- Comfortable and refined
- Excellent interior quality
- Low running costs
- Uninspiring looks
- Dated interior design
- Not much fun to drive
Safe, comfortable executive saloon.
The Volvo S80 is the Swedish manufacturer’s biggest saloon offering. First introduced in 1998, and now in its second generation, the S80 goes up against the Mercedes E-Class, the BMW 5 Series, and the Audi A6 in a crowded executive saloon market. It might not have the dynamism of its rivals, but you can’t question the S80’s comfort. From the seats, to the suspension, it all makes for an incredibly soothing ride. Safety is excellent as well, whilst practicality is a match for rivals. It isn’t particularly exciting, but the Volvo S80 is one of the safest, most sensible executive saloons on the market.
The Volvo S80 has been updated regularly over the years, improving safety, and interior technology. In 2016 the S80 was discontinued, and replaced by the S90, making the S80 a great used car buy.
Spacious, practical, and well-made.
Volvo might not make interiors that are a match for its German rivals when it comes to high-tech interior design, but the S80’s cabin is attractive enough. It’s practical as well, and no matter which model you go for, you’ll get plenty of kit for your money.
Sweden is a country that is famed for its clean, ergonomic designs. To some extent, the S80 follows a similar path. The dashboard isn’t particularly exciting to look at, but features such as the floating centre console stand it out from the crowd. As you’d expect from an executive car, interior quality is excellent. Soft-touch materials adorn almost every area, giving the S80 a real premium feel. The controls are a little cluttered however, and can take some time getting used to. It’s only a minor niggle however.
Practicality is a big need for buyers of large executive saloons. Thankfully, the S80 doesn’t disappoint. There’s more than enough space for both the driver, and the rear passengers. Leg and headroom are more than ample in the rear, and you can comfortably fit in five adults without too much of a fuss. The 480 litre boot capacity is pretty impressive as well. It’s not quite as big as the BMW 5 Series’, but it is a good shape, and can swallow a full set of golf clubs with relative ease.
Equipment levels in the S80 are generous no matter which model you choose. The entry-level SE Nav trim includes leather seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, DVD player, DAB radio, sat-nav, Bluetooth, and a 7” colour display. Range-topping SE Lux adds a few little extras, but there’s very little between the two trim levels. Neither will leave you feeling short-changed.
All in all the S80’s interior is a pretty impressive package. The design might look a little dated next to its German rivals, but you can’t doubt the quality that the S80 offers. It’s practical as well, and no matter which model you go for, you’re going to get great value for money.
Comfortable and refined, but not a great deal of fun.
Volvo’s have never been, and probably never will be known for their driver-focused handling. The S80 is no different. The steering is light, which makes it a great car to drive around town. Parking and weaving through busy traffic is impressively simple for such a big car. Unfortunately, at speed, it doesn’t feel quite so assured. The lightness gives it a lack of feel when you’re driving along winding country roads. There’s a fair bit of body lean as well, whilst grip is compromised by the front wheel drive setup.
Suspension and Chassis
What the S80 lacks in driver enjoyment, it more than makes up for in comfort. The soft suspension easily irons out the worst that British roads have to offer. Potholes and rough surfaces are dealt with with aplomb. Refinement is also excellent, as the interior is well insulated from the outside world. Get the S80 on the motorway and you’ll barely notice the road, wind, or engine noise. It all makes for an excellent long-distance cruiser.
Gearbox options in the S80 come in two guises. The standard transmission is a six speed manual gearbox. It’s quite rewarding to use, though it’s more geared towards relaxation than quick down changes for rapid bursts of acceleration. An optional automatic is also available, which isn’t as good as the DSG you’d get in an Audi A6, but it will still be attractive to those who clock up a lot of motorway miles.
Only one efficient diesel on offer.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your S80, you’re fairly limited in your options. The latest S80 only comes with one offering. The diesel unit is thankfully excellent. With more than enough power on tap, whilst still retaining excellent fuel economy.
If it’s all out power that you want from your S80, you might be a little disappointed with the 2.0 litre D4 diesel engine. It’s powerful enough for most needs, but it won’t consistently put a smile on your face. Under the bonnet the engine packs 181bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds. If you want an executive saloon car with genuine pace, it might be worth considering one of the S80’s rivals. But it easily copes with day-to-day life, and still packs enough punch for when you need to overtake on the motorway.
Eco-friendly buyers will be absolutely delighted with the D4 diesel engine in the S80. It’s one of the greenest on offer in the class. Producing just 108g/km of CO2 emissions, it’s only just above the free road tax threshold. For a large executive saloon, that’s outstanding. Money-savers will also be delighted. Not only will only cost £20 in road tax each year, it can also achieve up to 68.9mpg. Fuel economy that will save you plenty of money each month at the fuel pumps.
Though the engine in the S80 isn’t particularly exciting for petrolheads, it’s still an incredibly impressive unit. It’s one of the greenest, and most fuel efficient on offer in the class. If you’re practically minded, the S80’s engine will definitely leave your wallet feeling fatter.
Not tested by NCAP, but Volvo’s reputation speaks for itself.
Though the Volvo S80 hasn’t been tested by NCAP since 2000, the Swedish manufacturer’s reputation as the safest on the market still stands. All of the cars that have been tested by NCAP have easily achieved the highest possible 5-star rating. It’s pretty safe to say that the S80 would do the same. This assumption is backed up by the incredible list of standard safety features. No matter which model you go for, your S80 will come with a full set of airbags (including curtain airbags), automatic city braking, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and a pedestrian-detection system.
Impeccable value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Volvo S80 represents one of the best value large executive saloons on the market. Because there’s only one engine on offer, you can be guaranteed of low-running costs. CO2 emissions are amongst the lowest in the class, which means that you’ll only have to pay £20 each year in road tax. And with fuel economy of up to 68.9mpg, you can save yourself plenty of money on fuel. The S80 is a car that depreciates quite heavily in the first few years, but that only makes the S80 an incredible used car bargain.
Insurance groups for the S80 are the same, no matter which trim you specify. All models fall into group 27, which is about average for the class. So whilst you won’t save a great deal of money in terms of insurance with an S80, you won’t be spending more than you should be either.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the S80, but only for the first year. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volvo S80 is one of the best balanced large executive saloon cars on the market. It’s not exactly thrilling to look at, both inside and out, but Volvo’s impeccable record for reliability means that the S80 is built to last. The interior feels luxurious, whilst comfort levels are class-leading. It’s cheap to run as well, especially for a car in this class. And if you go for a used example, and cut out the expensive first year depreciation, you’ll get one of the best bargains available.
Buying a used Volvo S80 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo S80 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used S80. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo S80 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used S80? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Volvo S80, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used S80, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.