With the S80, Volvo has fully embraced modern Swedish minimalism. No longer a box on wheels like Volvos of yore, the S80’s exterior design is clean and inoffensive, so much so that it doesn’t make much of a statement on the road or at the valet stand. The cabin is zenlike in its silence and simple design, although the controls could be more intuitive. As with all Volvos, the seats are incredibly comfortable and supportive–if you have a bad back this might be the car for you. Volvo’s largest sedan no longer offers a V-8 engine, but there are two in-line six-cylinders on hand. The front-wheel-drive 3.2 models come with a capable 3.2-liter engine that produces 240 hp. The all-wheel-drive T6s are powered by the same smooth turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six found in the S60 T6. In either iteration, the S80 emphasizes comfort over sport, but a firmer chassis option is available on the T6. As is to be expected from Volvo, high-tech safety features are numerous. Volvo’s City Safety system is now standard, and pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitoring systems are optional. Both City Safety and the pedestrian-detection system automatically apply the brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision. The Volvo S80 checks all the buttons a flagship sedan should, with comfort, spaciousness, capability, and safety combined in one stylish package.
Drive: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: 3.2, 3.2 Premier Plus, 3.2 Platinum,
T6 AWD, T6 AWD Premier Plus, T6 AWD Platinum
Body Style: Sedan, 5-passenger
Engines: 3.0L I-6 turbo, 300 hp, 325 lb-ft
3.2L I-6, 240 hp, 236 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 98.6 cu ft
Cargo Space: 14.9 cu ft
Now standard for 2012 are the City Safety collision-avoidance system, walnut trim inlays, LED turn signals in the exterior mirrors, and Bluetooth with audio streaming. Interior updates include a revised steering wheel and center stack and a new seven-inch, high-definition display screen. The Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels are also new.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard, as are City Safety and a pedestrian-detection system. A blind-spot monitoring system is optional.
All: 16-18 mpg city/24-27 mpg highway
- Beautiful craftsmanship
- High level of safety tech
- Nonintuitive controls
- Anonymous styling
A lesson in Swedish serenity.
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