- Published: Thursday, 28 May 2015 20:09
Hasn't the S80 been around for some time?
Indeed it has. First launched aeons ago (in car years, at least) in 2006, the S80 is now the elderly gentleman of the Volvo line-up which includes relatively young whippersnappers such as the V40.
Along with facelifts for the S60 sedan and XC60 SUV which we’ve already tested previously, a mild re-vamp of the Volvo S80 injects a bit more life into the Swedish big sedan.
In that sense, it’s the last of the obviously older Ford-era Volvos to remain – now that the S40 and C30 have disappeared – but Geely-era Volvo has seen fit to give the car a big boost, with a new drivetrain and revamped interior package.
It looks the same...
Still, the interior revisions have made sure that the S80 doesn’t look dated at all, especially next to the current crop of ‘young’ Volvos, and the key features of a big sedan, boot (480-litres) and rear passenger space, are good too.
The floating console, still a company signature, still takes centre stage in the cockpit, and a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment display system that’s controlled by knobs on the console face.
A new addition to this (and the rest of the newer models from Gothenburg) is Sensus Connect. Cars have made huge strides in terms of infotainment and connectivity recently, with even relatively affordable Japanese models (like the Mazda 2) adopting ‘iDrive-esque’ systems.
Another interesting feature is the car’s remote start system, which lets you cool down the interior on hot days: Simply stand a distance away, hold a button on the remote and the car’s engine will turn on. It works for a maximum of 15 minutes at a time and the engine shuts off once you get inside, to minimise danger. Watch a video of it in action here.
Oh so it's quite different. Did I hear the words 'new engine'?
Under the bonnet lies new engine technology in the form of the Drive-E T5 drivetrain. Like the XC60 and S60 T5 models, it packs a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 245bhp and 350Nm of torque, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
245bhp is nothing to sniff at, and it certainly feels direct and torquey enough to keep most other machines at bay, while the eight-speed transmission does a generally decent, undercover job except for the occasional low speed lurch.
How does it handle?
The car’s relaxed nature means you’ll be most comfortable deploying all that power in a straight line though. It’s been set up for straight-line cruising, with obvious concessions to eliminating the initial bump from irregularities in the road. As a result, the S80 makes a great long distance tourer, although it’s equally adept in town.
There is one fly in the pudding though: The S80 wallows into road depressions- suggesting very under-damped suspension - so after a dip in the road it tends to float like a boat. At normal speeds this is fine, but at higher speeds it’s something to be aware of, though it doesn’t make the car dangerous, it could be affecting for passengers.
Volvo S80 T5
Engine 1,969cc, 16V, inline 4, turbocharged
Power 245bhp at 5500rpm
Torque 350Nm at 1500-4800rpm
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Top Speed 230km/h
0-100kmh 6.5 seconds
Fuel efficiency 6.2L/100km
Price $210,000 with COE
Also Consider: VW Passat, Ford Mondeo