The Volvo S80 is a midsize luxury sedan that serves as the Swedish firm's flagship. Positioned higher up on the market than its predecessor, the S80 rewards those willing to venture outside the premium mainstream with elegant styling, a tasteful and well-crafted interior and the kind of cutting-edge safety technology on which Volvo has built its reputation. In addition to the four-door sedan, the automaker offers a rugged station wagon variant of the S80 called XC70.
After receiving a minor update for the previous model year, the S80 benefits this year from an efficient new "Drive-E" turbocharged four-cylinder engine that returns 37 mpg on the highway.
Additionally, a new Inscription package brings the sedan to new heights of luxury.
The S80 features an elegant front end that falls in line with the rest of the Volvo lineup. A creased belt line emphasizes the car's width, while chrome trim between the tail lamps finishes off the look. Overall, the S80 wears a more low-key design than many of its competitors.
The S80 offers room for five passengers with a level of comfort and luxury that can rival well-established competitors from Germany and Japan. The dashboard boasts soft-touch materials, leather and real wood trim.
The instrument cluster consists of an analog speedometer flanked by four digital gauges. All trims come with a thin-film transistor (TFT) screen that can be configured by the driver.
The S80 serves up 14.9 cubic feet of trunk space with the rear seats left up. Carrying long items such as skis is a breeze thanks to a pass-through integrated into the rear arm rest.
All S80s regardless of trim level come standard with a dash-mounted seven-inch color touch screen that runs Volvo's Sensus infotainment system. Sensus groups the car's connectivity, entertainment and navigation (if equipped) functions into a single easy-to-use unit that can also be controlled with buttons on the center stack and a voice command feature. The screen also displays images in cars equipped with a rear-view camera, and gives the driver access to a host of menus that provide vital information about the car and its surroundings.
Under The Hood
Last year's naturally-aspirated straight-six has been replaced by a more powerful and economical "Drive-E" turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Allied to an eight-speed automatic that sends output to the front wheels, the four produces 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is rated at an impressive 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
The more expensive S80 T6 uses a 3.0-liter straight-six that sends 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The sprint from zero to 60 mph is achieved in 6 seconds flat, and top speed is limited at 155 mph. Fuel economy checks in at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mph on the highway.
Standard And Optional Features
The base S80 comes standard with keyless entry, fog lights, LED turn signals integrated into the door mirrors, an outside temperature gauge, a pollen filter, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a front center armrest, a leather-upholstered steering wheel, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, power-folding rear head rests, an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.
Upgrading to the Premier Plus adds a compass in the rear-view mirror, a grocery bag holder, a HomeLink garage door opener, a quick-fold front passenger seat and a rear-view camera with park assist. T6 models also gain a power sunroof.
Finally, the Platinum trim gains accent lighting, a premium 12-speaker sound system and navigation. A power sunroof is standard on T6 models.
The list of options consists of metallic paint colors, a power sunroof (available on 3.2 models only), Volvo's Blind Spot Information System with power retractable mirrors, numerous alloy wheel designs, dual xenon headlights with washers, heated seats and an accessory prep cable.
S80 buyers can also order one of three option packages. Designed to maximize comfort in cold climates, the Climate Package adds heated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated windshield, a heated steering wheel, heated windshield washer nozzles and an Interior Air Quality System (IAQS).
The Technology Package consists of Adaptive
Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Pedestrian and Cycle Detection, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control, Lane Departure Warning, Road Sign Information and active high beams.
Available only on T6 models, the Inscription Package bundles full Sovereign Hide leather upholstery on the seats, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery on the dashboard and on the front armrest as well as model-specific floor mats and sill plates.
All S80s come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags, traction and stability control systems and emergency brake assist.
Additionally, all models regardless of trim level feature Volvo's City Safety function which uses a laser sensor to automatically trigger the brakes at low speeds if a pending impact is detected.
The Volvo S80 squares off against the Audi A6, the Acura TL, the Buick Regal, the Kia Cadenza and the V8-powered Infiniti G37.