By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
17 people out of 30 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"
18 people out of 33 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 29 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."
17 people out of 25 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."
15 people out of 23 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