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Volvo S80

A lesson in Swedish serenity.

With the S80, Volvo has fully embraced modern Swedish minimalism. No longer a box on wheels like Volvos of yore, the S80’s exterior design is clean and inoffensive, so much so that it doesn’t really stand out on the road or at the valet stand. The cabin is Zen-like in its silence and simple design, although the controls could be more intuitive. As with all Volvos, the seats are incredibly comfortable and supportive — if you have a bad back, this could be the perfect car for you. The front-wheel-drive 3.2 models come with a capable in-line six that produces 240 hp. The all-wheel-drive T6s are powered by the same smooth turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six found in the S60 T6. In either iteration, the S80 emphasizes comfort over sport, but a firmer chassis option is available on the T6. As is to be expected from Volvo, high-tech safety features are numerous. Volvo’s City Safety system is standard; and blind-spot monitoring and pedestrian detection are optional. Both City Safety and the pedestrian-detection system automatically apply the brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision. The Volvo S80 checks all the buttons a flagship sedan should, with comfort, spaciousness, capability, and safety combined in one stylish package.

COMPETITORS

Acura RL

Audi A6

Lexus ES350

Lincoln MKS

new for 2013

Keyless Drive, rain-sensing windshield wipers, tunnel-detecting headlights, and headlight washers are standard for 2013, as is a new, illuminated gearshift lever. Technology-package-equipped cars now have road-sign information and automatic high-beams. There are two new exterior colors: magic blue metallic and twilight bronze metallic.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard, as is City Safety. Blind-spot monitoring and pedestrian detection are optional.

MPG

CITY 16–18

HWY 24–27

PRO

Beautiful craftsmanship

High level of safety technology

CON

Controls are not intuitive

So inoffensive you might consider it boring

Base Price Range: $39,845–$47,695

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: 3.2, 3.2 Premier Plus, 3.2 Platinum, T6 AWD, T6 AWD Premier Plus, T6 AWD Platinum

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger

ENGINES: 3.0L turbo I-6, 300 hp, 325 lb-ft

3.2L I-6, 240 hp, 236 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 98.6 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 14.9 cu ft

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