While these are great cars you do have to be very careful when buying a used one. Should you be looking for an 850 never buy one thats done high mileage unless it has an excellent service history that you can check before handing your cash over. I wouldnt reccomend one as a tow car simply because they eat front tyures at the bets of times never moind when they have a trailer or caravan to tow as well. This also applies to the v70's up to 1999. I have no experience of the later v70's yet but look how many are in spares or repair on ebay is always a good guide especially ones with gearbox problems which are very expensive to fix.
The v40 is by far one of the best looking estate cars & is a good car to consider when looking at the focus, Audi A4, Mercedes & more. However there is a big but: Looks good but it simply cannot deliver like a true old Volvo & the load space is apalling in comparison. Ignore adverts that say the load area is cavernous because it is only any use for a blancmange because of its shape whereas a 240, 740 or 940 (real Volvos) are square & you can fit a great deal more inside & are a good choice as a workhorse for tradesman & too many people fall into the trap of thinking an 850 or V series Volvo will be a good alternative for a small van & are almost always dissapointed.
Avoid high mileage ones because they are worth more in parts. They simply cannot do the mileage the old ones can & are only Volvos by badge. Always check for a perfectly smooth gear change on all 850 or V series Volvos because they do suffer with gearbox problems.
Should you be considering buying an 850 or V series Volvo & want more advice then feel free to contact me & whether buying a car from me or not I will be glad to help simply because I hate it when people contact me to buy their car for spares because they have been duped by an unscrupolous seller.
Thanks for reading my reviews & dont hesitate to contact me anytime up to midnight if I can be of any help at all, If I cant help then I know people that can.
Regards to all.