2011 Volvo S80

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S80 MSRP: $ 37150.00
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  • Safety is #1 priority
  • List of tech and luxury options longer than Gandalf's beard
  • Seats are more comfortable than Dad's Barcolounger
  • Stylish and functional interior design
  • Boring exterior styling
  • Driving experience borders on senile
  • Barely any steering feedback
  • Confusing audio/navigation/Bluetooth controls
Volvo is a brand closely associated with safety and the S80 makes it easy to understand why. A recipient of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Pick” rating for 2011, Volvo’s flagship sedan is packed with standard safety features that include an anti-lock brake system, stability and traction control, fog lights, airbags and side-impact protection. A number of optional features, such as park assist and blind-spot alert, are also offered.

With the V8 model cut from the 2011 lineup, shoppers interested in the S80 are left with two trim options: the 3.2 and the T6. The front-wheel-drive 3.2 is powered by a 240-horsepower in-line 6-cylinder. The T6, on the other hand, comes with a 3-liter turbocharged 6 that creates 300 horsepower at 5600 RPM and 325 pound-feet of torque spread over 1-500-4-800 RPM. Both come with 6-speed Geartronic transmissions.

  Though the S80 sports a curvy shape instead of the boxy profile that has become linked to the Volvo name, it still looks conservative and staid. Compared to its rivals, the S80 appears to be “engineered to fly under the radar” and lacks “the kind of opulence that some luxury car buyers may be looking for,” observes U.S. News and World Report. Another area where the S80 fails to impress is fuel economy. With a city/highway MPG rated at 19/27 for the 3.2 and 18/25 for the T6, it “isn't anything close to a guzzler but as an everyday commuting vehicle it’s not very green,” says Car Connection. Despite these shortcomings, however, it is a “good choice among luxury sedans,” advises AOL Autos. The S80 “has an understated grace. On the road, it’s quick and powerful, surefooted and solid.”

  With a base price not exceeding $41,000, the Volvo S80 should please budget-conscious drivers who are more concerned about safety and comfort than sophistication and premium feel.


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