Used Volvo S80 2006-2016 review

Category: Executive car

The Volvo S80 is a classy and elegant saloon, but it lacks the polish of some rivals

Used Volvo S80
  • Used Volvo S80
  • Used Volvo S80 interior
  • Used Volvo S80 interior
  • Used Volvo S80 side
  • Used Volvo S80 rear corner
  • Used Volvo S80 boot
  • Used Volvo S80 side
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  • Used Volvo S80
  • Used Volvo S80 interior
  • Used Volvo S80 interior
  • Used Volvo S80 side
  • Used Volvo S80 rear corner
  • Used Volvo S80 boot
  • Used Volvo S80 side
  • Used Volvo S80 rear corner
Used Volvo S80 2006-2016 review
Star rating

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).


The Volvo S80 is a classy and elegant saloon, but it lacks the polish of some rivals

  • Well-finished interior
  • Comfortable
  • Later versions are more efficient
  • Numb steering
  • Compromised ride quality
  • Some wind and road noise

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.

Ownership cost

What used Volvo S80 saloon will I get for my budget?

If you're prepared to put up with an S80 that has done some serious mileage, you can bag one for less than £2000. We'd suggest increasing your budget to between £5000-£7000 for a post-2011 car with additional safety tech.

A 2014 D5 SE Lux with all the trimmings and a respectable number of miles on it will cost you around £11,000, while a last-of-the-line 2016 model from a franchised Volvo dealer will be £15,000 or so.

You can check the value of any used Volvo S80 with What Car? Valuations.

Used Volvo S80 interior

How much does it cost to run a Volvo S80 saloon?

Most of the S80's petrol engines will be expensive to run, because of their high CO2 emissions. The best is the later four-cylinder T4, thanks to official economy of 42.8mpg and C02 emissions of 152g/km. After that is the T5, at 35.7mpg and 184g/km, but it all goes downhill with the five, six and eight-cylinder engines. The 2.5T gets 30.4mpg and 223g/km; the 3.0-litre T6 gets 28.9mpg and 231 g/km; the 3.2 gets 27.4mpg and 246g/km; and finally the 4.4 V8 gets 23.7mpg and 284g/km.

The diesels are significantly cheaper to run, with the 1.6D DRIVe (later renamed D2) getting 62.8mpg and 119g/km and the later D4 improving matters to 68.9mpg and 104 g/km.

In comparison, the original 2.4D diesel manages 44.8mpg and emits 167g/km, while the older D5 delivers 44.1mpg and emits 169g/km. Later D3 models managed 65.7mpg and 114g/km and improved D5 models managed 61.4mpg and 120 g/km. Click here for further information about the current road tax rates.

Servicing costs for a Volvo will be on par with premium brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. You can get a fairly accurate indication by using the calculator tool on Volvo's website.

Our recommendations

Which used Volvo S80 saloon should I buy?

The S80's engine line-up is an extensive one, so narrowing down a top pick is tricky.

Petrol examples are rather rare and most sit in the highest tax bracket, so unless you really want or need one, you'll be better off with a diesel.

Post-facelift 2.0-litre D4 models are the most economical and command a bit of a premium over other versions, so unless you do plenty of miles, they might not make as much financial sense as going for a more readily available 2.4 D5. Try to go for a post-2011 example, because they're more efficient than earlier ones.

SE models come with all the equipment you'll need, and cars from 2012 onwards have Volvo's City Safety suite of technology included as standard. Also, look out for any car fitted with the Winter Pack, because that means you'll get heated front seats that make those cold morning commutes more tolerable.

Our favourite version of the Volvo S80: 2.4 D5 SE

Used Volvo S80 side


What alternatives should I consider to a used Volvo S80 saloon?

The Audi A6 is perhaps a tad classier than the Volvo, because its interior is of higher quality and it has a posher badge. It might not seem quite as stylish inside, but the A6's infotainment is vastly superior and much easier to use, although you won't get the same level of safety tech unless you find one with lots of options fitted.

If you want an executive car that can cover all basis, there's little to challenge the BMW 5 Series. Extremely good refinement, decent efficiency, a high-quality interior, excellent infotainment and tidy handling make this big BMW a great choice. Again, you won't get the same level of safety equipment as you get in the S80, but that's the only downside.

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Used Volvo S80 rear corner