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2008 Volvo S80 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Volvo S80 was new.

The S80 is a smooth driving, competent luxury car with class-leading safety features and ratings and a generally well-liked interior.  However, the car is not a sporty vehicle, with some finding it underpowered and with somewhat weak handling. If you're in the market for a luxury large car, also consider the Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the BMW 5-Series.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely competitive list of standard safety features and excellent crash test results
  • Luxurious interior with good layout and comfortable front seating
  • Smooth, confident ride and handling and road manners
  • Weak performance from base engine
  • Bland, not inspired exterior design
  • Some find rear seating cramped
  • Comparatively poor fuel economy

2008 Volvo S80 Overview

The 2008 Volvo S80 offers solid performance, excellent safety features and safety reputation and a refined and comfortable interior. Though Car and Driver finds the S80 generally dull, it is also "eminently rational and sensible." The Boston Herald adds that the S80 "is a great family sedan for safety-conscious car buyers."

While most reviewers find the S80 competitively priced, some find it pricey for its blandness. Car and Driver, commenting on the S80's price, says, "For that money, we expect dynamic entertainment, not boredom."

Critically, the S80s blandness doesn't even translate into improved fuel economy.  The S80 is near the bottom of the class when it comes to gas milage, an important consideration in 2008, when gas prices have repeatedly set new records.  Volvo struggled to sell S80s through the first half of 2008, and the comparatively poor fuel economy of the marque's flagship sedan goes a long way toward explaining why. 

IntelliChoice has not yet rated the 2008 S80 but gives the 2007 a "Worse than Average" rating for its predicted five-year cost of ownership compared to other vehicles in its class.

New for 2008, Volvo adds a turbocharged T6 all-wheel drive trim to its two engine option line up. The 2008 S80 now comes as a 3.2-liter inline-six, a turbocharged V6, which produces 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and the top-end V8 all-wheel drive.

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