2014 Volvo S80 Expert Review
By KBB.com Editors
What's New for 2014
While the 2014 Volvo S80 is considered the company's flagship sedan, many people overlook it when cross shopping brands such as Lexus, Audi and BMW. That's unfortunate because, despite its aging architecture, the S80 is a lovely sedan with world-class luxury and safety features offered at very reasonable price. The S80's subtle styling will speak to those who don't like to shout about their success, and its many variations, including a turbocharged all-wheel-drive (AWD) model, offer something for everyone. The big Volvo's interior is also worthy of praise, with some of the most comfortable and supportive front seats in the business. The 2014 Volvo S80 can even tow up to 3,300 pounds, which is pretty phenomenal considering it isn't even an SUV.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're less impressed by fancy styling and over-hyped technology than you are safety, comfort and reliability, the 2014 Volvo S80 may very well be the luxury sedan for you. The turbocharged T6 trim brings new meaning to the term "sleeper."
You May Not Like This Car If...
The S80 is a very handsome car, but its more aging veteran actor than hot young star. If dynamic styling, a V8 engine or a dash that mimics a Best Buy display case all float your boat, the S80 won't.
Major changes for the 2014 Volvo S80 include a revised front face, new wheels, a new LCD instrument cluster with three different display settings, and a more aggressive pricing strategy. Notable option upgrades include cyclist detection to the Technology package, and a heated windshield and steering wheel for the Cold Weather package.
Driving the S80
Volvo's S80 for 2014 has two distinct driving personalities. Go with the base 3.2 and you'll get a very comfortable, very smooth-riding car that delivers the kind of performance we...
... suspect the most members of the car buying public would say is just fine. Get behind the wheel of the turbocharged T6 AWD, and it's a whole different story. Acceleration is rapid and the big sedan's demeanor in the turns becomes one of poised confidence. A quick-shift automatic transmission on the T6 delivers better response to throttle inputs, helping the S80 run from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. Available only on T6 models, the Sport Chassis adds 19-inch wheels, a lower ride height and a stiffer suspension, but it also brings a much stiffer ride.
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 2014 S80 T6 AWD's turbocharged engine puts out nearly as much power as the V8 offered a couple of years ago.
2014 Volvo S80 Details
As you'd expect of a Swedish-designed car, the 2014 Volvo S80's 5-passenger cabin is straightforward and functional. The big news this year is the replacement of the analog gauges with a configurable display screen featuring three settings. Drivers can opt for a traditional center speedometer, or an eco-friendly display backlit in green or a red-backlit performance mode with center-mounted tachometer and digital speed readout. The S80's 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 2014 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, with optional 19-inch wheels as part of the Sport Chassis suspension upgrade.
All 2014 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, Sensus information-management system, 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. Rex 17-inch alloy wheels are a new standard feature, as are LED daytime running lights.
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 steering wheel, windshield and 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 Sport Chassis upgrade for a more sporting ride, while the Inscription Package adds loads of fine leather and a wood steering wheel.
Under the Hood
All 2014 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 (3.2)
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 (T6)
300 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on a base 2014 Volvo S80 3.2 starts around $41,000. 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 2014 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.
To compare current market prices, check out KBB.com's car classifieds to view the new and used
Volvo S80 vehicles for sale near you.