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#17

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $40,500 - $49,050
Invoice: $38,070 - $46,107
MPG: 25 City / 37 Hwy
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Volvo S80 Performance

Many reviewers write that the 2015 Volvo S80 isn’t very fun to drive due to its lackluster handling. However, they appreciate its comfortable ride and powerful engines.

  • "If you're looking for a comfortable commuter with room for four adults, you could do much worse than the S80; just don't expect much in the way of driver involvement." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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 (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2015 Volvo S80 T5 comes with a new 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The S80 T6 model comes with a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the 2015 Volvo S80 T5 gets 25/37 mpg city/highway, which is superb for the class. The S80 T6 gets 19/28, which is on par with the fuel economy of other six-cylinder luxury cars with all-wheel drive.

Test drivers report that the S80 T5’s engine is potent and delivers power smoothly. They note that the more powerful S80 T6 may not be as fast as German competitors, but reviewers say most buyers will appreciate its strong turbocharged six-cylinder engine.

  • "Replacing the dated 3.2-liter 6-cylinder, the new Drive-E turbocharged 4-cylinder is a smooth, refined and powerful engine." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 300-hp S80 T6 accelerates with real vigor, and the AWD assures that you seldom feel the tires struggling for traction, even when you ask for full power." -- Edmunds
  • "The S80 T6 may not match its German rivals for top-end acceleration, but with 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, its turbo six should satisfy the vast majority of drivers." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Volvo S80 T5 has front-wheel drive, while the S80 T6 has all-wheel drive. Critics say that one of the highlights of the S80 is its smooth ride. However, they report that its handling is unwieldy and its steering is too light. The T6 is available with a sport suspension, and auto writers say it improves handling, though some add that it hurts the ride quality.

  • "For many, the 2015 S80's ride will stand out: The compliant suspension smoothes potholes and speed bumps with ease. But the S80s too-light steering and stubborn preference for pointing straight ahead make for vague driver confidence when going around turns. The T6 model's optional 19-inch wheels and sport chassis noticeably sharpen handling, although this setup isn't available for the T5 and its new engine." -- Edmunds
  • "On the road, the S80 has a nose for the fast lane, hunkering down at high speeds the way a good European luxury sedan should. Otherwise, though, it drives like a big luxury sedan, which means it's well isolated from the elements but not remotely engaging." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "Available only on T6 models, the Sport Chassis adds 19-inch wheels, a lower ride height and a stiffer suspension, but it also brings a much stiffer ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "S80 never really manages to feel sporty, but it handles competently and is easily controlled." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 1/2/15

Next Steps: Volvo S80