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Hi. I love my Volvo 850 T5 Turbo N Reg. All black and lovely with the most comfortable leather interior. Solidly built with and excellent standard of exterior and interior finish, this is a truly luxurious prestige car. Pushing on a bit in the styling department, it still looks fabulous at 14. (try finding a Mondeo, Vectra or Passat you could say the same about). Bought secondhand for £500 with a full mot and some tax this must be my best buy ever.
There's a reason that the police used them for armed response vehicles...built like a tank and very very fast. Even in Auto form this thing doesn't hang about and always seems to have reserves of power on tap for all eventualities.
Whilst not the most economical car you'll ever buy I find it surprisingly thrifty on my many long excursions of 500+ miles. The unrivalled comfort and total assurance of getting there safe and well are worth the running costs. Only my fave Jaguar XJ's can trump this for comfort and driving pleasure.
Overall, this car is 14 years old, looks as good as new, has NO rust and is as reliable and as pleasurable to drive as any new car I've ever had. Running it is an affordable extravagance especially since owning and using it is a real pleasure.
If you've got deep pockets and value quality of the driving experience over cheap running costs, then this is a great car to own. Ours is now 14 years old, (1996 vintage) cost less than £1,000 a few years ago and is still going okay.
The seats are incredibly comfortable, and have heaps of fine tuning adjustments - you can make the back support firmer, can tip the whole seat back (as opposed to just adjusting the back of the seat) and can also lift them higher or lower, which I found quite useful. Plus the front seats have their own heaters. I never thought I would use this, but being leather seats, and sometimes needing to use the car on a cold 6am winter's morning, I've found its a feature I have used.
Our car is automatic - I've never understood the love on manual cars here in the UK, and would much rather drive an automatic. Having driven a few over the years, I would say the Volvo 850 is more responsive than is usual for automatic cars. The power steering is quite good - not underpowered like you get on some cars. And, for its size, it's surprisingly easy to park. It helps not to have the bit sticking out the back, like you get with sedans - at least you always know where the back of the car is :-)
There's a few little extras I like about the car - things like cup holders which hold bottles and cups and a digital display which shows the temperature outside.
Even though this is a 2.6 litre car, the insurance, to my surprise, was quite cheap - only £218 fully comp, with 5 years no claim bonus. Mind you, it wouldn't exactly be an easy car to steal, as cars go. So maybe that's reflected in the insurance premium.
Our car feels really safe to drive, which could just be an illusion, but driving around in a Clio recently, I missed the "safe and secure" feeling I always get in the Volvo.
On the downside, it costs an arm and a leg to run. Petrol costs work out to 20p a mile and if it needs fixing, it isn't cheap. What you save on insurance, you lose out on the road tax, which is relatively expensive. Also, I don't really like the headlights. I would have expected them to be stronger, or more focused, but even fiddling with them over the years, they don't seem to be as good as the new cars you get nowadays.
Also, you have to be alert when you are driving it, because it really doesn't understand things like the speed limit is 70 miles an hour, and will edge up in no time at all if you don't watch it. It has that annoying ability of large cars, to make 70 miles an hour feel pedestrian. If our car could talk it would say "When are you moving to Germany? I'll settle for france, I suppose......"
Being an estate, I would expect it to hold a lot of stuff - and it does, but I have noticed that the height between the base of the boot and the ceiling of the car is not as high as I expect it to be, looking at the car from the outside. This can be a bit of a hassle, and means we usually have to use the roof rack for the bigger items, even though we bought the Volvo specifically to carry items that don't fit easily into a normal five door hatchback.
I definitely would not recommend this vehicle to ANYONE. Since I purchased mine in 2002 I have had nothing but problems. If you still wish to buy a vehicle of this sort be prepared to replace the following items on a consistant basis, and the replacements are not inexpensive.Front TiresInner and Outer Tie rod endsSway bar end linksColtrol armscontrol arm bushingsControl mountsand basically any and everything pertaining to the suspension of the vehicle.
Part of the attraction for me in buying an 850 T5 (2319cc, 5-cylinder 20v turbo, 225bhp model) was the fact that it looks like nothing special, but goes like a scalded cat. This seems to help the insurance cost, as nobody seems to steal them! About the only thing I can gripe about on this car is the wheelspin/front tyre wear, which is kind of inevitable on a car putting such power through the front wheels alone. Next, I think I may consider the more recent, 4x4 version of the same car, the V70 AWD, depending on a) finding one and b) affording it :) We can all dream. Oh yes, the comfort, finish, ride quality, reliability, space (lots of in estate model) and sound (both engine note AND speaker system) are all well above average. Petrol economy is fairly poor, as one would expect from a 2.3 turbo.
These cars are just starting to become affordable for those of us who don't want to pay new car prices. In addition you get an awful lot of car for your money. If you are considering purchasing one of these here is my take on the matter. First, these cars have been around a while now and it is likely that you’ll come across many models with a high mileage. In fact, it is likely that the one you like the look of has been around the world a couple of times. However, mileage in the main is not an issue. Myself and many others have bought our 850s with well over 100k miles and have had no more problems than you might expect from a less well travelled model. You do have to take the usual precautions though as with purchasing any second hand car; make sure you get a good service history, check that everything works as it should, make sure the alloys (if it has them) are in good condition – poorly looked after alloys can be a sign of a careless owner!, also check that the tyres are good quality ones especially if you are looking at the more performance models. Sorry, what was that you said, performance? Yes indeed, what some people won’t recognise is one of the things that made this particular model of Volvo very popular amongst those in the know is that it has a racing heritage. Back in 1994 Volvo entered an 850 estate in the British Touring Car Championships – and actually started winning races. For many of us that started the love affair with this model and in particular the two high powered versions the 2.3 litre T-5 and the R. These models have 225 and 245 bhp respectively, large alloy wheels, all round disc brakes and a huge amount of interior options for those who like their ‘toys’. If you purchase one of these models you will realise that they have huge performance, handling to match and are basically extremely rewarding to drive. The other models in the range include: 2.0 lit
re 10 valve model with is best avoided as it is a bit overworked in this car, 2.5 litre 10 valve model which has a good torque range and is good for load lugging, 2.5 litre 20 valve model which is a bit more effortless when cruising, 2.5 litre turbo diesel which has good performance and better fuel economy, 2.5 litre 20 valve light pressure turbo AWD model which is suited to those who need the agricultural features. Basically there is a version to suit all tastes. Other things to think about include whether you want an estate or a saloon. In reality there is little difference but the estate is much more practical with masses of space for all your trips to the DIY sheds, supermarkets, seaside, etc, etc. You’ll also find that the estate holds its price better so whilst you’ll pay a little more you’ll also get more for it when you come to sell it. As I mentioned, interior options are wide ranging but a lot of the standard equipment is very good, you’ll be hard pushed to find better seats in any car. Whilst the car you buy might not have a cd player (it is an option but obviously they don’t all have them) the speaker set up if very good (having 8 all together) and it is extremely easy to fit an aftermarket stereo. Safety is legendary and most vehicles have airbags up front and at the sides. If you read the ‘net and the various forums you’ll also find that there are a couple of continuing niggles everyone seems to have at some point during their ownership. The first and potentially most expensive is the air conditioning. If you get a model with air con make sure it works, with plenty of cold air and don’t run it for the last mile or so of your journey so that any water in the system can evaporate and thus avoid any issues with corrosion. The second is trim rattles. Basically there are known problem areas such as the tailgate trim which can start to rattle, so it’s a
matter of going round with your torx set tightening up the bolts, lubricating the catches, and making sure everything is snug. The final point to mention is the ride. I would say that for most Europeans the ride is just firm and nothing particularly out of the ordinary, but if you come from North America and you are used to floating around in a big arm chair then it might be somewhat of a shock – again aftermarket springs and dampers are available if you really bothered. To avoid ending on a bad note I just want to reiterate that these are great cars, with a range of features to suit everyone whether it is performance you are after, load carrying capacity, caravan or trailer towing, safety, or just like the look of them. You may read in various places around the ‘net about people with bad experiences and they are obviously genuine problem cases but you have to remember that more people will vent their frustration than their happiness. If you do your homework, make sure you really check out the model you are going to buy then you will enjoy owning a Volvo 850. There are some very good resources about, both on the ‘net and in the real world to help you get the most from your purchase.
Well, I hope that the title has at least managed to grab your attention! Over the last few weeks my family and I (wife, toddler, and bump) have been looking for a car suitable for the family to have as a workhorse-cum-day out kind of car. Our Mondeo estate is a bit of a wreck and is a pain to drive- it's uncomfortable, does about 31mpg, and drinks a sumpfull of oil in 2000 miles. Anyway, we have been trawling around with a budget of £4000, trying to see what we could get. The only stipulation was that it had to be a car that I could fit in (I'm 6 foot 8 by the way- just thought I'd say that to excite Mrs Murphy!). I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of every care looked at, but we have purchased our new vehicle, and I shall name him Sven. Sven is nearly 8 years old, has done 101000 miles, but has been fully serviced and looks good. And I even admit that driving Sven makes me look a good deal sexier as well! Sven is a bright red Volvo 850 2.0 GLT Saloon. He has got a whopping great spoiler on the back, and is definitely the strong silent type. The condition of the car was very good indeed. The interior was spotless, the engine was quiet and it is just a lovely car. So what bells and whistles has it got, I hear you ask. Well, if you shut up and wait a second, I'll tell you... Sven has the following features that make me, sorry him, look even sexier: Power Steering Electric Sunroof Electric Front Windows Electrically adjustable and heated mirrors Heated front seats (oooh, matron!) The back seats fold down, which is very handy as I went to IKEA and bought a bed for Ellie last week. The interior is half-leather, but unfortunately there are no whips and chains... sorry, got sidetracked there! In terms of performance, the car has got 134bhp under it's lid, and can do abouy 125 mph I should think. Being a respectable law-abiding citizen I h
ave only ever driven at the speed limit. Economy wise he's giving me about 33mpg, which is better than the Mondeo he replaces. All in all, we have chosen a safe, affordable (he cost £3500) and stylish family car which, if looked after well, will last us a good ten years or so. Or if he lasts until Ellie is 16 I'll fit a meter ready for it's task as 'dad's taxi'!
After 3 years of ownership, frankly, I wouldn't recommend the 850 model to anybody. Consider the following when making a purchase: 1. Poor steering design I believe that this was the first of Volvo's modern front wheel drive vehicles: it shows. The steering is imprecise and has far too much play, giving you the feeling that you are driving a boat rather than a car. The front tyres wear unevenly and can quickly become illegal with bald outer tread after only a few thousand miles. 2. Poor manufacture The glass sunroof rattles all the time. I believe that this is a design fault. It is really annoying. The tailgate panels break loose if the rear door is used a lot. The interior panel is held on by flimsy plastic lugs that are not up to the forces of regular slamming shut. 3. Bad quality parts The air conditioning units are prone to failure due to poor quality condensors that quickly rust. Unfortunately they tend to fail just outside the warranty period -- so beware. Replacing the condensor requires the removal of the dashboard and will leave you with a bill that is only a gnats under a thousand quid. I have also had problems with brake failure, cruise control failure and numerous little problems that added together make this "the worst car that I have ever owned".