointed, this car has been the most unreliable vehicle that I've ever owned. It keeps on breaking, transmission, oil leaks,radio antenna, seat heater etc. etc. etc. . Each time I've thought well thats all, but it never is. This is all in addition to the fact that I've taken it in for every scheduled maintenance.
repairs are expensive for this vehicle, fuel pump died at 158000, turbo died at 164000, now it needs new valve seals at 166000 have not gone two months without something needing a repair.
Great Car - comforting to know family is in something so safe. Great Brakes
The value of options is good for the price range, however... if you are looking for reliability first, you probably don't want to look here. I got a "well" maintained 850 with only 83k miles - had it checked out before my purchase only to find out later there were many repairs required (A/C leak, rear main oil, front oil leak, etc.). It's a very nice looking car with alot of options but it's no Acura when it comes to repairs.
I bought my '94 turbo in '98 and have had very good performance out of it. Reliability better than expected and dealerships (in 3 different states) have been more helpful than my distrustful nature cares to admit. Paint still looks good and overall have been satisfied.
Purchased car in June 1996 with $20,000 cash. It has been a great car. When we purchased it it had 54000 miles now in June of 2002 it has 154000 miles. We have driven it now for six years and had absolutely no problems with the mechanical parts of the car. We have kept up the maintenance and only have had to replace only tires and brakes etc. The front seat however has problems with the cables that operate the power seat. This has had to be replaced twice since 1996. Currently we are going to trade it in and now the original dealer will only give us $1800 trade in value they say because of high mileage. This is disappointing!
For the most part it's been nice owning this car. But there have been some electrical problems,& some quality short commings. The electric seat fails to recline & the black strips on top of the car are peeling,the driver's leather seat is cracking.
This is a fantastic car. I have had no major problems whatsoever, and that's with an aftermarket ECU and exhaust. These things are reliable, fast, stylish and comfortable. What more could you ask for??
If you have extra cash to spend on repairs then this is a good car for you. The design of the brakes only allows two cuts on the rotors so expect an $800 brake job every 60K miles. Going for scheduled maintenance every 10K does not prevent major problems from occuring. Try electrical problems that only Volvo can diagnose and repair. Overall a great car but you WILL need more than expected money for repairs but the same can be said for Mercedes and BMW so what else can you expect.
This is my third Volvo,(previous 244, and 744 owner). It has all the typical 'quirks' that make the old girl a Volvo. 1) electrical problems. It seems as soon as you go over 75k miles, the electrical system goes to pot, replacing bulbs in tail light, dash, and console instrument panel are a constant. Driver's side power seats don't recline anymore either. 2) Also, black trim on car peeled, and was repainted twice to no avail. 3) 6 disk CD changer in trunk is worthless, but sound system is great! I've got 130k on her now, and won't even think about another Volvo until I crack 200k. With age comes distinction...even if the lights keep going out.
I bought the car used with just 55k miles, but it still needed a lot of work: 2 CV boots, a radiator, a cam position sensor, etc. To replace turn signal indicator light would cost $85 because it is hard to get into the dash.
It has tasteful conservative styling yet delivers a powerful punch. With 88000 miles on the clock it runs perfect. Changed the timing belt at 70k and fuel pump at 85k. What I love is you hit the gas at 70miles and in a few seconds your at 100 and people do not believe that it was a Volvo that just blow them away. A bit costly on the gas but above average reliability and performance yet it looks classy and expensive. Just let the engine idle a few minutes to cool off the turbo.
Nice power after turbo kicks in at about 2500rpm. Handling is decent for a family sedan. Interior is comfort for 4 adults even on long trips. Wind noise at highway speed is easily noticable probably due to its boxy shape.
I purchased my 850 new in 1994. I have not had any of the problems described by others. I have not had to replace anything. The biggest problem for me is the very real blindspot but once you know it's there you HAVE to turn your head. Next, I would have to say that the wind noise with the moon roof is disappointing. In the winter when you open the door if there is snow on the roof, it ends up in the car. Finally, I purchased the $100.00 cup holders, they were VERY cheap plastic and still don't hold most cups.
I've had this car for 10 years and have enjoyed it the entire time. It is expensive though to take it in every 5,000 miles. After abou the 7th years, things start to go bad on it and need replacing. For example the AC compressor and more. I have heard many complaints though about Volvo since Ford bought them. Therefore I would not get another Volvo at this time. But really enjoyed mine for the last 10 years. Great power too on the 850 Turbo!
I ve owned this used 850 2 1/2 years. Bought it used. It's been a real trooper with my driving, over 28K per year. Great car.
Bought car in 1995 w/26000 mi. on it then. Have had no major problems other than some sort of relay shutting the car down. Fit & finish is good. Vehicle shows no signs of loosening up. No squeaks/rattles. Fun car to drive.
I bought this car just under a year ago and have no major problems. I have done some minor modifications to the engine and now get about 26 mpg in the city and about 36 on the freeway. There are some quarks with the car that you just have to get used to but overall it is fun and fast to drive especially with the sport option selected.
Before I ended up staying at home with the kids, I'd been driving a 94 300zx every day. Wow this was a change, but not in a bad way. Performance is on par with a Taurus SHO without the lack of reliability. Not to mention the interior is of MUCH higher quality. I paid right at 4k for this vehicle from a dealer. Why so cheap? There was a vacuum line break that they didn't want to investigate. It allowed unmetered air into the intake that caused the MIL to activate and it would not pass emissions. Found the leak during a test drive and gambled that it would fix the problem. Bought it, fixed the leak, passed with flying colors and the vehicle has not had any problems since.
Very fun to drive. Somewhat rougher after this many miles and not as quiet on the road. Excellent performance with turbo. Very reliable. Normal maintenance gets expensive at 60,000 and 70,000 intervals with fluids, drive belts and plugs needing to be replaced for about $350-450 each time. Light bulbs on dash sometimes go out and that cost $90 to replace. Braking is excellent, styling great and sound system very good.
the volvo 850...this is my tank, a great car, it has got me through alot of things that many cars would hav probably gotten me killed lol. I just love this thing. I feel safe in it everytime i sit inside. It feels bullet proof, it will last forever, i just dont even know what else to say about this car.
Reliable good-looking auto with comfortable seating. Useful trunk rear- seat split for additional cargo.
Great car with all the power I need. Costed all too much, but ALL cars do so in Norway. (Costed me $25.000,-) Sorry VOLVO, but your dealers need more training in fault finding. Also they should listen to what the customers say. My car has now the fourth transmission installed, as the dealer tried to get rid of some performance problems, and faultcodes that told him that the tranny was defective. The problem was, surprisingly in the ECC MCU. (All af you who know a little about early automotive databussystems know why.) All in all the car performs eccelent now. VERY good MPG ratings too. (0,8 litres of petrol per 10 kilometers)
This has been my most dependable car - more dependable than my brand new Acura TL.
I bought this car because of its sporty yet practical features. The car has 90k miles and still runs as if it were new. I have had no electrical or any other problems. I love this car.
After searching for a quality second car for doctor's appointments and the occasional trip to the mall, I finally found it in my 1994 Volvo GLT. I test drove and passed on every maker's so called premium/luxury model. I test drove this car because of its excellent outward appearance. I was surprised to find it quiet, rattle free, smooth on acceleration with terrific handling. Seating was what mattered most due to my disabilities. The 8 way w/memory, thickly padded but supportive power seat let me find the best position easily and keep it. I have never been more pleased in more than 42 years of driving. I wonder if the new Volvos are as well designed and made as this one.
Mirror controls on the center console show poor placement My wife puts her purse on the console, which activates the mirrors Like dual heat controls. Enjoy safety features such as anti- collision light. Fog lights are for asthetics only - don't improve driving vision at all. Gear box problems on three occassions; window wind deflectors fell off after two years, along with body side moldings. Cheap plastic hood latch broke within a year. Wide door post has significant blind spot when looking over your shoulder. Power seat broke at 5-yr mark, required new cable. I'll never buy another Volvo.
I purchased this car as my third volvo. Judging the quality as a used car, it is excellent. There were a few little problems that I have had get fixed during the 6 months that I had the car, but nothing even coming close to major. The turbo punch helps on the highway, that's for sure. Volvos forever!!!
After much research and test drives, the winner is the Volvo 850T. The contenders, Acura Legend (94-95), Lexus LS 400 (92-95). Find a one-owner or two owner vehicle from this year with records of the major service points, 30,60,70,90 K etc. The weakness of this model is the transmission, so be wary of abuse or black trans. fluid. Brown fulid is not bad, it might just need to be flushed. Find a good one with under 90k miles, and good service history, add an upgraded engine control unit, performance air filter to get 265hp out of this car. The performance and fuel economy are better than the competition, though the ride is more performance oriented. Excellent value, if you buy the "right" one.
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.