What's the used Volvo S80 saloon like?
Apparently, the people of Sweden are more concerned with wellbeing than showing off, which is probably why the Volvo S80 focused on offering a comprehensive set of automatic safety tech rather than have really flashy styling of the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. If you're a bit like that yourself, you'll be pleased to hear that the S80 is now a bit of a bargain, thanks to steep depreciation.
The S80's engine range evolved over time, but you'll need a good reason to look at anything other than a diesel. Petrols - particularly the 4.4-litre V8 - are rare and don't have the overall appeal of the diesels, because of their high CO2 emissions and expensive road tax. Originally, two 2.4-litre diesel engines were available: one with 161bhp (badged 2.4D) and the other with 182bhp (D5).
Towards the end of 2007, a 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel (D3) was launched. It proved popular with company car drivers and was revised in 2010 to produce a bit more power, at 161bhp. In early 2009, the 108bhp 1.6D DRIVe (late renamed D2) came along, and although it sounds weedy, its performance is acceptable in reality and fuel economy is excellent. A 181bhp 2.0-litre (D4) arrived in 2014, while the D5 was updated again to increase power output to 212bhp and reduce running costs.
The firm suspension of the S80 can be jittery on poor surfaces and thuds over potholes. Still, it makes the car composed and reasonably agile at higher speed. The light steering is good for town driving but feels increasingly numb the faster you go. Wind and road noise are noticeable at higher speeds, and the diesel engines are loud when pushed hard.
The S80's interior is classy, solidly built and able to seat four in comfort. However, it's not as roomy as the 5 Series or E-Class. At 422 litres, the boot isn't a class-leader, but the 60/40-split folding rear seats mean larger loads can be accommodated.
The entry-level SE came with all the essentials, including alloys, electric windows and climate control, but SE added leather upholstery and an upgraded stereo. SE Sport got heated and cooled front seats and an adaptive chassis system, but we don't think it's worth the extra. SE Lux added wood inlays to the dashboard, an electrically adjustable passenger seat, bi-xenon headlights and rear parking sensors, while top-of-the-range Executive models feature extra chrome on the outside, softer leather on the inside, a premium surround sound system, front parking sensors and heated rear seats.
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