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 2010 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 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are the S80's closest rivals, potential buyers also might consider up-line mid-size sedans like the Acura TL, Lincoln MKS, Cadillac STS, Jaguar XF 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 M. If maximum trunk space is a priority, you'd be happier with an Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
A new PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine is offered, touting lower emissions but also 10 less horsepower than the non-PZEV 3.2-liter engine. Subtle visual updates grace the S80's front end and interior, while the V8-powered model gains speed-sensitive steering, a Dynaudio Surround Sound audio system and Dual Xenon Active Bending headlamps.
Driving Impressions All three 2010 Volvo 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 2010 Volvo 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. A new front grille touts a larger Iron Mark logo and chrome trim accents now adorn the tail lamps, lower front fascia and lower door side moldings. At the rear, the S80's short deck is framed by large tail lamps and accented with chrome exhaust tips. The standard tire sizes are 225/50R17 on the S80 3.2, while the T6 AWD and V8 AWD ride on 245/40R-18s; alloy wheels are standard on all models.
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, 160-watt/eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary input and MP3 capability, USB/iPod port, 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 and a power sunroof, while the top-line S80 gets the 650-watt Dynaudio Surround Sound system 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 2010 Volvo S80's options start with five key groups: The Climate Package (heated front and rear seats, heated washer nozzles, Rainsensor windshield wipers, Interior Air Quality System and high-pressure headlamp washers); the Technology Package (Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Warning with Auto Brake and Driver Alert Control); the Dynamic Package (18-inch "Fortuna" diamond-cut alloy wheels, sport suspension and Active Bending xenon head lamps); the Multimedia Package (Dynaudio Surround Sound system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, DVD navigation and rear audio jacks with volume control) and the Executive Package (massaging and ventilated front seats, full leather seating and 18-inch "Balius" alloy wheels). Single options include Personal Car Communicator with Keyless Drive, 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 2010. 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: 18/27
3.0-liter in-line 6 turbocharged
281 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (AWD)
311 horsepower @ 5950 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (AWD)
By volvolover (CA) on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "security of having the safest luxury sedan"
Cons: "lower resale value than other luxury brands"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased my 2012 S80 used. It is mechanically sound and has not had any reliability problems. The 3.2 inline-six is silky smooth and accelerates quickly for such a heavy car. The ride is solid and comfortable. I have the 650-watt 12-speaker sound system and it is awesome! I bought this car over the Benz I was considering in the same price range and have no regrets. The interior is elegant and the seats are the best. Even my friend with a Lexus said my seats are more comfortable! I plan on keeping it for a very long time. It's nice to drive a car that is not so common on the road."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Rocketman (MA) on Monday, March 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"In my fifty years of driving, the last seven cars I've owned have been Volvos. The S-80 is the best I've owned. It's got 130K miles now, and no major maintenance issues (not even a timing belt). The AWD turbo is excellent."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By sgold37 (TN) on Thursday, February 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, comfort, affordability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I use to be a Lexus person, until I drove this car. Every time I drive it I love it more. It is comfortable, fast and classy looking. I get around 25 MPG overall and this includes a mixture of city/hwy driving. The people at the Volvo dealership were the very best to work with. I will never own anything but a Volvo. I'm in love for life!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By volvolover (CO) on Monday, January 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "smooth ride, well appointed interior, large trunk"
Cons: "not for curvy twisty roads"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Volvo S80 is the flagship of the Volvo line. It performs best when on the open road. The S80's ride is smooth and the seats are comfortable and the instrument package is clean and understandable. Be careful however, not to get a lead foot, since the ride belies the speed you are driving."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Rick (NC) on Monday, August 27, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "looks/soundsystem/comfort/gas mileage"
Cons: "interior fading/rides rough"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I purchased this car in April 2012. I loved the look of the vehicle and the test drive was really great. Car had 47k on it when I purchased it. At about 50k i noticed a constant bump noise at low speeds. Come to find out, there were flat spots on NEW tires that caused the noise. Suspension issue. Then my trunk latch broke, bluetooth has to be reset often. Interior is fading and seats are not as durable and seemingly cracking more than a vehicle with 61k should be. I am very dissappointed in Volvo's "flagship" vehicle. I am taking it to the dealer to make sure that there are no transmission issues as the vehicle rpm's raise when there is NO incline and there is a spring like noise pop when ever I start up and take off in the mornings. Advisor states that is a typical noise for Volvo's testing the ABS or something to that effect.. I was going to purchase a Honda Crosstour instead of this but wanted to keep a bit of luxury coming from a BMW... I should have purchased the Honda."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Rick (IN) on Friday, March 23, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best value for European luxury,great warranty"
Cons: "Compass in mirror not standard"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Consider getting the Dynamic package for a more sporty ride and looks. Main reason for buying was the free overseas delivery program Volvo offers. Can't be beat! Free air fare,hotel,factory tour. Volvo people treat you like royalty,and you save a bundle. I love when people comment on my license plate holder "factory delivery center,Gothenburg Sweden". Love the anti collision system"
11 people out of 12 found this review helpful