The 2002 Volvo S80 competes with some real heavyweights in the luxury sedan segment. It has Volvo’s extreme safety angle to offer and it concedes performance to Audi and BMW, luxury to Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, but still offers a fine combination of solid performance and handling with quite a bit of luxury and comfort plus the aforementioned class-leading safety to make a nice all-around car. Its base price isn’t as eye-popping as some of the vaunted German and Asian competition and for the right safety-minded buyer it has a lot to offer. A good choice for Volvo fans wanting big car luxury and a little performance to boot.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.9-liter six-cylinder
Models: Volvo S80 2.9, Volvo S80 T6, Volvo S80 T6 75th Anniversary Edition, Volvo T6 Executive, Volvo T6 Elite
For 2002, the T6 Elite trim level joins the S80 line-up. It combines the increased rear legroom, wider rear door openings and interior luxuries of the Executive with the convenience of a rear bench seat to provide room for five. All S80s now have Emergency Brake Assistance (EBA), enhanced traction control performance and improved throttle management to provide quicker response in everyday driving situations. There is now color-coordinated exterior trim instead of black moldings, an emergency release trunk release handle and the availability of a DVD-based navigation system and xenon headlamps. Pearl White and Black Sapphire are new exterior color choices. This year sees a 75th anniversary trim level with special door hinges allow for a wider door opening in order to access a roomier rear seat. Executive leather upholstery, and sunshade are standard for this trim along with a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 7-inch screens can play DVD, television or a video game. There is an option for a refrigerator in the rear center armrest.
The 2002 Volvo S80 comes in two basic divisions: the 2.9 and the T6 models. The T6 trim can be basic, Elite, Executive and 75th Anniversary Edition. All models are well-equipped for exterior gear.
The cabin of the S80 is truly luxurious and the base 2.9 offers many standard features with the various T6 trims offering the occasional extra, especially the 75th Anniversary trim which has many unique items.
Performance & Handling
The base 2.9 model makes use of a 2.9-liter, inline six-cylinder engine that develops 197 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. For the T6 models, the same 2.9-liter inline-six engine has two small turbochargers bolted on to it. Though there is slightly less displacement at 2.8 liters, the T6's engine cranks out 268 horsepower at 5400 rpm and a respectable 280 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm. Both engines are mounted transversely, and both mate with a four-speed-automatic transmission only. The Geartronic transmission on the T-6 allows the driver manual gear changes by pushing the shift lever fore and aft. Acceleration in the base model is acceptable but eclipsed by in class rivals. The T6 can kind of tangle with some of the German competition and runs the zero-60 mph sprint in under seven seconds.
Despite the numb steering all models are surprisingly agile for their size and have an assured grip with T6 models being even more precise and sharp. The brakes are really boosted, but function well. The ride is dependent on the trim. The 2.9 is relatively soft, possibly too much so over the rough stuff. The T6 is firmer but gets some vibration and jiggle over rough pavement and bumps. The noise levels are quite low save for a bit of tire noise in rough spots.
Like all Volvo’s the S80 doesn’t mess around when it comes to safety. Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, remote anti-theft system, side-impact airbags for the front seats, all five seating positions have three-point shoulder belts with pretensioners, curtain-type airbags extend from the front roof pillar to the rear pillar and drop down from above the side windows in a collision. A standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) moves the front seatbacks and headrests rearward in a rear-end collision to help minimize whiplash. In NHTSA testing the S80 earned five out of five stars on all tests performed. In IIHS tests the S80 received the highest rating of ?Good? for frontal offset crash safety. If there is a car on the road that is safer than the S80, it is probably an Army-surplus tank.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo S80 2.9: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Volvo S80 T6 models: 16/23 mpg city/highway
- Safety innovations and features
- Performance of T6 trim
- Backseat space
You Won't Like
- T6’s performance exceeds the rest of the car’s abilities
- Confusing control markings
Overlooked luxury sedan offers a lot of safety and could be the right car for some buyers.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jaguar XJ Series
- Audi A6
- Lincoln Continental
- BMW 5 Series
- Chrysler 300M
- Buick Park Avenue