Volvo owner, Volvo DIY’er, and MVS Volvo Forums Contributor mecheng gives us his outstanding essay on how to buy a Volvo.
I am writing this guide to help the general public and enthusiast when looking for a Volvo 850, S70, referred to as the P80 series from 1993-2000. It is also referred to the 854 or 855, where the last digit is the number of doors. Why, you ask well there are still quite a few on the road which is a testament to their overall durability and corrosion resistance.
Long before the typical reliable Japanese car will rust to its demise, the Volvo will still be running strong (ask me how I know). This guide is not all encompassing and the reader is encouraged to do all the standard basic checks when buying any old car. Like, did this car take a swim in a lake, is it composed of two different Volvos welded together after getting demolished at your local derby? Those are things you will have to investigate yourself with a Carfax report and trained eye or just have open and look for simple things: ie: welds on the frame = bad. I don’t intend to cover all the specs, variants for that you have many other sources.
“The one word everyone asks is: are they reliable? In a word, I would say YES but they need maintenance to get the most worry free miles.”
The one word everyone asks is: are they reliable? In a word, I would say YES but they need maintenance to get the most worry free miles. They are not the kind of car that is set and forget; they need small amounts of love, as I will get into. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with their reliability because they are sometimes lumped into the General: European cars are not reliable category which is false.
How to Buy a Volvo