in 2013 Luxury Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $28,782 - $34,958
Original MSRP: $39,150 - $47,000
MPG: 19 City / 28 Hwy
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2013 Volvo S80 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

While some reviewers write that the 2013 Volvo S80 lacks the agility of rival sports sedans, others praise its composed handling and comfortable ride. Still, one reviewer notes that the S80 could provide better fuel economy, while others comment that the base engine provides power that’s adequate at best.

  • "… its dynamic performance and fuel economy are slightly behind the curve and there is no V8 engine available." -- Edmunds
  • "The Volvo S80 feels confident and capable enough with either powerplant, but the difference in spirit and response between the two is significant." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Like the Audi A6 3.0T, the S80 is essentially a front-wheel-drive sedan that sends power to the rear wheels when needed, so it lacks the predictable rear-drive feel of the BMW or Cadillac. Still, we found the big sedan to be both a serene cruiser and an acceptably balanced handler." -- Left Lane News (S80 T6)
  • "Both 6-cylinder engines growl under acceleration. There's little wind noise, but tire thrum is noticeable on some coarse surfaces." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Volvo S80 comes in two models: S80 3.2 and S80 T6 AWD. The base S80 3.2 has a 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The S80 T6 AWD features a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The EPA reports that the S80 3.2 gets 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is decent for the class. Still, cars like the Audi A6 2.0T and BMW 528i have better fuel economy ratings.

Reviewers write that the S80 3.2 accelerates adequately, but also that it isn’t particularly exciting to drive. As a result, most test drivers recommend the S80 T6 AWD, which offers comparable performance to other six-cylinder luxury large cars. Few critics have mentioned the S80’s transmission, but one reviewer writes that it provides quick, seamless shifts.

  • "The 2013 Volvo S80's 3.2-liter base engine is perfectly serviceable, but its relative lack of personality makes it hard to recommend. The turbocharged engine of the T6 is another matter entirely, as it delivers the kind of lively acceleration you'd expect from an upscale sedan, and the wave of torque it produces is noticeable." -- Edmunds 
  • "The base offering is a normally-aspirated 3.2-liter that produces 240 horsepower and is available only with front-wheel-drive. It is adequate to move this mid-size sedan, but hardly inspiring." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Thrust from the inline-six is solid throughout the rev range with no perceptible turbo lag. The six-speed automatic transmission might be down a gear or two compared to some rivals, but it still fired off quick, smooth shifts when called upon." -- Left Lane News (S80 T6)
  • "The 3.2's smooth 6-cylinder provides adequate power but lacks punch compared to V6-powered class rivals and even cars costing thousands less." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Volvo S80 is one of the most sedate handlers in the luxury large car class, according to critics. Some reviewers say that although its suspension is tuned for a comfortable ride, the S80 still offers controlled handling and an accurate, nicely weighted steering system. Others write that the S80’s lackluster handling and numb steering fall short of their expectations. One notes that the optional Dynamic package improves handling, but results in a stiffer ride.

  • "When equipped with the standard suspension, the S80 has a plush, isolated ride quality, though its light effort and slow-ratio steering plus mediocre handling abilities leave something to be desired." -- Edmunds 
  • "Those seeking an even more sporting experience in the all-wheel-drive T6 version of the S80 can opt for the Dynamic Package. … But be advised - the sharper performance comes at a cost in comfort as the ride is considerably stiffer." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "With a suspension tuned more for ride comfort, the S80 won't thrill enthusiasts with its handling, but the steering is nicely weighted, sufficiently precise and generally natural-feeling. That's something we can't say about the BMW 5-Series' electronic setup." -- Left Lane News
  • "S80 never feels sporty, but handles with controlled competence. Nice, tight turning radius. ... Braking is worry-free, but one test model suffered from a slightly mushy pedal." -- Consumer Guide (2012)