1996 Volvo 960 CD

Guide Price - £4,500 - £7,500


• Volvo service history
• 2 owners 
• 57,212 on the clock
• Fully equipped CD version

The Background

The origins of the Volvo 960 go back to 1982, but the final incarnation of Volvo’s range-topper is a significantly different car. Benefiting from the development of the 850, new engines and Volvo’s continuous evolution of their models, the 960 emerged as the ultimate RWD luxury Volvo that money could buy. The CD version of the 760 signified the very peak of Volvo’s aspirations to create their plushest car in their line-up. Volvo literally threw every available option to the model, adding a high dose of luxury to what was already is a supremely comfortable and safe car. 

This well looked after example with just 57,212 miles on the clock has full Volvo service history, a pile of paperwork with no indication of anything major having gone wrong. Its two previous owners have clearly had the inclination to ensure that this 1996 example the 2.5-litre CD saloon has seen the very best of care and attention.

The History

This car was originally used as a demonstrator at Volvo Yeovil and then bought by its first owner in 1997. This well-heeled gentleman subsequently retained the car for 17 years and kept the mileage low, particularly in the later years of his ownership. It was then acquired by the next owner, who was looking for a top-end 960 and has only added a further 17,000 unstressed miles to the mileage and mainly used the car for leisure purposes. 

The owner remarks that he feels there’s very little to match the Volvo 960 as a comfortable long-distance cruiser and has mentioned that they had kept the car under a cover during their ownership. 

The Paperwork

The car comes with a comprehensive folder of paperwork that includes Volvo service history to 2015 and has only covered an additional 5,000 miles since then. As to be expected for a quality car that has seen a cherished life, the spending has been mainly spent on consumables and servicing. Other than minor attention to the steering, the paperwork doesn’t flag up any issues with the mechanical hardiness of the car. 

Much of the work has also been carried out by the Volvo main dealer. The timing belt was replaced in 2014 at 41K, followed by a couple of more issues addressed for its MOT relating to an ABS fault. The car comes with an MOT to January 2022.

The Interior

The interior presentation oozes typical decadence with Volvos design sensibilities and offers the virtues of a combination of quality and solidity. The driver's seat has a little wear on the bolsters and minor marks on the rear seat but all shows no evidence of tears or irreparable damage. The carpets have lasted very well and are in great condition. All of the door cards suggests careful use with some minor scuffs on the driver's door and the leather of both of the tops of the front doors showing a little weathering. 

The dashboard has also been well cared for, free of any significant blemishes or wear. In addition, the plastic, leather and veneer elements are in good shape with no suggestions of damage. Switches and controls look good, and all are said to function, although the air con wasn’t quite as icy cold as hoped and the digital LCD time display has deteriorated, otherwise all other visual elements on the dashboard reflect the cars low mileage. The steering wheel and gear shifter are good, with no issues in regard of wear.

This positive opinion of the cabin is offset by the roof lining issue, which is actually in good shape but is loose at the back of the car. A repair has been carried out but will need further investigation and is the only blot in the presentation of what is a very inviting and appealing interior. The boot has also been spared of heavy use, with the carpets and boot lining all looking close to new.

The Exterior 

The body is very presentable, with the quality of the panel fit and even gaps throughout suggesting careful ownership. As to be expected for a car of this age it has a handful of body imperfections in the form of minor dents - one of the bonnet and nearside rear wing, but these have to be considered minor, as the rest of the metalwork really is in pleasingly solid condition. 

There are no significant suggestions of body corrosion, with the arches, lower doors, outer sills and panel work all looking good - there may be a suggestion that the lower off-side rear arch has seen some work in the past. Doors open and close with no issues. Structure-wise, the car follows the same script as the exterior assessment, with the inner wings, chassis rails and floor pan all looking good. 

The paint retains a deep gloss, with good coverage and no notable issues with the quality, although the lower off-side rear arch is a little flat but again not enough to distract. The lacquer still looks good throughout, with minor blemishes noted on some of the flatter panels. The front bumper has also seen a blow over, which considering the cars use during its motorway travels is to be expected. This correlates with the minor paint and blemishes chips observed on the bonnet and a handful around some of the panels but still remarkably good for a 25-year-old car. 

The glass is good, with no issues in terms of significant damage, with a little light lamination damage observed on the base of the windscreen. The door and glass rubber are all decent with no suggestion of dampness or leaks inside the car. The trim is complete with nothing other than the lightest of wear noted on the bumpers. The front lights are good with no damage, although the near-side front indicator has aged somewhat and the rear nearside taillight cover has a minor crack. The car has seen a full set of recently fitted Goodyear tyres, which are naturally in tip-top condition. They are adorned on a set of decent alloys wheels that show minor signs of age but could polish up well.

The Mechanics 

Mechanically the car has seen plenty of attention from its respective owners, so there should not be significant worries of note. The engine runs well, with no obvious knocking or unwanted noises noted while the car was ticking over. It idles smoothly with no evidence of overheating. 

The steering and suspension were free of significant creaks and said not to knock when the car is in action. The auto gearbox shift is smooth and engages with no problems. The brakes were good, with no drama to their operation. The exhaust is in good condition, performing without any suggestions of blowing or excess smoke.

 The engine’s physical condition is in line with the age of the car, but as it has a good maintenance documentation, the presentation should not put potential buyers off. The 2.5 petrol engines with auto gearboxes tended to attract older owners when new and the units are rarely over-stressed. 

The Appeal

As a long-distance and well-mannered cruiser, the Volvo 960 CD is up there with the best. Its remarkable reputation for comfort, reliability and space is helped by the fact that maintenance costs are not as expensive as its rivals. 

Deceptively quick with peaky performance and surprisingly able handling, the old fogey image could surprise many if you needed to press the car into action. Not to mention the car's excellent build quality and safety, the 960 CD is still an intelligent solution for dependability. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1996
  • Make Volvo
  • Model 960 CD
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 57,212 Miles
  • Engine size 2473
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
5 bids from 3 bidders
  • george-•••• £4,700 04/10/21
  • kelvin-•••• £4,500 03/10/21
  • kelvin-•••• £3,800 03/10/21
  • george-•••• £2,550 03/10/21
  • ken-sun•••• £1,500 02/10/21

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