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Best year for an 850

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

jbrown122
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Best year for an 850

Post by jbrown122 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:52 pm

850 owners,

I'm doing a bit of research for a family member who might be interested in 850s. I was wondering.. whats the best year for these? 1996 seems to have the highest reviews. So maybe a 96 is a good choice?
Any input is appreciated!



IVIUSTANG
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IVIUSTANG

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by IVIUSTANG » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:37 pm

1996 is a good year, I would also think the 1997 would be just as good or better. The early 850's still had a few kinks that weren't ironed out. Or you could always go for a 1998 S70, the best year of that model with a nicer interior than the 850. I just noticed, you have the same first initial and last name as me!

- Jesse


1998 S70 T5 SE 290,000 KM sideswiped total loss(Sweet ride!)
2007 S60 2.5T loaded 63,000KM SOLD!
2006 XC70 350,000 KM, 2" BadSwede lift kit, steel skidplate, Hilton Stage 1 tune, big burly tires :D

wheelsup
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Re: Best year for an 850

Post by wheelsup » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:45 pm

The 98 70 series was an 850 redesigned on the outside for the most part. That would be my vote. Next after that would be a 95 because it's got the OBDI computer up front and OBDII port in the interior. Best of both worlds - you can check and clear codes without any special equipment.

Also the 93's and 94's had a slightly more blocky look to them (haha) I think with 95 and up you can't go wrong and just look for something with relatively low miles that has documentation on the problem areas. You want evidence of PCV changes/Timing Belt/Transmission flushes at least IMO and oil changes would be nice but you can do a compression test to see if the engine is still healthy.

Sometimes you can find good deals on them around 140k because people don't want to pay the cost to do the timing belt replacement with a 15 year old car, so they sell it. Careful because they will price them @ retail cost and try to pull a fast one.

I was interested in one that wouldn't start w/ 120k on it and the guy wanted $2500 for it....yeah right buddy! He said it had a rebuilt tranny and when you looked at pics it was a towing car (had a hitch). No wonder it was rebuilt. No thanks!


1995 850 GLT Wagon w/ 185,000 miles

jblackburn
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jblackburn

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by jblackburn » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:09 pm

I'd say 96-97, or 98. I've driven both models; honestly, the S70 is a little more refined and less 90's-ish (I'm not biased - that's the reason I bought it!)

97 introduced the GLT light-pressure turbo engine, and the Turbo became the T5, with a little more power as well.

Look thoroughly over a couple models of both - get the one that has been best taken care of...I'm sure with your V70 you know what to look for :mrgreen:


'98 S70 T5
2016 Chevy Cruze Premier


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

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Ozark Lee

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by Ozark Lee » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:13 pm

The only one to really avoid is a '93. I like the OBD-I features on my '94 better than the OBD-II only on my '96s. The '98 S70 versions got the updated interior but it is my understanding that it is prone to peeling on the door panels due to the "green" glues used.

The '93 models are totally different animals but very little changed after the early '94 modifications on the 850s at least.

...Lee


'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
Previous:
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

meine39
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meine39

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by meine39 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:29 pm

wheelsup wrote:Next after that would be a 95 because it's got the OBDI computer up front and OBDII port in the interior. Best of both worlds - you can check and clear codes without any special equipment.
Agreed, our '95 had a no start condition, read the codes from the diagnostic port under the hood, decoded them right here on MVS (camshaft position sensor), and replaced it myself.

I'd avoid the leather interior in any of these cars if you can - the driver's outboard seat bolster and seat bottom wear out.
Last edited by meine39 on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.


1995 855 GLT 190K NA Auto
1998 BMW 528im 137K
2000 Toyota Camry 78K
2010 GMC Acadia 57K

confused_al
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confused_al

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by confused_al » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:29 pm

Ozark Lee wrote:I like the OBD-I features on my '94 better than the OBD-II only on my '96s. The '98 S70 versions got the updated interior but it is my understanding that it is prone to peeling on the door panels due to the "green" glues used.
I couldn't agree more, my 95 has all the goodies later 850s' have yet with a bullet-proved ABS controller and OBD I.


96 850 Platinum Wagon
98 MB ML320
06 V70
95 850 GLT(RIP)

schigara
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Re: Best year for an 850

Post by schigara » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:01 pm

To each his own but I beg to differ on this point. The S70 interior looks cheesy like a Ford Taurus, especially the CC and radio controls. The instrument cluster does look better though.

The door panels look more modern(can't say that's a good thing) since every one I have seen, the vinyl in the concave part of the door panel has pulled away from the panel.
IVIUSTANG wrote:Or you could always go for a 1998 S70, the best year of that model with a nicer interior than the 850.

- Jesse



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polskamafia mjl

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by polskamafia mjl » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:34 pm

schigara wrote:To each his own but I beg to differ on this point. The S70 interior looks cheesy like a Ford Taurus, especially the CC and radio controls. The instrument cluster does look better though.

The door panels look more modern(can't say that's a good thing) since every one I have seen, the vinyl in the concave part of the door panel has pulled away from the panel.
IVIUSTANG wrote:Or you could always go for a 1998 S70, the best year of that model with a nicer interior than the 850.

- Jesse
I also agree that the interior in the s70's is a bit cheesy and I actually prefer the dash on the 850's, I think it is a bit classier...plus, I can't think of any other car that has vertical door handles on the inside. I think a 94-95 would be a good bet as they did have the bullet proof ABS as well as OBD I. Regardless of year, try getting a turbo or t5r.


'All my money is gone and I have an old Volvo.' - Bamse's Turbo Underpants

Current: 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R Manual - Bringing it back from the brink of death
Previous: 1996 Volvo 850 GLT - Totaled

IVIUSTANG
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IVIUSTANG

Re: Best year for an 850

Post by IVIUSTANG » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:09 pm

I'm glad you like the 850 interiors, also; the peeling upholstery(leather?) on the doors was only on certain S70's not all. Mine is still sticking perfect since 1998. I'll take my S70 and enjoy it, you take your 850 and love it were all happy :D Mechanical twins.

- Jesse


1998 S70 T5 SE 290,000 KM sideswiped total loss(Sweet ride!)
2007 S60 2.5T loaded 63,000KM SOLD!
2006 XC70 350,000 KM, 2" BadSwede lift kit, steel skidplate, Hilton Stage 1 tune, big burly tires :D

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