Volvo S80 DRIVe: driven

* New 1.6 diesel engine * Price: £22,245 * On sale now...

Volvo S80 DRIVe: driven

Buying a Volvo S80 DRIVe could certainly reduce your carbon footprint, but it could also drive you to distraction.

That's because every time the subject of motors comes up, you'll probably fail to convince your colleagues that a piddling 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine is more than man enough to haul around your sizable pride and joy.

Awesome economy

Sure, you could point to the hugely impressive average fuel economy of 57.7mpg and CO2 emissions of just 129g/km that put you into a lowly 18% company car tax band.

Plus, with its big 70-litre fuel tank, you can tell the doubting Thomases that you've forgotten what a petrol station forecourt looks like.

Safe and comfortable

You could even extol the virtues of Volvo's famed crash protection, or the S80's spacious, lavishly appointed interior that boasts some of the best seats this side of the Royal box at Wimbledon.

Small engine delivers a fine drive
In the end, though, you'll have to address the nub of the matter the small engine and here's how.

Tell your detractors that although 108bhp may not sound particularly impressive, the key to the DRIVe's success lies in its 177lb ft of torque.

This ensures a smooth take off and enough effortless muscle to help you nudge along in stop-start traffic with just a hint of throttle.

What's more, ask the DRIVe to scoot, rather than sprint, you up to motorway speeds and you'll be pleasantly surprised at its briskness.

Once cruising, there's very little diesel grumble and plenty of top-gear responsiveness.

Add the near absence of wind- and road noise and the DRIVe's limo-like virtues are guaranteed to reduce your stress rate as well as your carbon footprint. PT

Our verdict

Economical, efficient, refined and comfortable an excellent company car