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2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

4dr Sdn T-6 Turbo

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 25 MPG Highway

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  • $40,500 original MSRP
Printable Version

2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

Printable Version

2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

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2000 Volvo S80

Source: New Car Test Drive

by Natalie Neff

This once utilitarian Scandinavian warms up with style.

Base Price $35,820
As Tested $37,345

Think safety. Now think cars. No doubt the image of a boxy road tank is lumbering through your head, replete with an immaculately coifed soccer mom behind the wheel and 2.2 well-mannered kids buckled securely in the back seat.

And the boxy road tank is a Volvo.

The traditionally stolid automaker hopes to change that image with its new S80. Not completely, mind you. After all, Volvo is quick to point out that the S80 is the safest car it has ever built. And with its abundance of safety features, it's a difficult claim to argue.

In addition to dual front airbags, the S80 has specially designed headrests that reduce whiplash in a rear collision by "cupping" the front passengers, buffeting their contact with the seats. Inflatable window curtains, as well as side air bags, protect the head and torso in a side impact. And all S80s come equipped with antilock brakes and traction control.

But Volvo wants us to believe that its flagship sedan can be super safe -- and a little sexy -- at the same time. Volvo? Sexy? Sure, in a sophisticated sort of way, of course. One look is all you'll need to be convinced.

Model Lineup

The S80 is available in two versions. The $35,820 S80 2.9 comes with a 2.9-liter 6-cylinder engine that produces 197 horsepower. The $40,385 S80 T-6 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter inline-6 that delivers 268 horsepower. (Destination charge adds $575.)

Volvo's navigational system is available for either model for $2,495. A Homelink Security System is available for $595. Dynamic Stability Traction Control is a $1,095 option, while 17-inch alloy wheels are available for an additional $395. Leather upholstery adds $1,195.

Walkaround

At first glance it's difficult to identify the S80 as a Volvo -- unless you're facing the signature grille, with its chromed vertical bars and diagonal slash. Gone is the box-on-box construction that distinguished the Volvo profile for a generation. It's replaced by softer, less decisive lines: a gently sloping hood line, steeply raked windscreen, slightly bowed roofline and almost coupe-like rear window line. A short rear deck-lid completes the seductive silhouette. Every corner has been rounded to ease the severe angles one expects from a Volvo. And lightly sculpted doors and side panels flank its body in sensuous contrast to the big, slab-sided Volvos of old.

Flared wheel-wells circle 215/55R16 all-season tires. Our test car sat on classically styled alloy wheels featuring an interesting scalloped edge detail. The wheels, like so much of the S80, manage to be understated, and yet stylized, simultaneously. (Optional 17-inch alloy wheels come with 225/50R17 tires.)

All of the styling gambles Volvo took in designing the S80 culminate in the rear. Prominent, jewel-like taillights sit high on either side of the trunk, the lenses themselves forming the car's rear corners. They're molded in an interesting notched shape, giving the S80 a distinctive flavor that sets it apart from anything else on the road.

Interior Features

Styling enhancements exercised on the S80's body flow seamlessly inside. A tasteful two-tone color scheme in cool, muted hues ties the whole cabin together, from the dashboard and glove box to the doors and kick panels. The spare use of a simple, dark simulated wood lends a nice, understated accent. It's only used on the shifter, the perimeter of the center console and in a single swath of trim that rings the cabin.

The front leather seats feel rich and firm and provide ample support, with just enough bolstering for a snug fit. Getting in and out of them takes little effort as the seating position tends to be upright and the doors open wide. But just in case a little help is needed, Volvo added a driver's side grab handle, a convenience found in only a few trucks and fewer cars. If you want a warm seat, however, turning on the driver's side seat heater can be a bit awkward because the controls for both front seat heaters sit closer to the passenger.

Volvo paid as much attention to providing the S80's back seat passengers with as much comfort as the front. The wide rear seat easily accommodates three adults, with legroom compromised only when the front seats are in their rearmost position. And forever with an eye on safety, all three rear seats have headrests to minimize whiplash, and three-point seat belts.

Carrying a lot of cargo is no problem. The S80 has a large, deep trunk made all the more accessible by its low lift-over height, trunk-mounted rear seat back releases and a pass-through space.

The S80's instrument panel is particularly clean. The gauges fit logically and don't overwhelm with unnecessary clutter. Wherever the driver positions the tilt steering wheel, the center-placed speedometer and tachometer remain in plain view.

Climate controls are intuitive and well designed. Dual climate controls allow adjustments for driver and passenger temperature preferences. The radio uses a dial to control the choice of programmed stations in place of the now more familiar row of buttons. A dial is also used to choose between AM, FM or CD sources. Additional radio controls are on the steering wheel.

Driving Impressions

As much as the S80 is about safety and styling, it's also a car that wants to be driven. The S80 engines are the first transversely mounted inline 6-cylinder engines in modern times.

The S80 2.9 model's 2.9-liter engine enjoys accelerating quickly, particularly during brisk highway entrances of the 0-to-80 mph variety. If a little sluggish immediately off the line, the S80 has a fat power band -- thanks to the 2.9-liter's variable valve timing -- and virtually leaps at 2,500 rpm, the revs slamming the 5,500-rpm mark in a blink.

At speed, the 197-horsepower engine has plenty of power in reserve, making passing at high speeds an effortless maneuver. The transmission responds in kind, crisply kicking down to third gear at the tap of the gas pedal for added oomph.

Throttle response in the 268-horsepower T6 is even more impressive. Its dual turbochargers are small units that spool up more quickly than larger ones, erasing almost all apparent lag to make for exhilarating standing start acceleration. Swift starts do require two hands on the wheel, however, as the front-wheel-drive S80's torque steer becomes quickly evident.

On the road, the S80 handles straightaways and turns with assuredness, if a little softly. Its smooth handling and easy ride feel neutralize most road imperfections without totally eliminating road feel. Steering effort is firm, although steering feel itself, like the ride, remains a tad soft.

The brakes just may be the most appealing feature of the S80 driving experience. They grab decisively and pull the big S80 to a stop with authority, even in panic situations. On one stop-and-go-filled test drive, braking distances were consistently overestimated: This car can stop much quicker than you'd think. The S80 came to a stop well behind every stopped car, stop sign and red light.

The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and precisely, most notably at higher loads. But occasionally at lower speeds, a quick stomp on the gas causes the 4-speed unit to trip over itself on downshifts. The momentary bog creates a slight response delay and lurch of the car once the downshift takes place.

Final Word

Volvo is betting the S80 wins American drivers over big. Taking advantage of the resources available from new parent Ford Motor Co. should help it to this end.

Its combination of world-class safety features and sporty driving manners also help make the S80 a sure contender in the mid-level luxury market, especially for the Boomer looking for something different and unique -- in other words, something other than your run-of-the-mill BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

Certainly a dash of sex appeal doesn't hurt. The S80's seductive styling surely will be enough to lure prospective buyers into showrooms.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 8 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/Unlimited Miles

Volvo Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-year/100,000-mile exclusionary warranty. The Volvo factory-backed CPO warranty fully covers every part not specifically excluded: including replacement/repair of thousands of components, systems and operations.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model years less than 5 years with under 80k miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 130+ Point Inspection
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2000 Volvo S80 Sedan

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