2002 Volvo S80

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$23,900

starting MSRP

2002 Volvo S80

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

3 trims

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2002 Volvo S80 review: Our expert's take

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The verdict:

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Taken any first-class flights at ground level recently? It can be done in the 2002 Volvo S80 75th Anniversary Edition sedan. To be sure, this is a limited-production special from the Swedish automaker – commemorating the first Volvo car, called the “Jakob,” in 1927 – so it’s not like you’re going to find long rows of them on dealer lots.

But the car that made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show and went on sale in April is worth noting. . . if not for your garage, then for its myriad special features that could end up as standard fare in other models – even those produced by competitors.

The tested S80 was so loaded with features that it boggled the mind. That first-class cabin feeling was certainly evident from the back seats.

Slip into the back, and you are confronted with twin, 7-inch video screens built into the backs of the front seat head restraints – very similar to what you see today on some commercial jets. So there must be a DVD entertainment system in here, you surmise. That’s correct. The DVD player is installed at the back of the front center console.

But wait, there’s more.

The S80 is equipped to pick up local television channels. The system includes a 68-channel tuner, and the screens can be adjusted for brightness, contrast and color. Not only that, the two rear screens can operate independently, meaning one otherwise bored back-seat passenger can enjoy one form of entertainment while his or her seatmate enjoys another kind of video stimulus.

Still not enough? An auxiliary electronic input has been built into the rear armrest; it’s compatible with many laptop computers and mainstream video game systems. What if all that video-generated noise starts annoying the frontseat occupants? Fine, slip on the dual wireless, infrared-signal-receiving headphones that will pick up the audio and give front-seat riders a blissful break from the movie/TV/video games. Backseat occupants also have the option of controlling this in-car audiovisual circus with their own remotes.

Thirsty? Pop open the mini-refrigerator behind the rear center armrest. It can hold two quart bottles of whatever, and if sipping straight from the bottle is too gauche for your tastes, reach up to the center shelf mounted just behind the rear seats and choose one of four Swedish crystal drinking glasses stored there.

Front-seat riders are not denied all the fireworks.

The tested S80 was outfitted with a DVD-based navigation system with a video screen that motors up from its flush position above the center of the dashboard. Navigation commands and inquiries can be registered from controls on the steering wheel. You want voice guidance to your destination? It’s part of the deal. If you grow weary of the voice-guidance system’s uninspired monotone, a four-disc, in-dash CD player will pump out premium-quality audio through a surround-sound system.

I could go on and on with this bla tant opulence, but because this is not a two-part auto review, here’s a partial list of other goodies in the S80 75th Anniversary Edition: remote-triggered perimeter exterior lighting, engine-immobilizing security system with backup battery for the audio alarm, eight-way power front seats with lumbar adjustments, dual-zone climate control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, heated exterior mirrors, interior dust/pollen filter, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats, headlamp washers and wipers, electronically controlled rear sunshade and a full-size umbrella mounted under the trunklid.

Throw in other trivial concerns such as exceptional power (268 horses from a 2.9-liter in-line 6), nimble handling (independent, MacPherson strut-type suspension on the front and fully independent on the rear)and good looks (not traditionally boxy, but a touch more angular and dressed up in premium pearl-white paint)and you have a pretty extraordinary motor vehicle.

Safety features? This is a Volvo – solid as a rock and enough air bags to cushion an elephant.

Drawbacks?

Well, some might wince at paying $50,115 – the bottom line of the tested model. And that’s 50-grand for a mid-size sedan; the special-edition S80 has limo features, but the interior cabin is about a fingernail short of 100 cubic feet. There is adequate room in the backseats, but passengers there might need an intermission to stretch their legs if they’re watching the special six-hour “Godfather” saga on DVD.

Otherwise, this diamond-anniversary S80 is everything you would expect from a special-edition car – a primo version of the automaker’s top-of-the-line sedan with enough extras to make it, well. . . special.

Because automakers historically use special-edition cars to test-fly features not yet part of the mainstream, expect to see some of the S80/75th’s eye-popping amenities in future model years.

Volvo S80 75th anniversary edition at a glance

Make/model: 2002 Volvo S80 75th Anniversary Edition.

Vehicle type: Five-passenger, front-drive, limited-edition luxury sedan.

Base price: $45, 995 (as tested, $50,115).

Engine: 2.9-liter in-line 6 with 268 horsepower at 5, 200 revolutions per minute and 280 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800-5,000 rpm.

EPA fuel economy: 18 miles per gallon city;25 mpg highway.

Transmission: Four-speed automatic with overdrive, clutchless manual-shifting feature and winter-handling mode.

Steering: Power rack and pinion with speed-sensitive feature.

Brakes: Power four-wheel discs with anti-lock. Suspension type MacPherson strut-type on front; fully independent multi-link on rear (coil springs, stabilizer bars and hydraulic shocks front and rear).

Interior volume: 99.9 cubic feet.

Trunk volume: 14.4 cubic feet. Fuel tank: 21.1 gallons.

Curb weight: 3, 583 pounds.

Front track: 62.3 inches.

Rear track: 61.4 inches.

Height: 57.2 inches.

Length: 189.8 inches.

Wheelbase: 109.9 inches.

Width: 72.1 inches.

Tires: P225/50HR17 Michelins.

Final assembly point: Gothenburg, Sweden.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.1
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 4.3
  • Reliability 4.1

Most recent consumer reviews

4.6

My first car and I'm not disappointed

I've purchased this car for $1700 used, and I thought it was pretty great deal especially for a volvo. What I love about the car the most is it's 2.9 L, turbo charged inline 6. The engine makes driving it really exciting when you put your foot down, but at the same time giving you good gas mileage as I can usually get 27 mpg out of it. If you want to have and extra bit of fun, hold down the STC button as this will turn the traction control off. The interior is very comfortable as the seats are leather and heated. The speakers are of pretty good quality. Not to mention the sun roof is a nice feature if you want to drive around on a cool spring day. The exterior itself is very attractive for a luxury sports sedan, especially with volvo's signature of an oddly looking yet lovable front end. This car isn't perfect however as I have a few complaints with it. For example, even though it has a turbo charger it does have pretty bad turbo lag as it usually doesn't kick in until you're at least at 4,000 RPM. Moving to the exterior, there are tiny wipers on the bottom set of headlights. Not only do they look ridiculous, but they also don't work. Even though the ride of it is comfortable that is only due to the comfortable seats as the suspension feels a bit as if its made of cement. Also there is the winter driving mode. The feature is very help as it starts you off in a higher gear so your rear wheels dont end up getting so much torque that they're struggling for traction. The button to activate it though is put on the opposite side of the gear label. From where it's placed I can't tell whether or not i've activated it without looking up and over my gear lever. Overall I'm very happy with my purchase as it is reliable, comfortable, and fun to drive. It also makes for much more of an interesting first car instead of a Honda Civic.

4.6

Excellant car

The car itself is excellent, however I have a hard time getting in and out mainly getting my right knee past the steering column. Another issue I have is that I also drive a few other vehicles regularly and they all have the Tach on the left on the speedometer to the right where as this Volvo has the Speedometer to the left with the Tach to the right. Doesn't sound like a big deal but as I'm driving and glance down I find myself glancing at the tach first. The 3rd item is I have big wide feet and the gas pedal and brake pedal are closer than most and I find myself stepping on the brake and gas with my right foot at the same time.

4.9

4TH volvo I have owned

I have owned a 2002 s80 t6,2001 xc70,2008 s80 and now I have a 2002 s80 project car. parts are no more expensive then any other make of car, easy to get, I do my own work on it.

See all 10 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volvo
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/unlimited miles , upgradeable up to 10 years
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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