1996 Volvo 850 Consumer Review: Lovely Car, Top Secret Repair

1996 Volvo 850 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

116 Total Reviews

GLT Sedan (2.4L 5-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Lovely Car, Top Secret Repair Info
By janow on


1996 Volvo 850 GLT 4dr Sedan


I got this car for $6500 in January
2003 with 88K miles. Its lovely car and
so far has needed only $500 for new
brakes (local mechanic).
But the seat belt needs to be replaced
for about $185, and I worry about
repair. I've always bought real shop
manuals for cars I own to spot BS and
help me fix simple things without going
to dealers who make a big deal out of
everything. Volvo does everything
possible to frustrate this: the real
shop manuals are a set costing about
$1000 rather than the usual $50 -

Best Features

A couple of independent service shops say this is a plot to corner the service market for it's dealers. So also are "booby traps": for example, trouble flags that won't clear until the guy factory-specific test gear hooks up.

Worst Features

Volvo's are not worth much as used cars because of the high expected repair cost, even though they are very attractive. Volvo targets the car to risk-averse sheep who will do and spend what they are told to.
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