Volvo S80

Volvo S80

  • Overview

    • This high level Executive Car has received a mainly favourable - although sometimes mixed - reaction from our reviewers.

    • The majority are delighted while some have experienced technical problems of, usually, an electrical nature.

    • Volvos aim with S80 was to compete in the high end luxury Executive market.

    • When launched in 1998 the Volvo S80 was reviewed well and has seen sales grow steadily rather than dramatically. For example, of the 49,651 large saloons sold in the UK in 2002, 3,492 were S80s.

    • It has an excellent record for safety and handling but earlier models in particular were perceived by some as lacking in style.

    • Insurance Groups = 15-16

    • Performance = 0-60mph 7.2s / Max Speed 156mph

    • Fuel Consumption = (combined) 25mpg.

    • Standard Safety = Twin front airbags, side airbags, side impact curtains.

    Review Centre Reviews

    The majority of our reviews aresatisfied although some have experienced technical problems.

    My Volvo S80 T-6 has given 10,000trouble free miles but that is to be expected.

    Volvo S80-T6 has certainly goodfeatures such as engine, brakes and safety, it seems however, thatthe design of interior items, naming few: awkward radio controls,dashboard information hard to see in daylight, tiny lights indicatingvents, and more were left without much attention.

    One of our reviewers tested theseExecutive models as part of his work for a business fleet andcompared them to other vehicles.

    In comparison with other cars I test,these vehicles cost less than average to maintain (please rememberthe cost of parts/labour is high) and the reliability on-average isgood 310K miles and over 60K hours besides the miles. Not too bad.


    As you might expect with a Volvo, whichhas built its reputation as a market leader for safety over theyears, the Volvo S80 is regarded as a very safe car. You get a wholebundle of standard safety features and the S80 was awarded a fourstar NCAP crash test rating by the European New Car AssessmentProgramme.


    Volvo S80 insurance groups start atgroup 13 and rise to group 16. Base models are above average toinsure while higher specification cars are fairly expensive in thisrespect.

    Technology Innovations

    • The Volvo S80 was the first car to be equipped with a fully-integrated GSM telephone.

    • All the phone buttons were built into the left-hand section of the console and the steering wheel for easy manipulation.

    • Volvo is the first car manufacturer in the modern era to successfully fit an in-line, six-cylinder engine transversely in the engine bay.

    • The Volvo S80 early models included two transverse, six cylinder engines, with a twin turbo , the T6, with performance on a par with a V8.

    • The engine programme in the Volvo S80 is based on six cylinders for comfort and five for fuel economy and smooth driving. A sophisticated engine management system has helped to contribute to a superb performance reputation.

    Volvo S80 T6

    Includes 2.8-litre engine and doubleturbochargers - T6 is the most powerful Volvo engine ever. Availableonly in SE specification at launch offering a mind boggling 272 bhpand 0-62 mph in 7.2 s but with comfort inducing Stability andTraction Control (STC) as standard.


    In 2003 the S80 received majorrefinements to the interior and exterior including new technology.

    New Features included:

    • A new 2.5T turbo engine replacing the 2.4T, offering more power, torque and performance, without harming fuel economy or emissions.

    • Volvos Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) chassis from the S60 R and V70 R performance models - available in two wheel drive on the new S80 with two settings: Comfort/Sport.

    • New ZF steering for more direct feel and sharper handling.

    • Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) now standard Dynamic dark silver square-mesh grille.

    • Chrome door handles, Chrome highlights under side windows and lower bumper air intake.

    • New aerodynamic door mirrors.

    • Restyled sportier body.

    • New Premium sound system with Dynaudio speakers (optional).

    • Walnut wood or aluminium inlays (optional).

    2005 model saw engine management andluxury improvements

    The Volvo S80 saloon offered animproved drive thanks to new dynamic chassis for all models, revisedfront anti-roll bars for 2.4-litre petrol and D5 diesel models. 2.0Tengine gains dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing). Inaddition retuned, second generation Four-C active chassis madeavailable.

    Test Driven said:

    The 2005 Volvo S80 is more comfortablethanks to new front seats with a greater range of adjustment..

    The Executive model was also upgradedwith new seat design and soft leather upholstery..

    Yahoo Cars said of the 2005 update:

    A combination of tyre technology,clever electronics and sophisticated suspension geometry means the T6is able to deploy that power in a civilised manner...

    Tiscali Motoring said:

    The S80 is extremely comfortable andrefined, and makes a superb long-distance cruiser.

    The Guardian said:

    Its big, quiet and powerful..