- Elegant interior
- Excellent safety features
- Comfortable seats
- Stable ride
- Staid looks
- Feels heavy
- Small trunk
- Lifeless steering
features & specs
The 2016 Volvo S80 makes safety and comfort the priority; it's a better long-distance than tight-corner performer.
The 2016 Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E is Volvo's flagship sedan, at least until a totally new model called the S90 replaces it late in 2016.
Introduced as a 2007 model, the current-generation S80 has been with us for nine years. It looks a little dated, though tweaks along the way, including for 2015, have helped to keep it looking fresh. The S80 betrays its age when parked next to the sleeker S60 or near a Jaguar XF, BMW 5-Series, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Inside, the cabin is about Swedish simplicity. Despite it's age, it's a nice place to be. Contrasting tones, a floating center stack housing the climate controls and high-end audio system interface, outstanding seats, it all combines to form an impression of refined, curated elegance.
There are no significant changes to the S80 for the 2016 model year except those taking place under the hood. The sole engine choice is the newly introduced 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The S80 T5 Drive-E is front-wheel drive and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Neither the six-cylinder engine nor all-wheel drive are available for 2016.
We've requested a drive in the S80 with the new drivetrain, but have not had seat time yet. We'll update this review when one becomes available.
In previous drives with heavier powertrains, the S80 was not a thrilling sport sedan. Dull steering and the heft of a large sedan combine to keep the driving a sedate experience. Where the S80 shines is on the open road. Ride quality is firmer than expected, especially at low speeds on rough neighborhood streets. Once cruising at highway speeds, the S80 delivers a sense of stability that avoids the floating feel of softer luxury cars.
The 2016 Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E does not offer the fuel economy of some of the hybrid models from other brands, but its EPA figures are good for a luxurious, feature-packed, roomy sedan: an EPA-rated 25 mpg city, 37 highway, 29 combined.
Comfort and quality
The Volvo S80 is a comfortable luxury sedan with a roomy cabin. The front seats are fantastic, with good fit and support and a wide range of adjustment.
The leather upholstery strikes a fine balance between plush and durable. Real wood finishes and metallic accents give the cabin a solid look and appear to be of good quality.
The rear seat is comfortable and spacious. The back seats are nicely contoured for adults and three passengers can sit side by side in the rear seats. Once back there, they will benefit from heating and air conditioning vents on the B-pillars.
With only 15 cubic feet of cargo space, the S80’s trunk is not huge, though the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks can make room for larger items.
Safety and features
Volvo considers safety a brand hallmark, and the 2016 Volvo S80 comes loaded with safety features.
Safety equipment on the 2016 Volvo S80 includes City Safety, which offers forward collision avoidance; the Personal Car Communicator, which can detect intruders and report on the security status of the car remotely; rain-sensing wipers and headlight washers. Also, the headlights can automatically detect and adjust for tunnels.
Optional safety features include forward-collision alerts with automatic braking; adaptive cruise control; and a lane-departure warning system. Blind-spot monitors are included in the Platinum package.
The 2015 Volvo S80 received "Good" scores from the IIHS across the board and was awarded the agency's Top Safety Pick+ designation. Federal officials haven't tested a Volvo S80 for several years now.
Just one model and two trim lines are available for 2016, both loaded with luxury and technology features. The S80 T5 Drive-E is the only model and it comes in standard and Platinum editions.
All S80 models come with power windows, locks, and mirrors; automatic climate control; cruise control; a glass moonroof; power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support; a 7-inch color display with navigation; an AM/FM/six-CD audio system with iPod/USB input, MP3 capability, eight speakers, a 160-watt amplifier, and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with audio streaming; a Homelink programmable garage door opener; and 18-inch Magni wheels.
In addition, the Volvo S80 Platinum comes with dual xenon headlights with washers; front and rear parking assist; rearview mirror compass; a rearview camera; a quick-folding passenger seat; a Harman Kardon sound system with Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound, a 650-watt amplifier with 12 speakers, HD Radio, CD player, and MP3 capability with iPod/USB input; blind-spot monitors; and navigation with voice control and real-time traffic.
The 2016 Volvo S80 starts at $43,450 plus $925 in destination fees for the S80 T5 Drive-E model. The Platinum package adds $4,925.