1997 Volvo 850 Consumer Review: Nearly 12 yrs old, and still p

1997 Volvo 850 Sedan - Consumer Review

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Nearly 12 yrs old, and still pretty nice
By Matt on


1997 Volvo 850 GLT Turbo 4dr Sedan


Nice car for casual driving. Turbo gives some oomph, but responds better to steady application of throttle than stomping on pedal. Decent torque at low RPM makes it adept at city driving - even in hills. Nice leather interior, except for odd control layout. Has held up well, over time. No major problems with rattles, except sometimes from sunroof. Handling is not great. In spite of repair shop insisting suspension components were in good shape, I found cornering far worse than newer, sporty European sedans (including newer Volvos). Interestingly, car isn't as heavy as you'd think. Bought in 2000 w/ 50k miles. Now, at 185k, still surprisingly nice. But then I stayed up-to-date on service!

Best Features

Spacious trunk & decent size back seat are nice. Turbo is fun. Comfortable seats. Some plastic has chipped or cracked, but leather interior holding up well. Note: don't know about the first owner, but I have no kids and 99% of my driving is by myself. Stereo is pretty good, especially speakers.

Worst Features

Road feel seems good, but cornering could be much better. Suspension doesn't damp bumps as well as it could. Some sticky drinks eventually dripped into front seat window controls (right beneath cup holders!). They no longer work well and I don't lower front-right out of fear of up switch failure!
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