The Volvo S80 was the Volvo flagship sedan before it was replaced with the current S90 a few years ago. The first generation of the S80 was introduced back in 1998 and was in production until 2006 when it was replaced by the updated version that stayed in production until 2016. The S80 is still a fairly competitive sedan on the used car market.
The S80 lineup consists of a few petrol engines and 3 diesel engines. The second generation is even available as a long-wheelbase model in order to properly compete with the likes of the BMW 7-Series, the Audi A8, and Mercedes Benz S-Class. The second generation also offers updated engines offering more power with better efficiency.
Design-wise, the S80 utilizes the classic boxy long sedan silhouette that perfectly matches its German rivals. The second generation looks a lot more appealing on the inside as the 1st gen S80 is now a relatively-old looking car. The driving experience is what you’d expect from a flagship sedan, sophisticated and comfortable.
Value-wise, the 2nd generation of the S80 is still competitive while the 1st gen is not. Practicality-wise, the S80 offers all the space in the world, especially the LWB model. Cargo space is also vast, and so are the number of cubby and storage spaces on the inside.
Volvo S80 – The powertrain
The 1st generation S80 lineup starts with the 1.9L inline 5-cylinder engine with 163hp while the 2.4L inline 5-cylinder makes 140hp. The 2.5LT model makes 210hp. All three of these are FWD cars with a manual gearbox. The 6-cylinder lineup starts with the 2.9L model which makes 200hp and the 2.8L model that makes 272hp.
These 6-cylinder models come with an automatic gearbox and FWD. There are also three diesel engines on offer with power ranging from 130hp to 163hp, but these are not nearly as desirable. The S80 II comes with more than 20 different petrol options and most of these are updated engines from the 1st generation model, bar the new V8 models.
The second-generation S80 is also available with an AWD powertrain while the most powerful models offer more than 300hp. The S80 is fairly efficient, especially the second-generation models which can return close to 40MPG.
Volvo S80 – Design and chassis
The first generation of the Volvo S80 utilizes the classic Volvo boxy shape while the second generation is a tad bit more rounded. The post-facelift 2nd generation model looks fairly up to date, even by today’s standards. Interior-wise, the 2nd generation of the S80 looks and feels a lot nicer and better equipped.
The suspension and chassis tuning of the S80 is mostly tailored towards a more comfortable ride and that is rather obvious the moment you sit behind the wheel of the S80. Power is being distributed linearly and the suspension is able to soak up most of the bumps out there.
Volvo S80 – Reliability and common issues
The first generation of the S80 is decently reliable, but the 2nd generation S80 is a lot more reliable. Either way, the most common S80 issues are associated with the engine, suspension, driving control systems, electrical systems, and pressure regulating systems.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these like the driving control systems and the engine-related issues can be extremely dangerous as they are able to destroy many vital car components. The good news is that if you go for a newer model, you are not likely going to experience these.
Volvo S80 – Value and practicality
The first generation of the S80 can be had for around $10,000 while the second generation can be had for around $20,000. If you got for a lower mileage, better-equipped model, you should expect to pay almost as twice as much. The S80 is not all that old, but it does seem like great value if you are after such a car.
Practicality-wise, the S80 offers all the space in the world because it is a full-size luxury sedan. The S80 LWB is made for chauffeuring purposes which means that it offers record-breaking levels of legroom. Cargo space is also great and so is the overall visibility, especially considering the size of the car.
How much does it cost to maintain a Volvo S80?
The Volvo S80 costs about $700 to maintain on a yearly basis according to most online sources. It is worth mentioning that these maintenance costs can be swayed either way depending on the state of the car and how willing you are to maintain it properly. All in all, $700 is what you’d expect from a car from this segment.
No matter if you deem the price too high, or too low, you indeed do need to maintain the S80 as cars such as these tend to suffer badly from lack of maintenance. These are large and complex machines that need tender love and care, otherwise, they will malfunction badly.
Is the Volvo S80 better than the Mercedes S-Class?
The Volvo S80 was primarily designed to compete with the likes of the Mercedes Benz S-Class, but the S-Class has always been the benchmark full-size luxury car. As such, even though the S80 does offer endless amounts of amazing quirks and features, the S-Class is simply a level above when it comes to engines, luxury, and sophistication.
After all, the Mercedes brand is synonymous with luxury which means that hardly any other brand out there can compete with it. That does not mean that the S80 is bad because it certainly is not.
Is the Volvo S80 safe?
The Volvo S80 is one of the safest full-size luxury sedans on the market because safety is where Volvo company tends to excel. The post-facelift 2nd generation of the S80 offers many of the safety features you’d expect from cars that are only a year or two old.
If you pair that with effective crumple zones, lots of airbags, and a well-designed interior that is able to withstand lots of impact force, it is easy to understand why the S80 is as safe as it is.