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Why do you (still) drive a P80?

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

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Why do you (still) drive a P80 Volvo?

I like them because they are somewhat cheap to own and operate.
14
13%
I like them because I like cars from the 90ies.
17
16%
I just can't afford a new car.
3
3%
I like the challenge of wrenching on cars.
20
19%
They make sense from a specific financial point of view (tax deduction, low insurance costs, ...).
9
8%
I like longevity.
23
22%
I think operating vehicles long is environmentally friendly and saves resources.
20
19%
 
Total votes: 106

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BlackBart
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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by BlackBart » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:04 pm

j-dawg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:05 pm
I'd had a crush on them ever since seeing a video as a teenager of a turbo 850 shredding hard, and years later I finally went and bought one.

I'm not sure if anyone has commented on appearance yet? As goofy as it may sound, I like the way these cars look. Neat and compact, clean lines but not bland, good proportions. They're not beautiful, but they're purposeful without being slaves to function.
Exactly. Same guy designed the 122 and the 850 - hows that for family lineage. Look down the side of a wagon and see how it tapers, and how the glass surface rolls in as you go towards the back.

Form Follows function.

I think we got a postcard from the dealer in what, '93?..to come to the new 850 presentation. We had drinks and sat in them in the showroom. I thought, these are out of my league, but wow, what an interior. Maybe someday I could get one. Sure enough!
ex-1984 245T wagon
1994 850T wagon
2004 XC70 wagon BlackBetty
Is it time for a 1964 122 wagon?

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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:35 pm

j-dawg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:05 pm
RickHaleParker wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:25 pm
Has anybody seen a rusted out P80? .....
This was the main thing for me, coming from a rusty Toyota. I hated the rust and living in the Midwest these cars stood out to me as apparently rust proof. I'd had a crush on them ever since seeing a video as a teenager of a turbo 850 shredding hard, and years later I finally went and bought one.

I'm not sure if anyone has commented on appearance yet? As goofy as it may sound, I like the way these cars look. Neat and compact, clean lines but not bland, good proportions. They're not beautiful, but they're purposeful without being slaves to function.
Yeah, I agree. They are good looking cars. One of my cousins hates all of the boxy Volvos, but he’s into all the curvy new stuff so what does he know. I mean, look at most of the new Lexus models... yuck!


The rockers are the common rust area for those that do end up getting a little rusty. My cousin’s old V70 had badly rotted out rockers and on the frame where the lift points are. I’ll always remember the day we picked it up, and we had to swap a wheel before driving it home. We tried to jack it up, and the factory jack point collapsed right into the car. Then, once a kind neighbor of the seller let us borrow his floor back, we crushed the pinch on the frame just jacking it up. It was literally separating and crumbling apart.
Every time we jacked it up it sprinkled rust everywhere. That was by far the rustiest P80 I have ever seen! It came from NY not long before he bought it.
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 193k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 2??k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 108k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 162k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k- Never should have sold it


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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by j-dawg » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:36 pm

j-dawg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:05 pm
I'd had a crush on them ever since seeing a video as a teenager of a turbo 850 shredding hard, and years later I finally went and bought one.
By the way, this is that video:
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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by Stu70 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:57 pm

That’s Cool.
Ridiculous but soooo cool....
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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by RickHaleParker » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:48 pm

j-dawg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:05 pm
I'm not sure if anyone has commented on appearance yet? As goofy as it may sound, I like the way these cars look. Neat and compact, clean lines but not bland, good proportions. They're not beautiful, but they're purposeful without being slaves to function.

Yep good art without the Bling-Bling. Anybody can do Bling-Bling, which pulls the eyes away from the junk. It is like putting cheese on a burger. The cheese is there to cover up the taste of the poor quality meat ... that is, if it is meat .
Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.

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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by callahanoffroad » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 am

First a small amount of background. I'm in my mid-30's now, and presently I drive deliveries for a living (while building my small business).
I think to know where you're coming from you have to know where you've been. The vehicles I've driven influences what you buy in the future and what opinions you have any why. I've daily driven the following vehicles in my life (for whatever purpose): '96 Saturn SL1, '96 Buick LeSabre, '66 Ford F-100, '03 Mazda B3000, '96 Honda Civic ex, '85 Mazda Rx-7, '88 Toyota Supra Turbo, '12 Toyota Corolla S, '04 Land Rover Discovery SE7, '13 Subaru Outback, '86 Toyota Land Cruiser, '93 Toyota Pickup, '07 Chevy Aveo, '07 VW Touareg. I'm sure there's a few I'm forgetting.


I'll hit on a few points about the Volvo 850's/X70's that I love.

1: Comfort
I drive literally for a living. I put about 3000 miles a month on my car. So that seat, and driving position has to be comfortable. The p80 seats are nothing less than heaven. When I do long road trips, I always rent a car. They have been giving me some of the "nicer" newer cars to rent lately, and I have to say that aside from the Cadillac XTS that I drove, they we're all terrible. Especially those Chrysler seats. Yuck.

Sure the cup holders suck, but do you really need to be drinking while you're driving anyways?

Another comfort thing that people don't think about is viewlines, and blind spots. Newer cars have these massive A, B and C pillars, padded with airbags. Well, I can't see around them! The A-pillars on the p80's are thick, but have such small blind spots, that its super rare for there to actually be a car in my blind spot. Who needs blind spot indicators when you can actually see around your car? :lol:

2: Easy to work on
I have owned a few cars that were not easy to work on. My 850's were none of those. Now that I've owned a Volvo for about 8 years, I know all the ins and outs, who to buy from, what parts to get from where, etc. That is unbelievably valuable knowledge. Nothing on my two p80's has been particularly difficult to remove and replace. A few things have been stuck, and needed some persuading, but nothing has ever been so seized into place that it couldn't be removed with some effort. Save two things: A/C expansion can, and my thermostat housing bolts.

3: Storage volume
Both my wagon and sedan have had the storage volume of much larger vehicles. My sedan can hold 23 bags filled with five 14" pizza (with boxes). My wagon could hold 34 bags (there are pictures of these things in my Herman build thread linked in my signature). I have picked up large armoires in my wagon, and countless amounts of furniture, parts, and free stuff off craigslist and the like. My wagon helped me move from Boulder back to St. Louis this last time around.

4: Helpful community of Volvo owners
I cannot stress this one enough. It's fine to drive a great car, but if all of the repair forums are full of jerks, it's not a car I am going to keep for very long. MVS (yes all of you on this board) and Robert Spinner (RSPI\RobertDIY), keep me coming back every time I have an issue. Guys who drive cars like supras and civics argue about who has the best turbo build, and what the best techniques are to build and engine, and quite frankly use demeaning language to do it. Guys who are american car enthusiasts aren't always the best communicators, so the help you get is vague, and often wrong. Land Rover repair is almost non-existent.

But Volvo people? Oh. They are the cream of the crop. Everyone is polite, helpful, wants to learn more, and quite frankly goes out of their way to make sure you got the problem fixed. The worst disagreement on this forum? Oil viscosity. Oh, and fuel rating. Those are the politics and religion of Volvo people. Just don't talk about them. :lol:

Robert's videos. When I am nervous to tackle a project, it is so freaking helpful to have a video to watch before I tackle something to see if I can handle it or not. His helpful, folksy way of speaking, and his soft demeanor makes me believe that anyone (especially me) can fix this issue.

5: Great blend between, function, comfort, performance, and economy.
If a car is comfortable, it is probably not performance oriented. If it's functional, it's probably not nice to drive. If it is performance oriented, the economics are going to bite you in the butt (expensive parts, gas, brakes, and tires) But Volvo hit this really nice blend of all four of those categories. Sure I'd love a 5-series BMW or E-Class Mercedes wagon, but the balance will be off.

If you haven't read it yet. Check out my on-going build thread "Herman and Operation 30MPG" It is nothing more or less than a love song for my Volvo. Link is in my signature.
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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by matthew1 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:39 am

My thoughts on the 850 interior. TLDR: functional, beautiful... the penultimate example of form following function, and it's a whole lotta controls, not just a pretty but simple device like a midcentury modern desk lamp etc.

Newbies: 850 history.

As has been said, the exterior is handsome and understated and still looks awesome today. What a car, man, what a car.

This is an outstanding topic/poll, Clemens.
Clemens wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:07 pm
So, why do you still drive a P80 Volvo after well over 20 years?
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:15 am

callahanoffroad wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 am
The worst disagreement on this forum? Oil viscosity. Oh, and fuel rating. Those are the politics and religion of Volvo people. Just don't talk about them. :lol:
And as we found in this thread, turning radius! :lol:
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 193k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 2??k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 108k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 162k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k- Never should have sold it


Need used parts? PM me!

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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by abscate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:27 am

bmdubya1198 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:15 am
callahanoffroad wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 am
The worst disagreement on this forum? Oil viscosity. Oh, and fuel rating. Those are the politics and religion of Volvo people. Just don't talk about them. :lol:
And as we found in this thread, turning radius! :lol:
Waterfall beauty vs pukey honeycomb grills. As a moderator, I strive to remain neutral on these.
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Re: Why do you (still) drive a P80?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:04 pm

abscate wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:27 am
bmdubya1198 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:15 am
callahanoffroad wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:59 am
The worst disagreement on this forum? Oil viscosity. Oh, and fuel rating. Those are the politics and religion of Volvo people. Just don't talk about them. :lol:
And as we found in this thread, turning radius! :lol:
Waterfall beauty vs pukey honeycomb grills. As a moderator, I strive to remain neutral on these.
Excellent job on that!

Egg crate wins, obviously! :wink:
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 193k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 2??k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 108k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 162k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k- Never should have sold it


Need used parts? PM me!

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