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2014 Volvo S80 T6 AWD Review By John Heilig

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2014 Volvo S80

2014 Volvo S80 T6 AWD Review
By John Heilig
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

Reviewed Model: 2014 Volvo S80 T6 AWD
Engine: 3.0-liter Twin Turbo 6
Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp @ 5,600 rpm/3225 lb.-ft. @ 2,100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 111.6 in.
Length x Width x Height: 191.1 x 75.1 x 58.8 in.
Tires: P245/40R18
Cargo: 14.9 cu. ft.
Economy: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/17.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.
Curb Weight: 4,053 lbs.
Sticker: $55,765 (includes $915 destination. $10,900 in options)

The Bottom Line: The Volvo S80 is a very good midsize sedan with all the bells and whistles. Its only drawback is it is a bit pricey.

I must admit to a fondness for Volvos. Except for a sedan I drove in the 1970s that had a manual transmission that nearly tore my arm off, I have found most Volvos to be a good combination of luxury and safety in a nice, solid package. The S80 – Volvo’s biggest sedan, though it’s a midsize – fulfills that promise to a T.

The S80 has excellent riding quality, on a par with any luxury sedan you can mention. It has excellent power for merging onto highways, and offers a comfortable ride to boot.

I have some concerns, even if they’re minor. To exit the S80, you have to pull the door handle twice. That’s because the doors lock when you are in motion. You can defeat this by pushing the unlock button and have only one pull to exit the car, but then there are still two actions required.

As with many cars, the S80 is equipped with an automatic Lane Departure Warning. As usual, it’s a pain, especially if you tend to cut corners sometimes the way I do. Yes, it’s great if you wander off the line unintentionally, but otherwise it’s a pain. There is an off switch, but it comes back on every time you start the car.

We had the “privilege” of driving the S80 in some bitter cold weather. The HVAC system did a good job, although we felt it could have heated faster. There are several dials on the center console to work it all out. To mediate the “problem,” we had heated (and cooled, if needed) seats. The seat controls are located inside the knobs that control air flow and temperature. The audio controls are similar dual function knobs.

There’s a deep center console that also contains the USB insert. In addition, there is extra storage behind the slim center stack. Granted the center stack isn’t as slim as it is in some Volvo vehicles, but it’s a convenient place to stow phones, for example.

Volvo instrument panels are usually clear, and the S80’s is no exception. There is a center-mounted tachometer with a digital speedometer inside, a good use of space. Beneath the pushbutton start/stop button is a slot that is great for holding the key fob while you’re driving. Also, it’s right there when you shut the car off so you don’t forget and leave the keys in the car when you exit.

The brown leather front seats offer some side support. Handling is okay for a large car – it isn’t a sports car – so side support beyond the normal isn’t an issue here. On the other hand, handling is sufficient to keep you out of trouble in normal circumstances.

Like the front seats, the rear seats are heated. They offer good knee room thanks to indents in the backs of the front seats. The rear seats are firm. Passengers back there won’t feel claustrophobic because of good visibility all around. The releases for the rear seat backs are located in the trunk, where they are useful and don’t require contortions to find and use them.

The trunk is a good size and has a “false floor” that you can lift up and lock in a vertical position. It also has an elastic strap that is good for holding shopping bags.

Part of the $10,900 in options is the “Platinum Package” ($4,200) that includes the navigation system, premium sound system, accent lighting, rear park assist camera, quick-fold front passenger seat, front and rear park assist, and a few other small pieces.

The “Climate Package” ($1,550) includes heated front and rear seats, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, heated windshield washer nozzles and an interior air quality system.

The “Inscription Package” ($2,300) includes sovereign hide leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, leather covered dash, inscription branded aluminum tread plates, inscription floor mats and a leather floor tunnel storage cover.

The “Technology Package” ($1,500) includes adaptive cruise control with queue assist, collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian/cyclist detection with auto brake, distance alert, lane departure warning, road sign information and active high beams.

The active dual xenon headlamps with washers are an additional $800.

Interestingly, a side blind spot warning is not included.

Volvos have been (in)famous for their quirky styling over the years, but the S80, while conservative, has great styling that goes well with the general demeanor of the car.

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