Volvo S80 T6 - 4C sedan

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Volvo S80 T6 - 4C sedan

Volvo S80 T6 - 4C sedan

June 2004

Report No. 716, by NRMA Motoring Information Services

Comfort

Performance

Build Quality

LIKES

DISLIKES

Brake dust soils wheels quickly

Soft brake pedal

Steering lacks feel

Volvo’s S80 sales figures can make it look

like a minnow in the luxury car ocean.

However, a long list of standard features and

turbine smooth performance certainly give it

some bite. For 2004, Volvo have discontinued

the 150kW 2.9 litre six and adopted a single

model strategy using the 200kW twin-turbo

powerplant. Minor cosmetic changes consist of

a revised nose section with dark metallic “eggcrate”

grille, lower air intake chrome moulding

and LED brake lights. Inside a wood trim,

leather three-spoke steering wheel and alloy

effect sports instrumentation complete the

makeover.

Priced at $98,950 plus on road costs standard

equipment includes; dual zone climate control,

power windows, electronically adjustable

heated front seats, soft leather upholstery,

cruise control, rear sun curtain, auto-dim rear

vision mirror, 4 disc CD player, integrated

telephone and handset, alloy wheels, parking

distance control, bi-xenon headlights and

headlight wipers. Passive safety features

consist of; driver and front passenger dual

stage airbags, front and rear inflatable curtain,

driver and front passenger thorax airbags, ABS

brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake

Distribution) plus stability and traction control.

Our test car came fitted with the optional glass

sun-roof ($2650), laminated side glass ($990),

metallic paint ($1350) and Volvo’s 4-C active

damper suspension ($3950) totalling $107,890

plus on road costs.

Essentially unchanged since its 1998

introduction the S80 may lack the cutting edge

style of some of its recently introduced

opposition, but this shouldn’t detract from the

excellent fit and finish of Volvo’s flagship.

The interior is dominated by a broad centre

console, which carries switchgear for the

audio, communication and climate controls.

Angled towards the driver the layout can look

a bit intimidating at first glance with its mass

of buttons and knobs but you soon learn your

way around and changing settings becomes

second nature. Next to the sound system is the

integral mobile phone, (the handset fits neatly

into the centre armrest). Insert your SIM card

in the slot provided (not that easy) and you’re

on the air, but with today’s technology this is

probably a redundant feature. A bank of

switches at the console’s base look after the

folding side mirrors, flip down rear head

restraints (very handy when reversing),

traction control function and 4-C suspension

settings. Housed in a shallow binnacle the

alloy effect instruments look impressive but

can be difficult to read in low light conditions.

Audio and phone controls are copied on the

steering wheel along with switches for the

cruise control.

At the luxury end of the marketplace buyers

expect a high level of comfort and the S80 is a

standout. Heated, power adjustable front seats

offer a wide range of adjustment, the driver’s

seat having a three-position memory function.

The soft leather cushioning wraps around you

and gives enough support to hold you in place

on a winding road while the standard heating

takes the chill off the leather when the

temperature drops. A tilt-reach adjustable

wheel working through a wide range

completes the picture. Those in the rear fair

just as well with the same amount of comfort

combined with good legroom, but foot space is

limited with the front seats at their lowest

height. Behind the wheel vision is generally

excellent, but reversing is awkward. Even with

the rear head restraints lowered the shallow

rear screen doesn’t offer much of a view,

fortunately the parking distance control helps

to prevent it being a hit and miss exercise.

Cabin storage is limited. The glovebox and

centre console box are small and the door

pockets are almost too narrow to be useful but

pouches on the front seat cushions are a handy

place to hide valuables. Luggage space is

excellent in the large boot; a lever near the

taillight releases the 60:40 split rear seat

substantially increasing the usable area.

On the road there is no shortage of power

and torque from the twin turbo six. Mounted

transversely and driving the front wheels the

S80 may have an unusual layout for a large

sedan but its performance is impressive.

Response to the light accelerator pedal is

immediate. Whether it’s maintaining pace in

the peak hour shuffle or tackling country back

roads the engine’s power delivery is silky

smooth and effortless. Maybe too effortless.

Even hard acceleration doesn’t alter the

engine’s character, (although there is

noticeable torque steer from the front end);

combined with the quiet interior you need to

keep a watchful eye on your speed. Just as

refined is the four speed automatic. Its

gearchanges are almost imperceptible and the

ratios well spaced. In sequential mode the shift

quality is just as precise and crisp.

Handling is one area where the S80 isn’t as

convincing. Fitted with Volvo’s optional 4-C

semi-active suspension drivers’ have a choice

of two settings - Comfort or Sport. In both

settings the ride quality is very good but in

Comfort mode speed humps and driveways

have the nose bobbing about with little

resistance from the special Ohlins dampers.

Things improve in Sport mode with body

movement more controlled although road

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

Type...................... Six cylinder, DOHC 24v

Capacity in litres...................................2.922

Induction...........Twin turbo, intercooled EFI

Fuel recommendation ..........................PULP

Max. power................... 200kW @ 5200rpm

Max. torque......... 380Nm @ 1800-5000rpm

Power to weight ratio...................8.38kg/kW

TRANSMISSION

Type............................ Four speed automatic

Driving wheels ......................................Front

WHEELS ..................................Alloy 17 x 7

Tyres ............Pirelli P600 225/50 ZR17 94W

Spare .................................. Steel space-saver

STEERING

Type................Power assisted rack & pinion

Turns lock to lock.....................................3.0

Turning circle (measured)....................12.5m

DIMENSIONS

Mass.................................................. 1675kg

Length............................................. 4822mm

Width (incl. mirrors ).......................2090mm

Height ............................................. 1434mm

Ground clearance (measured) ........... 135mm

Seating capacity...........................................5

Fuel tank capacity............................ 80 litres

TOWING

Max. towed mass (trailer plus load)... 1800kg

Max. towball download (laden trailer)......75kg

NRMA THEFT RATING

Points on 0-110 scale (high score best)........n/a

WARRANTY............. 3 years/unlimited km

MANUFACTURED IN ................... Sweden

TEST RESULTS

ACCELERATION

50 - 80 km/h (in Drive) ....................... 3.6sec

60 -100 km/h (in Drive) ...................... 4.7sec

0 -80 km/h........................................... 5.1sec

0 - 100 km/h........................................ 7.4sec

0 - 400 metres ................................... 15.2sec

FUEL CONSUMPTION (litres/100 km)

Best recorded during testing...................10.0

Worst recorded during testing ................14.4

Average on test.......................................11.1

BRAKING

Distance to stop from 80 km/h.... 24.6metres

NOISE

Interior at constant 80 km/h......... 62.2dB(A)

Test car supplied by:

Volvo Car Australia

www.volvocars.com.au

Call Technical Advice on 1300 655 443 for additional information on this vehicle, and for other automotive advice.

or visit

www.mynrma.com.au

.


irregularities are more noticeable. The

standard Pirellis offer a high level of grip but

the car lacks the sharp dynamics needed to

match its performance. Along winding country

roads, in either suspension setting, the Volvo

has noticeable understeer and a nose-heavy

attitude. Added to this the steering isn’t

consistent in its feedback or effort, being

slightly vague just off centre and loading up

appreciably in tighter corners. Braking

performance is strong and easy to modulate

although the pedal has a fairly soft feel.

SUMMARY: If there is one area where the

S80 shines it is comfort. Whether it’s in the

suburban crawl or an interstate trip this is a

very capable car that will get you to your

destination quietly, safely, with a minimum of

fuss. It is an enjoyable car but for those after a

“sports sedan” sharper dynamics are needed to

complete the package.

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