Used 1996 Volvo 850 R

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$666 - $1,606

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Somebody in Sweden loves you. This must be true; why else would the people at Volvo spend so much time guaranteeing passenger safety? The 850 boasts an impressive array of standard equipment that is designed to insure your safety: daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes, optional traction control (TRACS), dual airbags, side-impact airbags, fog lights, fixed head restraints, an integrated child-seat (wagon), and a wet weather automatic transmission system for are just some of the goodies that Volvo included in this car to keep you and your loved ones out of the emergency room. Indeed, all of these safety features can leave passengers feeling as if they are cruising around town in a well-appointed tank.

The driver, however, will know that the 850 is anything but tank-like. Steering is snappy and responsive, braking is so effective that it takes some getting used to, and gauges are easy to see. Unlike many of this Volvo's American and Japanese competitors, there is nothing extraneous about this car. Even back seat passengers will enjoy the luxury of the 850; there is plenty of room for two six-footers. Cargo space in the sedan is cavernous, liftover height is low, and the trunk includes a handy pass-through to the passenger compartment that nicely accommodates a pair of skis. The wagon's cargo area is so huge that it could easily carry all of the possessions of a new college graduate.

When decked out as an R edition, the 850 becomes something more than mechanical. Zero to 60 times in under six seconds just aren't supposed to happen in a mid-sized sedan. Seventeen-inch tires should never be standard equipment for a family hauler. Indeed, Volvo has broken all of the rules with this sportster. We can't wait to see the reaction of Camaro and Mustang owners who are getting dusted by a "mom's car" in the stop-light drags. Those Swedes have a good sense of humor.

The Volvo 850 is a great car, particularly when its price tag is compared to other European vehicles with the same features. We think that anyone interested in safety, quality, and performance should take a long look at the 850. The optional turbocharged engine is worth considering as well; the joy it will give commuters is worth the extra two grand.

1996 Highlights

This year all Volvo 850s are equipped with front seat side-impact airbags, optional traction control (TRACS) and a life insurance policy that pays $250,000 to the estate of any occupant who loses their life in the 850 as the result of an accident.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Volvo 850.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

What a sleeper
We have a 850R wagon with automatic. When I put my 850 in sport mode, the computer lets the engine rev and the turbo give more boost. I don't want to admit it, but this little red wagon will beat my 2003 Porsche Boxster. The turbo power keeps pushing and the engine is a tiny 2.3l inline 5. I laugh as I pull away from cars - those Mustang GT's don't have great takeoff. The suede/leather seats are very comfortable and the heat is nice. Of course the safety aspect is tops for Volvo. Handling is good. Brakes are solid. Reliability is good for a European car. We've had the odo, radiator, ash tray, mass airflow sensor go out. The rear view mirror shook loose and was put back on.
Fastest/safest most reliable car i've ever owned,, at 156,000 it still "cruises" at 135 mph.. Ac dumped at 150,00 pirelli p zero' 17" hold the road like a custom glove.. If the abs/trac lights goes on/off it's the ignition key switch.. See one,, buy it !!! 25Mpg even at demon speed..Oh ,.. And the cd stereo ,,sounds like heaven and this is an 850 turbo "r" with the spoiler on the trunk and spoiler under front bumper
Impressively quick
Our Volvo 850R wagon was suppose to be a Home Depot weekend hauler and occasional camping car. Then I discovered the economy/power button! Wow! This car really moves. The economy mode allows the transmission to shift at lower rpms and less boost. The power mode lets this wonderful little engine roar! Turbo boost up, rpms up - right in the power band! If the numbers are correct, this car will beat my Boxster. After feeling the boost, I believe it will walk away from my Boxster up to 80mph. The seats are also very comfortable, the car has nice features and it sure is fun to drive. The suspension is okay at best. Overall a very impressive little box.
Volvo 850R Wagon
We bought our R Wagon used with 49K miles. After looking for Volvo turbo and non wagons, the R was a find. I figured if we were going to drive a wagon, it would be a bad ass one. Only complaint are amount of rattles which cannot completely be blamed on wheel and tire package as other Volvo's in our family were known to rattle. It's blast to drive around and a great highway cruiser. Passes at the blip of the throttle, brakes are strong and handles like it's smaller and lighter than it is.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1996 Volvo 850 R features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Volvo 850

Used 1996 Volvo 850 R Overview

The Used 1996 Volvo 850 R is offered in the following styles: R Turbo 4dr Sedan, and R Turbo 4dr Wagon.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Volvo 850 R?

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Used 1996 Volvo 850 R Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Volvo 850 R.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Volvo 850 R for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 Volvo 850 850 R you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo 850 for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $12,900.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,398.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo 850 for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,974.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,130.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Volvo 850?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volvo lease specials
Check out Volvo 850 lease specials