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2013 Volvo S80

Overview
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2013 Volvo S80 Review

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The 2013 Volvo S80 may not have the cachet of a Lexus GS, Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series, but it merits consideration among these premium brands nonetheless. Volvo's largest sedan isn't known for the most daring styling or thrilling performance. Instead, it brings a pedigree of safety and understated elegance, qualities long associated with the Swedish marque. The S80 offers a choice of normally aspirated or turbocharged 6-cylinder engines, front-drive or all-wheel drive (AWD), and a luxurious, functional interior that's among the most comfortable in its class. And for those who need to tow, the S80 is rated to pull up to 3,300 pounds, more than some small SUVs.

You'll Like This Car If...

If comfort, safety and versatility are more important to you than image and style, check out the 2013 Volvo S80. Opt for the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive T6 version, and you'll also get sparkling performance in what appears to be a mild-mannered sedan.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If a prestigious luxury nameplate, blazing performance or the latest techno wizardry matter more to you, check out the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or Acura TL.

How It Ranks

#24

out of 41

Fuel Economy

#33

out of 40

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.4 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Volvo S80 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Volvo S80 gets only minor upgrades to its equipment, including rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry and starting. The Premier Plus trim package now includes active dual-xenon headlights, and the Technology Package has Road Sign Information, which detects important approaching signs and displays them on the driver-information monitor.

Driving the S80
2013 Volvo S80 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The S80 offers two distinct experiences depending upon which engine is under the hood. Cars with the base 3.2-liter 6-cylinder emphasize comfort over performance, while those with the more powerful...

3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder have a lot more steam without sacrificing civility. The Volvo S80 feels confident and capable enough with either powerplant, but the difference in spirit and response between the two is significant. Those seeking an even more sporting experience in the all-wheel-drive T6 version of the S80 can opt for the Dynamic Package, which lowers the ride height and features firmer springs and anti-roll bars. But be advised – the sharper performance comes at a cost in comfort as the ride is considerably stiffer.
Favorite Features

CITY SAFETY
At city-street speeds, if the system senses impending contact with a vehicle or other object, and the driver does not apply the brakes, the car will stop itself. While it's best for drivers to not be distracted in the first place, the City Safety system really can help.

3.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
Combining impressive maximum output with a fat, flat torque curve, the 2013 S80 T6 AWD's turbocharged engine puts out nearly as much power as the V8 offered a couple of years ago.

2013 Volvo S80 Details
2013 Volvo S80 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

As you'd expect of a Swedish-designed car, the 2013 Volvo S80's 5-passenger cabin is straightforward and functional. To direct ventilation to your head or torso, for instance, press the corresponding area on the human-shaped controls. Audio and navigation functions benefit from a high-resolution 7-inch color display. Leather covers the seats, steering wheel and gearshift knob, and can also be had on the dash and armrests. The front bucket seats are ultra-supportive and feature 8-way power for both driver and passenger. The rear seats fold down to increase cargo space, which is good as trunk space is rather tight.

Exterior
2013 Volvo S80 photo

The 2013 Volvo S80 isn't exactly an exercise in trend-setting design, but it's still a handsome car and one that may stand the test of time better than more edgy rivals. It has a graceful, sweeping roofline, and its strong shoulders, angular hood and twin tailpipes suggest some athleticism. Volvo's signature flowing taillights continue to make a statement of elegance. Base models ride on 17-inch wheels, and turbocharged versions get 18-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2013 Volvo S80 models are equipped with the City Safety automatic braking feature, leather seating, walnut wood inlays, a 7-inch color display, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Bluetooth, and a pollen filter. The standard audio system puts out 160 watts through eight speakers and includes an AM/FM/CD/HD Radio receiver with iPod, USB and auxiliary inputs.

Optional Equipment

Two step-up trims are available on both S80 models: Premier Plus includes front and rear park assist and a built-in Homelink garage door opener, while Platinum adds a 12-speaker, 650-watt premium audio system and voice-controlled navigation system with a rear-view camera. Additional option packages on all S80s are the Climate Package with heated front and rear seats, and the Technology Package that includes adaptive cruise control and lane-departure and collision warning systems. In addition, the T6 AWD model offers a Dynamic package for a more sporting ride, and the Inscription Package adds loads of fine leather and a wood steering wheel.

Under the Hood
2013 Volvo S80 Engine photo

Volvo S80 models are powered solely by inline 6-cylinder engines. The base offering is a normally-aspirated 3.2-liter that produces 240 horsepower and is available only with front-wheel-drive. It is adequate to move this mid-size sedan, but hardly inspiring. Drivers who relish more excitement behind the wheel or simply want the security of effortless acceleration will prefer the turbocharged 3.0-liter six that makes a stout 300 horsepower and an even more impressive 325 lb-ft of torque. The turbo engine is paired with all-wheel drive, which offers superior grip on slippery surfaces. Both engines are connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted if desired. A Sport mode is added to the transmission this year. Both engines can run on less-expensive regular unleaded gasoline. And here's another surprise: The S80 is rated to tow up to 3,300 pounds.

3.2-liter inline-6
240 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on a base 2013 Volvo S80 3.2 is $39,845. The turbocharged, all-wheel-drive T6 version adds $4,000 to that price. A fully-loaded S80 T6 can top $56,000. At these prices, the 2013 Volvo S80 starts above the Acura TL, Lexus ES, Lincoln MKZ and Buick LaCrosse, and under the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the Volvo S80. Over several years, the S80 is not expected to retain its value as well as the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Acura TL.

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2013 Volvo S80 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 85 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Comfort, Strength, Style

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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: "Power, handling, MPG, comfort, appearance."

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

"Have owned this car for four years. Only cost other than routine maintenance were self-inflicted problems. The V-8 roars down the highway and purrs on the backstreets. Still getting about 17mpg around town and 20 on the highway. The suspension is super smooth on the highways, and manages our New England potholes as well as any sedan. The leather seats are comfortable, controls give you every option you want. Moonroof just makes it fun. Even though it's a Volvo, it looks every bit like a European Sports Sedan. Best car I've ever owned."

Comfort, Strength, Style

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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: "Power, handling, MPG, comfort, appearance."

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

"Have owned this car for four years. Only cost other than routine maintenance were self-inflicted problems. The V-8 roars down the highway and purrs on the backstreets. Still getting about 17mpg around town and 20 on the highway. The suspension is super smooth on the highways, and manages our New England potholes as well as any sedan. The leather seats are comfortable, controls give you every option you want. Moonroof just makes it fun. Even though it's a Volvo, it looks every bit like a European Sports Sedan. Best car I've ever owned."

Excellent value and driving characteristics

By on Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "You are not overwhelmed by tech but it is there"

Cons: "Leaky door seals. Almost no complaints"

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

"As we required an all wheel drive vehicle we initially looked at a BMW. I had been a BMW owner for 20 years but when I drove AWD 5 series I didn't like it - felt sluggish off the line and too much technology. The computer screen was very distracting. I then did some more research and found the S80 T6 was actually faster off the line than the BMW as well as $10,000 less. Drove it and fell in love. Especially great on long distance drives - extremely comfortable and cruises with the best of them. But the appropriate comparison is with other AWD vehicles, as most comparable RWD are lighter and therefore faster off the line. But this has plenty of omph. This car is very much under rated head to head but especially so when price is added."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

The Volvo is a class of its own.

By on Monday, July 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Ventilated Massage Seats will spoil you forever."

Cons: "Not for the economy minded."

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

"You feel well taken care of when riding in a Volvo. Performance is exceptional, Handling is spot on, Styling is an acquired taste that either you like or you hate. Value is fair due to massive depreciation."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Very comfortable, reasonable power.

By on Saturday, May 25, 2013

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, good ride, great safety features."

Cons: "Nothing yet."

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

"Bought this car (2103) as an Executive Demo with ~6K on it. Had a minor issue with the Parking Sensors requiring service - Ened up being a loose cable - but other than that its been great. This vehicle came fully loaded. It is very comfortable and has adequate HP. It's the T6 AWD. New England winters require that. Best features I like are the BLIS and Lane Departure Warning System. The ride is outstanding and is very comfortable on longer rides. Cannot comment on reliability yet."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I Love it!

By on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

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: "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."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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