I really wanted to like this car, it's predecessor (a Volvo 240 wagon) was great. 1. Right rear taillight lens fell off (replaced entire assembly) 2. Right front corner lamp lens fell off (replaced entire assembly) 3. Neutral safety switch was replaced twice. 4. Right rear passenger window stopped working. 5. Ball joints replaced. 6. Complete head rebuild due to ?burned? valves. 7. Speed sensor replaced. 8. Camshaft position sensor replaced. 9. Catalytic converter failed. 10. Rear main seal leak. 11. Radio stopped working properly. 12. A/C compressor replaced. This car was purchased at Volvo dealer (Volvo of the Triad in NC).
I've been very happy with my 960. This car has been very reliable. For 9 years old it is in very good shape. Maintenance is extremely impotent and can be expensive if you use a dealer. You really have to take a proactive approach and not wait till something goes wrong. I do all my own maintenance that keeps my running costs low. Things like timing belt and fluids are critical. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.
A great long distance driver! The 960 is WAY more reliable than our XC which we are about to ditch. We got the 960 in good shape from neighbors in '99 w/only 38K miles on it. During our ownership, we replaced the catalytic converter and now the a/c evaporator and bellows, which will cost us plenty, but it's the most reliable car we have ever owned and we want to keep it going. The rest is typical stuff - oil, filter, brakes, belts, etc. Rear wheel drive is not great in snow, but just get some dedicated snow tires and take it easy and you're fine. Turning radius incredible. Seats truly comfortable.
It has been a great car although I need to replace the AC at this time. As for design flaws, it does not have a drink holder and also the CD Changer in the trunk is not convenient. Other than that we have loved this car.
I bought car from Volvo dealer at 3 yrs old and 34,000 miles, now have 71,000 I like driving this car I think more than any car I have owned, it is easy to drive, feels secure, always reliable, excellent visibilty, turns in small radius, still looks good, I averaged 27 mpg on recent 1200 mile road trip. Major work in last 4 yrs, timing belt 400.00, four wheel brake job $500.00 and just recently catylic converter and oxagen sensor, $950.00, labor rates here are 80-90 dollars/hour still repairs not too bad in 8yrs.