A year into its second generation, the Volvo S80 now has a turbocharged six-cylinder in the all-new T6, which sits between the base six-cylinder and top-of-the-line V8 trim level. Touting "Scandinavian luxury" as its defining attribute, the flagship sedan combines traditional Volvo lines with high-tech safety features typical of the brand. Competitors include the BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS and Infiniti M35/M45.
Volvo says Scandinavian luxury is accessible, elegant and intelligent — without being elitist. This generation's front end has taken on a curvier, sleeker appearance and a slightly sportier profile than the first generation, sold from 1999 through 2006.
The S80 is the first Volvo sedan with an available V-8 engine, the same 4.4-liter V-8 that's optional in the XC90 SUV. Available safety features include Volvo's Blind Spot Information System, which checks adjacent lanes for unnoticed cars, and a collision warning system that monitors the speed of traffic ahead and warns drivers of impending rear-end collisions.
Although Volvo has shaken the boxy look it made famous, the S80 is still unmistakably Volvo. The most noticeable change is the headlamps, which are positioned lower than in the previous S80 and curve around the sides and upward, highlighting a curvier front end. The diagonal-bar grille is enlarged, giving more prominence to the Volvo logo.
The S80 is the same length as its predecessor, but is slightly wider and taller. The wheelbase is also longer. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard across all trims, with 18-inchers optional.
Already known for its spaciousness, the new S80 has increased legroom in both the front and rear seats. Ventilated seats with heating and cooling capabilities are optional. The S80's center controls sit on a thin metal panel pioneered in the S40 compact sedan. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard.
Every S80 will have an auxiliary input for an MP3 player. Other standard features include leather upholstery, a moonroof and eight-way power seats. A premium Dolby Pro Logic surround-sound system is optional.
Under the Hood
For 2008, the S80 offers a turbocharged six-cylinder that slots between the 235-horsepower, non-turbo six-cylinder and 311-hp V-8. It makes 295 hp. All three engines use a six-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic sequential shifting. All-wheel drive is standard with the V-8 and turbo six-cylinder; the base six-cylinder has front-wheel drive.
The new S80 generation continues to showcase Volvo's safety innovation. In addition to the usual safety features, such as Whiplash Protection System seating, the S80 offers a Personal Car Communicator. The PCC is a handheld pager-like controller that communicates with the car remotely and can tell the owner if the car is locked, if the alarm is triggered or if there is someone hiding in the car, through the use of an onboard heartbeat sensor. It's standard on the V8 and optional elsewhere.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|David Thomas||Cars.com National||August 29, 2007|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||July 9, 2007|
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