By KBB.com Editors
Although it doesn't garner the same media spotlight as an Audi A6 or Lexus GS, the 2011 Volvo S80 still merits attention. While it may not have the same eye-popping style as some other luxury cars, it does have a quiet confidence about it. Offering two six-cylinder engines (one naturally aspirated, one turbocharged), front- or all-wheel drive and what may be the most comfortable front seats of any luxury brand, the 2011 Volvo S80 is a solid, safe and reliable bet.
Although it may not have the same status as a BMW, Jaguar or Lexus, the 2011 Volvo S80 makes no apologies for placing safety and substance over status and glitz.
If cutting edge design, a high-output V8 engine and complex electronic systems make up your idea of what a luxury performance sedan should be, the 2011 Volvo S80 isn't going to win you over.
For 2011, the V8 engine is no longer offered in the Volvo S80. Few will miss it because the turbocharged six-cylinder engine in the top-of-the-line 2011 Volvo S80 T6 AWD now makes 300 horsepower, nearly as much as the defunct V8. The non-turbo six-cylinder engine in the base 2011 Volvo S80 3.2 receives a five-horsepower increase. Volvo also dropped the Executive Package and put some of its features in the new Inscription Package.
Driving Impressions While the base 2011 Volvo S80 3.2 tends to favor comfort over performance, the turbocharged Volvo S80 T6 AWD seems to have no problem achieving both goals. Both cars exhibit...a confident and capable driving character. The driver-selectable Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DTSC) permits modestly energetic cornering before making its presence known and the all-wheel drive in the Volvo S80 T6 AWD does an impressive job of instantly rebalancing the front-to-rear power equation as traction conditions change. While the Volvo S80's naturally-aspirated in-line six-cylinder engine makes the Volvo S80 3.2 fully capable of dealing with daily commutes and cross-country cruises, it's the Volvo S80 T6 AWD's 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque that deliver the kind of thrilling performance expected of a sedan in this price range.
3.0-liter Turbocharged Engine
Pairing impressive output with a fat, flat torque curve, the 2011 Volvo S80 T6 AWD's turbocharged six is a brilliant piece of work that rivals the defunct V8 for enthusiastic real-world performance.
What is a great driver without great tunes and driving directions? In the Volvo S80, the available 650-watt premium audio system pumps your music through 12 speakers, while the DVD navigation can warn of impending traffic delays.
Standing in stark contrast to its conservative exterior, the 2011 Volvo S80's interior should be the template for all luxury sedans. Clean, simple and straightforward, but with enough individuality and Scandinavian styling to mark it as a premium luxury car, the Volvo S80's interior delights the senses in a number of ways. The sense of touch is satisfied by soft-touch surfaces, supple leather coverings and Volvo's "ortho-posture" front bucket seats. The sense of hearing is stimulated by the available 650-watt, 12-speaker premium sound system. The sense of sight is treated to lovely interior colors, handsome walnut wood inlays and elegantly simple controls. The Volvo S80 provides comfortable seating for four, or can have its 60/40 split-folding rear seats dropped to increase the trunk's rather small capacity.
The 2011 Volvo S80 may not stand out as a metal masterpiece, but its subtle good looks and classic Volvo styling make for a handsome car. Its design will probably withstand the test of time better than some of its more whimsical rivals. A sweeping roofline and purposeful shoulders give the Volvo S80 just a hint of sporty attitude, while tasteful applications of chrome around the grille, tail lights and lower side moldings bespeak of restrained luxury. A few bright colors would help the Volvo S80 make a more visual statement, but Volvo offers only varying degrees of gray, black or sliver (and one dark blue) as paint choices.
Highlighting the 2011 Volvo S80's standard features are numerous power assists, a tilt and telescopic steering column and dual-zone climate control. The standard 160-watt, eight-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system also has an auxiliary input and MP3 capability, USB/iPod port and six-month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. Safety features include active head restraints to prevent whiplash neck injuries and a side-impact system that adds protection in a vulnerable area. The up-level Volvo S80 T6 AWD adds all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, and a power sunroof.
The 2011 Volvo S80's options start with five key groups: The Climate Package (heated front and rear seats, heated washer nozzles, rain-sensing windshield wipers 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 diamond-cut alloy wheels, sport suspension and Active Bending xenon headlamps); the Multimedia Package (Dynaudio Surround Sound system, DVD navigation, Real Time Traffic and rear camera) and the Inscription Package (ventilated front seats, full Sovereign leather seating and a leather and wood steering wheel). Single options include dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, front and rear Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System, a power sunroof, and dual xenon headlamps.
The Volvo S80 engine lineup includes two distinct choices for 2011. The base Volvo S80 3.2 has a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder that reaches peaks of 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The top-of-the-line Volvo S80 T6 AWD has a 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line six-cylinder that tops out at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are backed by an electronically controlled six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission that has a manual-style Sportshift mode. The Volvo S80 3.2 offers performance that is more than capable of merely keeping up with traffic. It, however, cannot match the S80 T6 AWD's thrilling acceleration.
3.2-liter in-line 6
240 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27
3.0-liter in-line 6 turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26
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 35 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."
15 people out of 32 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 26 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