As it has since 1999, Volvo’s largest sedan continues to offer a pleasant motoring experience, typically attracting buyers who aren’t lured by flashier competitors. Conservatively styled and delivering quite a plush ride, the S80 aims squarely at the middle of the near-luxury sedan market.
What's New for 2016
At mid-year (2015.5), the front-drive S80 gained Volvo’s new Drive-E four-cylinder engine, with new eight-speed automatic transmission and Start/Stop technology, which promised increased efficiency. New standard features included Sensus Connect and Navigation. Platinum trim levels were added, as well as a new Convenience Package. Nothing has changed for 2016, except that a compass will no longer be incorporated into the inside mirror.
Choosing Your Volvo S80
If you pick a T5 front-drive model, the 2-liter Drive-E engine comes standard, mating with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Generating 240 horsepower, the turbocharged four-cylinder can deliver an estimated 25 mpg around town, and 37 mpg on the highway. Eco+ Start/Stop technology, with Eco-coast and Eco-climate modes, can shut off the engine when the car is stopped, to save fuel.
All-wheel-drive T6 versions retain a turbocharged 3-liter V6 rated at 300-horsepower, driving a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
Premier and new Platinum trim levels are offered with each drivetrain.
A new Convenience Package includes front/rear park assist, a rear park assist camera, a grocery bag holder, and quick-fold front passenger seat.
An available Inscription Package adds full soft-leather seating, ventilated front seats, and leather-covered dashboard.
The Technology Package includes active high-beam control, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and collision warnings, distance alert, driver alert control, road sign information, and pedestrian and cyclist detection with full auto braking.
Standalone S80 options include a blind-spot information system with power-retractable mirrors, heated front seats, active dual xenon headlights with washers, and the harman kardon premium sound system. A T5 may be upgraded with a power sunroof and 18-inch wheels. The T6 can get 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, including a lowered Sport chassis.
Choosing an engine is easy enough. If efficiency scores higher than performance on your list of preferences, the T5 is the only way to go. For performance, coupled with the benefits of all-wheel drive, it’s the T6. Picking Platinum over Premier is an easy decision, too: just ask if the extra features are worth several thousand additional dollars.