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1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

5dr Sportswagon 5-Spd w/Sunroof

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  • $28,410 original MSRP

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Printable Version

1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

Printable Version

1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

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1994 Volvo 850

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

For years, Volvos have been praised for their solidity, lengthy road life and reputation as being virtually invincible when it comes to impact resistance. Adjectives such as "sporty" and "stylish," however, were rarely used to describe Volvo's utilitarian, built-for-comfort-not-for-speed design-especially when the talk turned to wagons.

But Volvo's serious reputation began to change last year when the Swedish t maker introduced its front-wheel drive 850 series sedan, with its sleek lines and 168-hp, 20-valve, five-cylinder engine. That vehicle clearly filled a need in the market-place: After just one year, the 850 sedan accounts for a high percent of Volvo's U.S. sales.

Now, Volvo has followed up that success story by offering a turbocharged 2.3-liter, 222-hp engine - in both the 850 sedan and the new 850 Sportswagon. For the wagon, the result is a delightful synergy of safety, durability, roominess, superior ride comfort, and levels of power and handling quite uncommon in a vehicle of this type.

The MSRP of our test 850 Sportswagon was $30,985. Optional amenities such as leather seats, a wood-trimmed instrument panel and a front-passenger power seat bumped the price up to $34,335.

Walkaround

Our test Sportswagon, at first look, struck us as a slight variation on the venerated Volvo theme. (Keep in mind that buying a Volvo is like purchasing a Brooks Brothers suit: You're more interested in understated elegance and product integrity than in making a fashion statement.) Upon closer inspection, however, the front end's cleaner, more aerodynamic lines revealed themselves. The windshield was gracefully swept back, framed by matte plastic trim, while the corners were smooth and nicely rounded. The sturdy, integrated front fascia wrapped around to the wheel wells, and a bodyside molding ran the length of the vehicle and transformed into the rear fascia.

The rear wheel wells boasted a flared ridge to intercept and deflect the impact of shopping carts and other car doors. But we took off a few points for the inconvenient passenger-side gas tank filler. And, oddly enough for a wagon, there wasn't a roof rack or clasps for fastening skis or luggage.

But it was the rear end of our 850 Sportswagon that was most distinctive-in fact, we'd never seen a design quite like it. Keeping with Volvo's reputation for safety-mindedness, the highly visible taillights ascended from the bumper all the way to the roof - so there was no chance of a rear-ender offender feebly protesting, "But I didn't see you.""|"The generously expansive windows of our 850 Sportswagon offered all-around visibility. The instrument cluster was beautiful in its simplicity - no faux-cockpit digitized conceits there. Everything was straightforward and conveniently laid out.

The instrument console controls gave our driver easy access to the windows, the heater, the shift-lock override and the traction-control system.

In the event of differing tastes in temperature levels, the 850 Sportswagon should help keep the peace with its separate heater controls for the driver and front passenger.

Volvo engineers in chilly Sweden evidently empathize with drivers in the more frigid regions of the United States: The rear view mirror and all the outside mirrors were heated, and the transmission could be adjusted to a winter mode to prevent rocket-like takeoffs in third gear on icy roads.

Up front, the power-seat option offered the driver and Passenger a variety of positions for maximum comfort. And the front seats could each be preprogrammed to return to a preferred position.

Once again, it was in the aft section of the Sportswagon that Volvo engineers earned our praise for smart, functional design. The rear seat boasted three-point, self-adjusting seat belts that were fastened to the seat backs, not the door pillars. So when the seats were folded down, the belts folded down with them instead of getting in the way of cargo. The rear seat was designed with a 60/40 split, and either one or both of the seats folded down depending on cargo needs. For maximum storage, the front passenger seat folded forward, allowing 10 feet of horizontal storage space.

The rear seat configuration also included a fold-down armrest that could double as a booster seat for a small child. However, it didn't appear that it would afford junior much comfort on long trips.

Interior Features

Our 850 Sportswagon was powered by a turbocharged, 222-hp, 20valve engine. So when we say this baby hauled, we don't just mean groceries. Yet, make no mistake: This wasn't abrupt, whiplash-inducing acceleration. Whether we were going from a standing stop or accelerating quickly on a freeway entrance ramp, the 850 Sportswagon's power was understated-like the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. The five-cylinder engine pumped out 222 hp at 5,200 rpm, with a nearly flat torque curve (221 pound-feet at 2,100 rpm).

The turbocharged engine came with an automatic transmission that allowed our driver to select from one of three driving modes: The economy mode shifted subtly at lower rpm levels, the sport mode shifted more assertively at higher rpms for maximum performance, and the aforementioned winter mode forced the transmission to start in third gear, limiting the torque availability and wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

This all means that the 850 Sportswagon handled beautifully. Volvo engineers tweaked their Patented Delta Link semi-independent rear suspension, firming up the springs, shock settings and sway bars. The result was sure, responsive steering and a maneuverability that had us darting in and out of traffic like a rabbit. Even when negotiating hard corners, the 850 hugged the road without compromising the ride that could best be described as dreamy.

Driving Impressions

When you're spending $34,335 for a vehicle, you're clearly in a position to ask for something special. You say you want sports-car performance and a land-yacht ride, combined with the roominess of a wagon? With the Volvo 850 Sportswagon, you just might get it all.

What we found most striking about the 850 Sportswagon-remember, this is a station wagon, after all-was its 7-second 0 to 60-mph acceleration, which left many sedans and coupes choking on its dust.

Obviously, most wagon buyers aren't looking to light up their tires on the way to the kids' hockey practice. But for dads and moms whose unruly broods haven't dampened their yearning for power in the pedal, the 850 Sportswagon may be just the ticket.

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Printable Version

1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Printable Version

1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

Volvo Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-year/100,000-mile exclusionary warranty. The Volvo factory-backed CPO warranty fully covers every part not specifically excluded: including replacement/repair of thousands of components, systems and operations.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model years less than 5 years with under 80k miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 130+ Point Inspection
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1994 Volvo 850 Wagon

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