Volvo continues to chug along as one of the under-appreciated participants in the luxury car segment. Sure, it doesn’t have the brand cachet of BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but its models are solidly built and some of the safest on the road.

The S80 sedan has been one of the brand’s longest-running models. For 2016, it drops its six-cylinder and all-wheel drive options, leaving buyers with a configuration of front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder powertrain.

Pricing and Equipment

Being the flagship sedan for a luxury brand comes with a relatively high entry fee, and the 2016 S80 is no exception to this rule with a starting price of $43,450. This base T5 Drive-E FWD trim level is certainly worth its price, though, as it comes standard with top-line features like:

  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Interior accent lighting
  • Three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Dark walnut inlays

The only optional trim level available is the Premium, which adds an extra $4,925 to the base price. Buyers can also pick from a slew of optional packages, like the Inscription Package, the Convenience Package, and the Technology Package.

Performance Pros

Volvo S80

The S80’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine easily matches the base four-bangers in other luxury sedans. Thanks to its smaller engine, fuel economy is actually very good.

  • Performance from the S80's 240-horsepower four-cylinder is on par with similar base engines from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
  • Its EPA rating of 37 mpg highway is quite impressive for a flagship luxury sedan.

Performance Cons

The S80 has fairly odd handling characteristics, as it attempts to bridge the gap between a true luxury sedan and a sport sedan.

  • There's too much heft to tackle the corners with true authority.
  • The S80's stiff suspension feels rough at slower speeds, however.
  • There aren't any available powertrain upgrades.

Interior Pros

Volvo S80

The S80’s interior is definitely its strong suit, as it is quite roomy and has all the features premium buyers are looking for. Additionally, like all other Volvos, the S80’s cabin is one of the safest in the industry.

  • There's a generous 41.5 inches of legroom up front, and 35 inches in the rear.
  • The S80 earns top safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Interior Cons

The S80’s interior looks dated, giving the feel of an older luxury car. At just 14.9 cubic feet, trunk space is also tight when compared to some key competitors.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The level of comfort when cruising the highway in the 2016 S80 is unmatched. The seats are soft but supportive, the cabin is whisper quiet, and the suspension is soft without feeling too much like it's floating.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

While the suspension is great on the highway, we were less than pleased on city streets -- particularly when they're bumpy. For some reason, the S80’s suspension feels a tad too stiff at low speeds, resulting in a lot of jarring motion.

The Bottom Line

Volvo S80

Though its looks are dated, the S80 remains a great luxury sedan. It delivers ample straight-line performance, great fuel economy, tons of luxurious features, and some of the best safety ratings. If you can look past its few faults, or if you enjoy its classic styling, the S80 is a great option.