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2011 Volvo S80

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2011 Volvo S80 Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2011

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 the S80
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.

Multimedia Package
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.

2011 Volvo S80 Details
Interior

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.

Exterior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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

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2011 Volvo S80 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 100 Ratings for the 2007 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

My Favorite Volvo Yet!

By on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Awesome driving exp & acceleration."

Cons: "Clumsy navigation input."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought this Volvo used from Volvo dealer (S80 T6 AWD w/Inscription Pkg, premium sound/navig, BLIS etc). My wife & I get more positive comments about this car than any car we have owned in 34 years. The amber black paint with the 18" wheels looks sharp. At 300 hp, the acceleration is blistering and with AWD, this car is unstoppable in snow or inclement weather. We both enjoy driving this car and the handling instills confidence. No question the premium sound system will rock your world and could be the best sound system I've ever heard in a car. The only gripe is the clumsy navigation system input via toggle and the ALWAYS annoying moving vehicle input lock-out."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Dependable and well built

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "gets lots of compliments, nice ride, quiet, sporty"

Cons: "premium fuel only"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We have owned this car for about 5 years now and have put maybe 25,000 miles on it. One if not the best car I have ever owned. Not afraid to drive it anywhere or distance. Safe on wet and snow covered roads. Built like a tank but rides smooth. Excellent leather quality. Stereo is very good with several speakers. Lots of trunk space. Sports package is awesome. You have comfort, sport and advanced mode to choose from. Fit and finish are excellent as well. Just make sure someone in your area knows how to service them. Would buy this car again."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Worst value ever!

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfortable ride"

Cons: "Rapid deprecitation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I bought a 2015.5 Platinum fully loaded and paid 50 grand. 10,000 miles into it and the value has dropped to mid 30s. Total waste of money due to the rapid depreciation on this vehicle."

6 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Very nice car. Traditional Volvo Styling

By on Friday, March 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fit and finish, value performance."

Cons: "old styling."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The car drives excellent, has good power and is very efficient. The interior is plush and the fit and finish is superb. Love the feel of the car and the smooth, quiet power delivery. Two minor complaints: The navigation system is about 100 feet away from your location. Had the dealer update the software, but no joy, still tells me to turn as I pass the street. Second, I frequently push the rear seat headrest release when I mean to push the seat heater. Its location on the panel should be more remote. Otherwise, fantastic car."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This is a great car! Comfortable and Reliable

By on Monday, February 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Seats, drivability, looks and gas mileage"

Cons: "No Accessible USB plugs on dash"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car as a demo and have never been more pleased both in quality, dependability and comfort. First Volvo and will not be my last. I do a mix of intown and highway and surpassed the EPA estimates on mileage with average around 28 with as high as 35 on the highway. Not a barn burner on the starting block, but has plenty of power when you need it. The front seats are awesome and comfortable on long rides and the rear seats actually will hold three adults in comfort. Will probably keep as a second car as soon as the new XC 90 is out!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Comfortable, reliable, nice car

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "power, handling, brakes seat comfort"

Cons: "BLIS, occaasional AM static"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have an '11 T6 AWD and couldn't be happier. After 4 years and almost 50K miles, no issues, only had maintenance which was part of the warranty when I bought it new. The AWD tracks beautifully all the time, and goes through anything in the winter without hesitation with snows - almost could park it on the side of a building. I average 21 mpg overall, best has been 33; not bad. Solid handling, great ride, strong brakes, awesome seat comfort, and quick enough when you want it: 0-60 in 6.1 seconds according to the specs. I have had over 15 cars of different makes and this one has been the best. I normally switch every 3 years or so, but planning on keeping this one a while longer. Paint & interior are standing up very well, better than others I have owned. Shortcomings: Depreciation is steep on this car, don't know why - probably because it isn't sexy with lots of electronics like BMW and Audi; but that makes it a good buy if looking used, and the police won't pay you much attention(!). I have a lot of chips in the windshield, but probably due to time on the highway and the last few winters here that have been tougher than normal (glass is glass). The Blind Spot system (BLIS) falses a lot and is essentially useless in the rain, so I consider it merely a "suggestion". This is our 3th Volvo; we had good luck with the other ones so decided on this one when it was time. Love the safety on this car, and all Volvos."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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