The sole engine option for the S80 is a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 240hp. It’s one of the smoothest turbocharged four-cylinders we have ever tested and it feels just enough for the S80. The engine never feels short on puff around town and on the highway. You can only have the S80 with front-wheel-drive and with this engine that’s enough. Anything more than that to the front wheels is just down right insane.
The Volvo S80 isn’t even close to be as sharp to drive as a BMW 5-series, but most buyers of the S80 aren’t picking it because of that. They want a smooth and comfortable ride and that’s what they are going to get here. Steering feedback is numb at best and the overall handling is more like ‘safe’ if anything. It doesn’t encourage you to push it hard through corners and bends because well let’s face the facts here. This platform is nearly twelve years old. But not everyone wants a rock hard suspension, and for those you either choose the Mercedes E-class or this.
There really isn’t much wind or road noise to complain of. The turbo engine sounds rather course under heavy acceleration but it is far from a deal breaker. There is no manual gearbox option, but most buyers in this segment don’t really care for one either.
Volvo has always been a paradigm of clarity when it comes to their dashboard layouts; all the controls are within easy reach of the driver’s hand. The seats are all day comfy and offer plenty of support. Rear passengers will find comfort as well. Plus the S80 is one of the few sedans in this segment to have split folding rear seats standard and a boot that’s generous on space.
All S80s come standard with keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, leather seats and rain sensing windshield wipers. You’ll have to step up to the Platinum trim to get Xenon headlamps with auto high beam control, collision warning with full auto brake and adaptive cruise control with lane departure warning. We think that it’s best to just spring the extra money for this package because it has many of the modern safety technology and yet still manages to be cheaper than all three German Rivals.
The S80 maybe on its way out the door but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up one with a deep discount. This maybe one of the few reasons people will still flock to dealers to buy one. However, in our opinion this is the most understated Volvo ever, and for those few individuals that do buy one this is a real gem.
Wait for the S90 if you desire all-wheel-drive or more powerful engine option.
Likes: Most understated Volvo ever. Turbocharged engine offers good flexibility and decent running costs. Comfortable front seats and ride comfort.
Dislikes: Starting to show its age.
Devon’s choice: Platinum package is the only way to go with the S80. It may costs more but it is worth it.