Volvo's flagship S80 sedan hasn't been refreshed since 2010 and there are few changes for 2012. That said, it's the affordable executive option, undercutting its newer German rivals substantially.
The base model has a pedestrian 240-hp inline-6, and the T6 all-wheel drive features a 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine. The S80 is not a track burner, but offers good freeway power and a comfortable, spacious drive.
Inside, the T6 all-wheel drive and the base 3.2 model are available with wood veneers, massaging, ventilated, leather seats and the latest in Volvo's safety. Want more Swedish opulence? Consider the rear refrigerator containing a pair of crystal glasses. Regardless of engine selection, the S80 is a logical pick if you're looking for a roomy Swedish sedan that focuses more on luxury appointments than sporting ambitions.
Bodystyle: 4-door sedan
Engines: 3.2-liter inline-6, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: 3.2 front-wheel drive, T6 all-wheel drive
The only changes for 2012 include a new Biarritz Blue Metallic color, and a new model level philosophy: Premier, Premier Plus, and Platinum.
The S80's sheetmetal soldiers onward without looking particularly dated, but it's not going to wow anyone, either. There's a shiny new front bumper and LED turn signals for 2012.
Within the S80, you'll find a subdued and comfortable rendition of Volvo's Swedish design philosophy. Its surfaces are flowing, seats plump, and yet the instrument panel's twin gauges are easy to read and the center stack's controls are thoughtfully intuitive.
Performance & Handling
With 240 horsepower, the S80 hits 60 mph in a sedate 7.4 seconds, while the T6 with its 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter gets to the same speed in about 6.3 seconds. The optional Sport Chassis (available on the T6) includes firmer springs, shocks, anti-roll bars and stiffer subframe bushings to deliver more agile handling.
Among Volvo's legendary list of technologically advanced safety features is its Blind Spot Information System and the 'Heartbeat Sensor' which can detect if someone uninvited is hiding in your S80.
EPA Fuel Economy
3.2: 20 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
T6 all-wheel drive: 18 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
- Available all-wheel drive
- Ample interior room
You Won't Like
Understated executive sedan
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A6
- BMW 5 Series
- Infiniti M
- Lexus GS