1996 Volvo 850 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons - Not Available

Other years
1996
Volvo 850 for Sale
List Price Estimate
$666 - $1,606

Used 850 for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

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.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

great performer overall
jsrobinow,06/13/2012
We have owned this car since new, now in the family 16 years. Has been very reliable comfortable and versatile. Manual gear box makes it fun to drive. Station wagon configuration makes as useful as any large SUV with vastly better gas mileage and nicer road handling. Odometer gear failed and I replaced the gear with an e bay source that included instructions on installation. ABS module failed and internet lead me to a place to buy a rebuilt one and installed it myself. These are two classic weak spots of this car that are easily fixed by the owner. Fuel pump did fail and was replaced. We now have 181K on odometer. Still running well. This model supports the legendary Volvo value
1996 Volvo 850 Station Wagon with 5 speed manual
mec12,11/13/2014
4dr Wagon
As of 11/30/2019 car has 228,500 miles of city stop and go miles. Overall car has been reliable. Since I am 5'10", the excellent headroom and speed control has made long distance driving a joy. I use semi synthetic 10W-30 motor oil to reduce or minimize oil consumption. No oil leaks. Car has original engine, original transmission. Would not hesitate to recommend this car to anyone. Plan on keeping the car until a minimum of 300,000 miles.
Great Car!!
josh63,11/05/2011
I bought this car about 2 months ago. It had about 144,500 miles on it when I got it. I just hit 150,000 today! I have to say the one downfall of this vehicle is the gas mileage I average 26mpgs. I willl say in the short time that I have owned this car I have been pleased, I commute about 1.5 hours to and from school so its holding up to about 150 miles a day, which is very good for a car of its age. The interior is very comfortable, and very well designed, my driver seat heater quit working, that is the only downfall I have seen on the inside. The car also handles very well in the rain, I hate to say it but I almost enjoy driving in the rain now!! When this one dies I WILL have another one!
What a sleeper
DIC_CAMARILLO,01/21/2010
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.

Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
168 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
222 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
222 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Volvo 850 features & specs

Safety

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
    Good

More about the 1996 Volvo 850

Used 1996 Volvo 850 Overview

The Used 1996 Volvo 850 is offered in the following submodels: 850 Sedan, 850 Wagon, 850 R. Available styles include R Turbo 4dr Sedan, GLT 4dr Wagon, Turbo 4dr Wagon, Platinum Limited Edition Turbo 4dr Sedan, 4dr Sedan, GLT 4dr Sedan, Platinum Limited Edition Turbo 4dr Wagon, R Turbo 4dr Wagon, Turbo 4dr Sedan, and 4dr Wagon.

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

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Volvo 850s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Volvo 850 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used 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.

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

Find a used Volvo 850 for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,713.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $9,237.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo 850 for sale - 7 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $8,071.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $14,335.

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