There's no shortage of large sedans from premium European automakers, but there’s only one Volvo S80. With a handsome, distinctively-styled body that looks sleek and stands out, the S80 oozes individuality. Being a Volvo, the S80 is equipped with the latest safety and driver-assistance technology and an inline six cylinder engine that is smooth, powerful, and efficient.
Offering 3.2 and T6 AWD models, the 2012 Volvo S80 (MSRP $37,950) is drawn with trademark body cues that identify it as a Volvo from a mile away and give it a lithe, light look. It is understated and elegant, without ever failing to surprise and delight the eyes of onlookers. Volvo stylists created a refined, elegant shape that appears in motion even when parked. You'll be able to spot 2012 S80 models by their redesigned headlamps and LED turn-signal repeaters integrated into the side mirrors, plus new bright accents on the air intakes, below the taillights and on the lower part of the doors.
The interior of the S80 is equally distinctive and premium. Soft leather covers the seats in luxury, and the entire aesthetic inside conveys careful craftsmanship. Premium Inscription Leather is also available, in a range of colors. The stitching on the seats is echoed on the door panels, and the center control stack is the Volvo trademark ultra-thin design, which is dressed with a standard Classic Walnut inlay and Silk Metal frame. The aluminum dials of the instruments look like finely-crafted watch faces, and a new four-spoke steering wheel echoes the Silk Metal of the center stack with its accents, which also appear on the gear shift and around the start button.
Volvo has long been known for its superb seats, and the S80 designers created seating that offers unmatched comfort and support. Two new highlight colors are available for 2012: Sangiovese Red and Blond, and there's also a Classic Walnut steering wheel available, redesigned interior lighting, and new decor inlays. Ventilated seats are available for the front seating positions, enhancing what's already recognized as one of the most comfortable cabins ever created.
Volvo also offers the latest technology for S80 buyers, like the Volvo Sensus infotainment system. Sensus includes a five- or seven-inch color LCD screen located at the top of the center stack for easy viewing. Buttons on the steering wheel are echoed by buttons below the screen, offering drivers a high level of control with minimal distraction. The seven-inch LCD is standard when buyers opt for a multimedia audio system, and the larger screen displays navigation, phone, back-up camera and more. Bluetooth hands-free technology makes phone integration safer, and it offers audio streaming for cord-free enjoyment of music via your mobile device.
The S80 piles its luxury atop a structure that's been designed for a high level of rigidity. Sporty reflexes are served up by the suspension, while safety is provided by comprehensive Volvo safety systems that include front, front side and Inflatable Curtain (IC) airbag protection; Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) seats; the Side Impact Protection System; and active technology like City Safety and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control. On the S80 3.2, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard and 18-inch “Fortuna” Diamond-Cut alloys are available.
Turning those wheels in the S80 3.2 is a smooth and cleverly-packaged inline six-cylinder, one of the only transversely-mounted straight sixes ever. Volvo designed this engine to fit comfortably in the front-wheel drive engine bay without compromising steering or serviceability. A six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission meters out the engine's 240 hp and 236 lb/ft of torque with smooth shifts and helps the S80 achieve an EPA-estimated 29 mpg highway.
The 2012 Volvo S80 can be tailored to your needs as a driver, as well. The Climate Package adds heated washer nozzles and heated front and rear seats. The Interior Air Quality System (IAQS) is also included as part of the Climate Package, along with rain-sensing windshield wipers and headlight washers. The Technology Package adds Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Departure Warning and Distance Alert, plus Collision warning and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. These technologies actively enhance safety while also taking some of the stress out of driving.
Opting for the Inscription Package adds those ventilated front seats, a leather-covered dashboard, “Inscription” sill plates and floor mats, leather and walnut for the gearshift and a Classic Walnut steering wheel. Other options can be added a-la-carte, like the Personal Car Communicator (PCC) with Keyless Drive, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), a power moonroof, Active-Bending dual Xenon headlamps, navigation, and more.
The Volvo S80 is the latest, and the greatest, Volvo sedan. This flagship four-door is the smooth, luxurious, unexpected choice among premium European sedans.