posted 8 years ago

Used Volvo S80 is Discrete German Saloon Alternative

The used Volvo S80 is the Swedish equivalent to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, and the excellent Audi A6

The used Volvo S80 is the Swedish equivalent to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, and the excellent Audi A6. However, in comparison to its Germanic rivals the S80 is stylistically discrete and understated. It is the executive saloon for those who want luxurious transport without the 'spin' associated with prestigious marques.

The second generation S80 was introduced in 2006, and is available with a wide range of engines. The best compromise between performance and economy is the 2.4-litre 202bhp diesel model that reaches 60mph in 7.7 seconds, and averages 53mpg. Alternatively, those who fancy cruising along with an engine the size of Europe can choose the 4.4-litre V8. This 310bhp petrol variant hits 60mph in 6.3 seconds, and smoothly accelerates to 155mph. Better get used to buying fuel though as it only averages 23mpg.

Now, vehicles in this sector must be more luxurious than an ocean liner, and better equipped than a top of the range iphone. Fortunately the S80 is a high achiever in both these areas. The cabin is easily spacious enough for five people, and they will be very comfortable on the heated/ventilated seats. Occupants can also breath easily as the 'clean zone interior package' pumps in purified air. Other equipment includes the parking sensors, key-less start system, and confidence inspiring traction control.

So, what about the handling? The S80 focuses on comfort so the ride is extremely smooth and it effortlessly wafts along. This big Swede genuinely feels like a luxury limousine. The downside is that the S80 is unlikely to satisfy sporty drivers. This is because whereas body roll is properly controlled, there is a slight lack of poise and the steering can feel lifeless.

The latter can be improved by choosing an example with the optional speed dependant, weight adjusting, steering system. But frankly - why bother? That is like marrying an MP3 player to a gramophone. Yes, technically possible but they are uneasy bedfellows. The key to appreciating the S80 is to ignore what it isn't and recognise what it is - a fantastically capable luxury cruiser.

According to database, prices for three year old examples of the used Volvo S80 start at £11,000.