2011 Volvo S80 Performance
Base S80’s boast a transversely-mounted 3.2L inline-six engine that’s good for 240 horsepower and 235 ft-lb. torque. It sports Volvo’s six-speed Geartronic transmission. Estimated fuel-efficiency is 27 highway and 18 city. The S80 T6 AWD gets a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six that’s rated with 300 horses and 325 lb-ft. torque. It shares the same transmission as the S80 3.2, but is coupled with all-wheel drive instead. Fuel conservation in the T6 is an estimated 26 highway and 18 city.
Neither trim is going to handle like a 5-Series or beat a Mercedes E350 at the stoplight. That said, the S80 still yields a very absorbing, comfortable ride and does have sufficient passing/merging power—especially in the T6. The T6 paces itself from 0 to 60 in 6.0 seconds flat, while the base S80 clocks in a tad slower at 7.4.
Like earlier Volvo's, the steering feels somewhat unconnected, it generally keeps on course. The ride is acceptably supple; in the T6, there’s even a choice of three ride-modes: one for smooth cruising with just the ride balance between comfort and handling; one for a soft ride, which electronically tweaks the suspension to put ride comfort in precedence over handling; and sport mode, which essentially gives the S80 new-found sporting abilities. Even with Sport mode on, though, bumps and potholes are sufficiently dampened. Those who just have to have a Volvo but don't want to sacrifice the fun-to-drive factor should definitely buy the AWD version.