By KBB.com Editors
Despite relatively modest overall production numbers, Volvo has mounted an ambitious program to raise its profile among the world's premium automakers. The S80 typifies the scope of that ongoing effort. The flagship of Volvo's sedan fleet embodies a Swedish approach to style, creature comforts and leading-edge safety features while offering multiple powertrain configurations and solid value pricing. The 2009 lineup includes the front-drive S80 3.2, the turbocharged S80 T6 AWD and the S80 V8 AWD. While the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Saab 9-5 are the S80's closest rivals, potential buyers also might consider up-line mid-size sedans like the Acura TL, Lincoln MKS and Lexus GS series.
Buyers who believe that functional luxury and state-of-the-art safety systems outweigh the inherent status appeal of a traditional prestige nameplate can expect to find their transportation and aspirational needs well met by any member of the S80 lineup.
Those seeking a sedan with overtly sporty handling characteristics would be better served by a BMW 5 Series or Infiniti G35. If maximum trunk space is a priority, you'd be happier with an Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The exclusive Executive Package is made standard on the V8 and a lesser-contented version is made optional on the T6 AWD. The package includes ventilated front seats with massage, power front passenger seat adjuster accessible from the rear seat and heated front and rear seats. An optional rear refrigerator can also be had, complete with two crystal glasses.
Driving Impressions All three S80 variants have a solid and confident handling character, although the emphasis leans more towards ride comfort than sheer agility. The driver-selectable Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DTSC)...permits modestly energetic cornering before making its presence known and the all-wheel-drive package on the T6 AWD and V8 AWD does an impressive job of instantly rebalancing the front-to-rear power equation as traction conditions change. While the S80's naturally-aspirated in-line six-cylinder engine makes the 3.2 fully capable of dealing with daily commutes and cross-country cruises, the engines in both the T6 AWD and V8 AWD make them demonstrably quicker, more responsive and far more engaging.
3.0-liter Turbocharged Engine
Pairing impressive output with a fat, flat torque curve, Volvo's turbocharged six is a brilliant piece of work that literally rivals the V8 for enthusiastic real-world performance and establishes the new T6 AWD as the most desirable member of the S80 line.
Finding amenities that transform a luxury sedan into a mini-limo is uncommon in this price range, as is the optional rear seat refrigerator.
The S80's well-appointed cabin reflects a Swedish-modern mentality, with limited flash but lots of function. All versions match leather, wood and brushed aluminum trim with legible analog gauges, well-placed controls and Volvo's elegant slim-line center stack that houses the audio and climate control switchgear. The S80's somewhat firm front seats feature eight-way power assist and "ortho-posture" design to provide long-range comfort, while its 60/40 split-folding rear bench has sufficient head and leg room to take on a pair of average-sized adults or a trio of kids, or it can be dropped to reveal a large pass-through opening that significantly increases the cargo-carrying capability over that of the somewhat modestly-scaled 14.9 cubic-foot trunk.Exterior
Classically understated but with detail refinements that reflect a new interpretation of traditional Volvo styling cues, the S80 has a lean, well-tailored appearance. Its subtle wedge shape is effectively reinforced by a sweeping roofline and prominent shoulder ridges. At the rear, the S80's short deck is framed by large taillamps and accented with chrome exhaust tips. The standard tire sizes are 225/50R17 on the S80 3.2 and T6 AWD and 245/45R17 on the V8 AWD, with alloy wheels on all models. Both six-cylinder models also can be ordered with the same sizes of run-flat alternatives, and all three S80s offer optional 245/40 tires on 18-inch alloy wheels as an option.
Highlighting the S80's standard features are numerous power assists, including eight-way adjustment for the front seats, a tilt and telescopic steering column, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, rain sensing wipers, 160-watt/eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary input and MP3 capability, power sunroof, Volvo's anti-whiplash (WHIPS) and side-impact protection (SIPS) systems, Dynamic Traction and Stability Control, anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Assistance and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. The T6 and V8 models include all-wheel drive while the top-line S80 also gets the Interior Air Quality System (IAQS) and the Personal Car Communicator (PCC) with keyless starting that notifies you if the vehicle has been tampered with or if an intruder is inside.
The S80's options start with three key groups: The Climate Package (heated front and rear seats, heated washer nozzles and high-pressure headlamp washers), the Technology Package (navigation, active bi-xenon headlamps, Dynaudio 650-watt/12-speaker Dolby Surround Sound system with six-disc CD changer, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and rear-seat audio controls sound system and speed sensitive steering), and the Collision Avoidance Package (Adaptive Cruise Control with Distance and Driver Alerts, Lane Departure Warning and Collision Warning with Auto Brake). Single options include HDD-based navigation, dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, front and rear Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System and a rear seat refrigerator.
The S80 engine lineup includes three distinct choices for 2009. Anchoring the mix, the front-drive 3.2 model has a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder that makes 235 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The S80 T6 AWD uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged variation that develops 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the S80 V8 AWD's 4.4-liter packs a 311-horsepower punch and makes 325 pound-feet of torque. All three engines are backed by an electronically controlled six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with a manual-style Sportshift mode. Although the 3.2 marginally bests the T6 AWD and V8 AWD in formal EPA mileage ratings and offers performance that is more than capable of merely keeping up with traffic, it cannot match the two more powerful models in acceleration.
3.2-liter in-line 6
235 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
281 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 (AWD)
311 horsepower @ 5950 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (AWD)
By thevolvoguy on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I probably would not rate any vehicle a 10. Have had 0 problems with this vehicle. I'm the second owner, and know the original owner, who now has the XC60 - T6. this is the 4.4 ltr. V8. Nice Auto, and Boat motor. A friend of mine has one in his Boat. Very comfortable seating, can't beat a Volvo in my opinion. Very quick as needed. With the V8, you can get around 25 MPG highway, which isn't bad considering weight of vehicle. Would tell anyone to buy this vehicle, unless they must have a high MPG vehicle."
20 people out of 34 found this review helpful
By kemahkim on Thursday, October 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Overall with a 50k bumper to bumper along with maintenance included you would pay a lot more for another import. I have experienced no mechanical problems ever with this car! It is now my 2nd Volvo and there will be a 3rd one day"
20 people out of 36 found this review helpful
By Thom on Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,100overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Body style not too bad."
Cons: "See review."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"While I really liked the look of the car, I will not purchase another. Has a sound when you turn the wheel as if plastic is rubbing. Unable to locate or repair. Have had to the dealer several times. Transmission has problems shifting between 20 to 30 mph, especially around 25 mph. Have had to dealer twice on issue - alleged micro chip issue, chip replaced with little resolution. Drinks gas like a truck, but very little pick- up. Rides like a truck, drives like a truck, runs like a truck."
17 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By Beverly on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Incredibly beautiful car with many safety features"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It is one of the safest cars on the road. It has every safety feature possible. Cameras completely surround the outside of the car and alert you when you are approaching anything. It automatically stops when the car in front stops. It flashes a light when cars approach on the side. It has air conditioned front seats and an excellent sound system. I bought this car because of its safety features. It has an I system that alerts you if anybody has gotten into your car and is not visible. It has amazing features. It is computerized and literally tells you everything about the car, including telling you your tires are low. It is in perfect condition."
19 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Spanky on Monday, June 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,981overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "very safe car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I never keep a car much over a year and my son commented on how I had my 2003 Volvo S80 for over five years. I really liked that car and was ready for a change so I purchased this 2010 Volvo S80. Great car and am very pleased with it. Well built car."
16 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Brian on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, safety"
Cons: "Ride is not as smooth as my Buick."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car used as a second car for my commute and for my kids to drive occasionally. Very comfortable and smooth. Great value for the money in my opinion. Has been very reliable and I feel very good about my kids driving this car. Not as sporty as a comparable BMW or Audi but much more economical. I am happy so far after 2 years of ownership."
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful