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1999 Volvo S80 Review
Keeps Sweden in the running.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 Volvo S80 classifies as a midsize executive sedan manufactured by Sweden-based Volvo, and it replaces the rear-drive Volvo S90 or 960. Unlike most other Volvo models, the S80 does not come in a station wagon version, and it sells solely as a sedan.
Engines: 2.8-liter I-6, 2.9-liter I-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic with auto-manual
Models: Volvo S80 2.9, Volvo S80 T6
The 1999 Volvo S80 makes its debut this year as a replacement for the S90, and the timing could not have been any better. The S80 marks many firsts for the company. It represents the first model to use a transverse inline six-cylinder engine and feature a fully integrated GSM phone.
The 1999 Volvo S80 builds on the Volvo P2 platform, and it represents a change in the styling conventions followed by the company up until now. Instead of the conservative styling that has come to define Volvo models, the S80 features a strong character line running up both sides of the hood and making the lower boundary of the greenhouse.
The character line flows into the rear deck and creates sheet metal shoulders on top of the wheels along with an interesting ridge in the taillights. This sort of a change in design stems from a model seen years before in a concept car for the company.
The 1999 Volvo S80 offers a lot of room in the front and rear. Entry and exit to the front and back seem easy because of the wide opening angles of the doors. Inside the car, the dashboard sports a clean and modern layout that seems to grasp, except for the radio station-memory function, which uses dials instead of buttons.
The car offers an optional navigation system, whose map screen rises from the middle of the dashboard top until it reaches eye level. The screen looks easy to read, and the controls for the system sit on the steering wheel, making it easy to operate. However, it may take some time to figure out the ins and outs of the system.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Volvo S80 uses a 2.9-liter, double overhead-cam, inline six-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower. The T6 model contains a turbocharged, 2.8-liter, straight-six engine that delivers 268 horsepower. Both engines mate with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The base model 1999 Volvo S80 offers just enough acceleration to keep the car going, but the turbocharged straight-six engine delivers a stirring performance. The T6 moves very quick by almost any standard, and fuel economy in both models achieves more than average ratings. Gearshifts on the automatic transmission feel smooth.
The 1999 Volvo S80 handles very well and does not lose control too soon. The steering seems precise and firm at first, but some consider it too numb and over assisted. The S80 feels stable on the road, easily absorbing most bumps and keeping the ride smooth.
The 1999 Volvo S80 comes fitted with a number of safety features, including the company’s inflatable curtain airbags that drop drown from the top of the side windows in the event of a side impact. The S80 also includes Volvo’s WHIPS system, which moves the front seatbacks and headrests toward the rear in the event of a rear-end collision. Government crash tests results remain unavailable for the 1999 Volvo S80.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Inherent safety of a Volvo
- Comfortable interior
- Good performance with the T6 model
- New and eye-catching style
You Won't Like
- Lacks a wagon model
Keeps Sweden in the running.
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