1994 Volvo 850 T5 Turbo Auto Estate


  • An original and unmolested example of the ultimate 1990’s sports estate
  • A UK supplied car with great service history and just two owners from new
  • Sensible original mileage equating to a little over 3,500 miles a year on average

The Appeal

The 850 range was introduced by Volvo in 1991 and marked quite an innovative watershed for the company. The 850 was packed with innovations, including a transverse, 5-cylinder engine, SIPS side impact protection and front wheel drive. The 850 T5 Turbo was launched for the 1994 model year putting 225bhp at the disposal of the driver and adding automatic transmission as an option.

This example of the 850 T5 Turbo is a delightfully original car with a host of valuable extras and boasting just two owners and a sensible original mileage. Examples of this level of originality and with such clean provenance are becoming very hard to find.

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The History and Paperwork

  • This example was supplied new by Fishers Volvo in Sussex in February 1994
  • The first owner retained the car right up to 2014
  • During her tenure she covered around 95,000 miles
  • The current owner then acquired the car in September 2014
  • Since then, the current owner has added around a further 10,000 miles
  • There is a good level of interesting paperwork included with the car
  • This includes the V5 registration document in the name of the owner
  • The original Volvo book pack, service binder and suede folder are present
  • The service binder documents no less than 23 services in total
  • These are from a mix of Volvo dealers and independent specialists
  • The services cover mileages from 2,992 to 99,850 miles
  • The current MOT is valid until November 2023
  • For a car of this age, this represents a very desirable and straightforward provenance

The Interior

  • Immediately on opening the door we can see the first owner specified key options
  • The full leather upholstery in black was an option on the 850 T5 Turbo
  • So was the burr walnut dashboard finish and the automatic transmission
  • The condition of the front seats is excellent for the age of the car
  • There is a little wear in evidence to the driver’s seat bolster 
  • Otherwise, the seats just exhibit some charming age-related patina
  • The front seats are electrically heated for additional comfort
  • The rear bench is in a great condition with no faults noted
  • In the centre of the bench, the original integrated child seat is present
  • The dashboard looks great in its optional burr walnut trim
  • The instrument binnacle features a set of white on black gauges
  • This includes the trademark turbo boost gauge
  • These sit behind the original four spoke, Volvo steering wheel
  • The centre console houses the air conditioning and heater controls
  • The original, double DIN Volvo radio cassette head unit is also present
  • Door cards, headlining and carpets all look to be in a fine, original condition
  • The carpets have been protected with a full set of carpet mats
  • The huge boot is fully carpeted in the original grey cabin carpet
  • The floor is protected with a fitted, heavy duty rubber Volvo boot liner
  • Under the floor there is a full-sized spare wheel and the requisite tools
  • An original looking Volvo dog / luggage guard is fitted

The Exterior

  • This example is presented in original looking Black Sapphire Metallic (452)
  • The condition of the paintwork looks good overall given its age and originality
  • A good depth of shine is present on all panels
  • Inevitably, for a 29-year-old car there are a few scratches and chips evident
  • There are also some parking scrapes noted to the front bumper ends
  • The black sections of plastic trim have faded but could be easily restored
  • The key 850 T5 exterior refinements are all present and correct
  • These include the electric glass sunroof and headlamp wash / wipe system
  • The T5 rear roof spoiler and iconic five-spoke alloys wheels are original optional extras from the T5R
  • The 17-inch, open spoke alloys were exclusive to the T5 models
  • These are finished in an anthracite shade and are in a good, original condition
  • There is some minor kerb rash in evidence, but it is only visible on close inspection
  •  The wheels are shod with a matching set of 205/45 tyres
  • The cabin glass and light lenses appear original and in good order

The Mechanics

  • The 850 T5 is fitted with the B5234F, 20 valve, turbocharged, 5-cylinder engine
  • Originally this was rated at a healthy 225bhp at 5,200 rpm
  • In this case, that power is fed to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission
  • Volvo originally claimed a sub 8 second 0-60 time and a top speed of over 140 mph
  • As is evidenced by the service folder, this example has been diligently maintained
  • The under-bonnet presentation is as highly original as the rest of the car
  • It could be further improved with a deep clean and detailing, however
  • The underside of the car looks age appropriate with no areas of concern noted
  • The current owner attests to the everything working on the car
  • He also comments that it is highly practical whilst being exciting to drive


The Volvo 850 T5 was a highly desirable car in its day. Nothing else of the period could really match its unique blend of attributes.  A huge carrying capacity and five comfortable, leather-bound seats, perfectly suited to keeping the most demanding of families happy. The 225bhp, five-cylinder powerhouse of an engine was able surprise and delight when the backroads beckoned. Few other cars could do so much so well. Those attributes certainly aren’t lost on fans of modern classics, either, with demand proving strong and building for these remarkable cars.

This example is a really honest and highly original example. Yes, it sports a few scuffs and chips but then it is a 29-year-old car. What really differentiates it, however, is its complete originality, its two-owner history and its record of diligent maintenance. You may find yourself waiting a long time for another example of this calibre to come along, so act today and place you bids.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1994
  • Make Volvo
  • Model 850
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 105,061 Miles
  • Engine size 2319
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
7 bids from 2 bidders
  • laura-r•••• £5,600 29/05/23
  • Nitey £5,500 29/05/23
  • laura-r•••• £5,400 29/05/23
  • Nitey £5,300 29/05/23
  • laura-r•••• £5,200 29/05/23
  • Nitey £5,100 29/05/23
  • laura-r•••• £5,000 24/05/23

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