1996 Volvo 850 Consumer Review: Love affair is fading

1996 Volvo 850 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

116 Total Reviews

Platinum Limited Edition Wagon (2.3L 5-cyl. Turbo 4-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Love affair is fading
By Jim Pribbeno on


1996 Volvo 850 Platinum Limited Edition Turbo 4dr Wagon


96 850 turbo is fun to drive with it’s
sporty suspension, 16” low profile
tires, & 222 HP performance.
Unfortunately it’s also the most
expensive Volvo we’ve owned (4 others)
in terms of upkeep. Compared to our
other Volvo, a 92 960 wagon, the 850 is
a cash cow!!! I’ve put on new tires
every 23k miles. I’ve replaced the
transmission (dealer only repair,
$2400) at 90k miles, why? A new air
mass sensor unit ($250). I’ve refilled
a/c several times because the
evaporator leaks & costs over $1000 to
replace. The TRAC & ABS lights are
always on & the braking system
occasionally freaks out requiring a new
computer module costing over $300. Why?

Best Features

Sporty ride, blowing away Mustangs in my station wagon :>)

Worst Features

Volvo needs to sincerely look a reliability issues and admit they have problems with certain elements in the 850's design. There is a reason why people buy Japaneese cars.
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