Never owned a volvo, but looking into getting a wagon soon. I don't know enough yet to decide on which model and years are preferable.
In my current state of Volvo ignorance, I am leaning towards a ~1996 850, mostly because I prefer the exterior aesthetics.
Turbo sounds great, but I have never owned a turbo car and I assume there is a tradeoff for the gains. Do they increase the maintenance costs, reduce drivetrain longevity, double the fuel costs, etc?
I plan on being the only mechanic that works on the car, so if there is a cutoff year when I will need proprietary software interface or whatnot, I would prefer avoid that. I am a mechanic by trade, but not late model cars; just automated industrial machinery and pre-1970 muscle cars and hot rods. I have wrenched on later model cars, but never had to go beyond a generic OBD-II scanner to deal with the computers.
How well can these things be made to corner and brake?
Is the RWD better in those aspects?
Do the all wheel drive versions bring anything to the table, or do they just complicate maintenance costs?
Anyhow, please help me catch up on what the Volvo enthusiasts already know.