The United States version of the Volvo 850 came with a 20 valve I5 engine. It was also only sold with front wheel drive, which was a first among American Volvos.
Among the safety features that were standard on the Volvo 850 were dual front airbags, three point seat belts, antilock brakes, and head restraints. This would also be the first car to feature side torso airbags to protect passengers from those ever-dangerous side collisions. Without a doubt, this was one of the safest cars of its time, and it remains safer than just about any car on the modern market.
The luxury features that were standard on the Volvo 850 include leather interior, glass moonroof with power controls, keyless entry, heated seats, and automatic climate control.
Although it looked small from the outside, the 850 had a whole lot of interior room. 99 cubic feet, to be exact. That's more than many much larger luxury cars from makes like Mercedes Benz.
Do not assume that these safe, luxurious cars were necessarily slow. The 850 Turbo Wagon was one of the fastest station wagons of all time. How fast? It could go 162 mph if you can get past the electronic speed limiter, which won't let the car go past 142 miles per hour.
The 850 was renamed the S70 and V70 after 1998 to differentiate between the sedan and station wagon models.
There are plenty of nice used Volvo 850's on the used car market. I like to find the deals they have listed on eBay. You can often use CarFax to get a detailed history of the car to make sure there are no hidden accidents. Also be sure to check the seller's rating.