Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Here's a list that I gave to somebody else:
1) The subframe by the front driver's and passenger wheels
2) The sway bars, bushings and stabilizer on the rear wheels
3) Engine mounts
4) The trunk under the carpet
5) Wheel bearings
6) Wheel wells
7) Make sure the odometer actually works
8) Make sure that the overdrive works
9) The floors
These are all more superficial-type things but crappy engine tendencies/noises are pretty universal, so I'm sure that you can identify those. Make sure to hit the brakes hard at least once during the test drive. These cars are heavy and are hard on brakes.
Hope this helps and good luck with your purchase. Oddly enough, I'm looking to buy the exact same car. Just a warning, though: Once you drive a 200-series Volvo, you may never want to drive anything else.