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1993 - 1997 Volvo 850 Pre-Owned

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Khatir Soltani

Price considerations brought a detuned 2.4-L engine with two fewer valves per cylinder in model year 1995, with the multivalve engine still available. Other features for the year included new front occupant side-impact airbags in the top turbo model, while a Platinum Edition 850 pushed the model's price over the $50K mark for the first time.

Featuring a high-output turbo and AWD, the awesome Volvo 850 R debuted in 1996. (Photo: Volvo Cars of Canada)

The following year, 1996, brought the most exciting Volvo model to date, the 850 R. Featuring a high-output turbo and AWD, the raciest Volvo marked the brand's first attempt at taking on BMW and Mercedes-Benz' respective M and AMG tuner models. The 240-hp sedan was capable of a 7.0 second sprint to 100 km/h (the wagon achieving this in 7.5 seconds), which made it either a yellow, black or red blur - the only colors offered. Volvo also made optional traction control (TRACS) available in '96.

Model year 1997 was good for two reasons, first with the upgrade to from the 850 to the V70 wagon that I already mentioned and the second being an increase of 22 horsepower for the GLT model. The regular high-output turbo (not the R) was renamed the T5, for turbo 5-cylinder. The designation carries forward even on today's cars.

During this five year period Volvo still focused on safety despite the 850's sporty styling and impressive performance. Dual front airbags were standard fare right from the beginning, as were 3-point seatbelts in all positions, including the middle rear seat. The 850 also boasted superior crash protection, with special attention paid to side impact resistance. A sophisticated ABS braking system was also part of the standard package. Last but hardly least a convenient child safety seat could be integrated into the second row fold-down centre armrest.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
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  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada