1996 Volvo 850 Consumer Review: Solid fun brick, expensive rep

1996 Volvo 850 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

116 Total Reviews

Base Wagon (2.3L 5-cyl. Turbo 4-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Solid fun brick, expensive repairs
By ADub on


1996 Volvo 850 Turbo 4dr Wagon


Bought mine used at 170000 miles, now has 230000. Right around 200000, had to replace starter, fuel pump, and the odo. went out. Have not replaced odo. Have computer, overall 30 mpg, probably 26 city, 35+ hwy. I drive it slow, 55 mph on hwy. Just replaced head gasket, $1250 at ind.gar Volvos are super safe (built in roll bar in roof), built to last, superior handling, even for the wagons. I believe that the non-turbo engines are peppier than the turbos (when not in boost range). Parts are very expensive - the starter as a rebuilt was $200, not incl. labor. Found a used one for $30 and did it myself. Could have done the fuel pump myself, and saved $400 on labor (part was $200).

Best Features

The smooth drive. Even with budget tires, at 70 mph, you feel like you are on glass, very quiet. Plus, the suspension matches BMW. You can take turns without slowing down, very little body lean. sunroof doesn't slide back anymore (around 175000)only tilts.Replaced brake pads $50 for dustless.

Worst Features

Having the window switches on the center console just below the cup holders, is a disaster waiting to happen. Had to replace an evaporator on a 97 sedan (NA) I previously owned, at around 100000, that was over 1 grand. Also had to replace the rear main seal at around 110000, was also over 1 grand
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