Luxury over sportiness
Luxury over sportiness
When I ask someone to spontaneously name luxury car brands, I invariably get answered BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac. Sometimes, people will name Audi, Lexus or Lincoln, but rarely will someone think of Volvo. And yet the Swedish automaker has being selling cars since 1927.
The S80 is the biggest of the Volvo sedan line-up, which also includes the S40 and the S60. The mid-size S80 is offered in two trim levels since its redesign last year. In 2007, we drove the version equipped with the V8 engine, and now we have the opportunity to drive the base model.
More fluid shape
Reskinned for the 2007 model year, the S80 now flaunts sheetmetal that is shapelier than the previous generation. It keeps the same overall look, but we can now admire its more-muscular wheel arches, more-prominent nose and sculpted hips.
However, even with this redesign, the S80 still blends in with the scenery; some of its rivals are more noticeable on the road, like a Mercedes E-Class or a Lexus GS. Since I prefer slipping though the traffic in utter discretion, rather than attracting attention, I like the subtle look of the S80.
The interior is very attractive and constitutes a strong selling argument. The quality of the materials used to build the dashboard is beyond reproach. The doors close with a solid sound, like closing a bank vault. The multiple buttons on the center console seem confusing at first, but after two days of use, we appreciate their functionality.
The seats are really comfortable and are covered in soft leather. Space up front is generous; in back, two will be comfortable but three adults will rub shoulders, and the middle occupant will have to deal with a shortage of room for his or her feet because of the drivetrain tunnel.
The blind-spot warning system, called BLIS, is a nuisance. During the test, the lights located in the doors on the inside of the mirrors are trigger incessantly, even when there are no obstacles around the car. In addition, the on-board computer keeps telling me that the system can't function properly, probably because of road grime that accumulates on the sensors.
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Editor's Review Highlights
2008 Volvo S80 Specifications
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