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MotorWeek’s YouTube channel is back with another retro review, this time of the 1996 Volvo 850R. The sporty wagon challenged people’s views of the boxy, safety-obsessed Swedish brand.
The car is well received, with host John Davis, praising the car’s four-wheel disc brakes and impressive handling.
On the other side of the equation, he takes a dimmer view of the optional birch trim, which he flat out calls ugly. The rest of the interior, though, he seems to like alright.
What’s most impressive about this car, though, is how modern it still looks. Sure, the grille looks pretty dated now, but if you compare it to, say, a Chrysler LeBaron from the same year, the 850 R holds up much better.
Even the interior that Davis hates so much looks alright today. And it’s a hint of the throughline to Volvo’s current excellence, with lighter, Scandinavian looks serving as a much-needed contrast to the dark, oppressive interiors of its German competition.