2011 Volvo S80 Performance

7.0
Performance
The 2011 S80 has a some solid performance credentials, and while they give this sedan strong acceleration and a sense of responsiveness, its handling isn't quite up to snuff for a sport sedan.

The standard S80 comes with a 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, with a six-speed automatic transmission, including Geartronic manual control. Overall, it's a sweet, refined engine, and brings an eager, responsive feel to the car, even though it's not downright quick. The 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged six that's in the T6 (in combination with all-wheel drive) won't give you the seat-of-your-pants kick that the now-discontinued V-8 did—nor does it have its delicious sound—but it will move the S80 very quickly. The all-wheel-drive system in the T6 can send nearly all torque to the front wheels during normal driving but can reapportion up to 50 percent to the rear wheels as needed.

In T6 trim, the Volvo S80 offers an active suspension system that continually adjusts the S80's shocks from Comfort, Sport, and Advanced to fit varied types of driving; it can also tie in with the variable-assist power steering, which ranges from light to firm. While the S80 drives well, it's not the sort of sport sedan to get excited about, even in T6 guise; its handling, although safe, is just too disconnected for a sport sedan.

The 2011 Volvo S80's powertrains feel strong and willing, but overall the driving experience, even in T6 form is one of competence, not excitement.

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