Premium large car; Built in Sweden
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,400 – $11,500*


2000 Volvo S80 T6


2000 Volvo S80 T6


2000 Volvo S80 interior


2001 Volvo S80


2001 Volvo S80

Pros:
  • Acceleration (T6)
  • Build quality
  • Exterior finish
  • Interior materials
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Radio and navigation-system controls
  • Rear visibility

A serious contender among luxury-class sedans, the well-built S80 earns high marks for refinement, ergonomics, and trunk space. Volvo managed to pack a lot of safety and convenience features into its stylish, functional sedan. Fun to drive, the S80 is roomier than the rival BMW 5-Series, but handling and performance in the base 2.9 model are underwhelming. That tends to make the T6 a better value, despite its higher price.

Overview

Volvo’s “flagship” luxury sedan traded its rear-drive layout for front-wheel drive in 1999, as the old S90 gave way to a new S80. Two distinct, transverse-mounted 6-cylinder engines were used. In the base sedan, a 2.9-liter engine produced 201 horsepower. A twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter, making 268 horsepower, went into the sporty T6 model. Both cars used 4-speed automatic transmission, but a Geartronic feature with a separate shift in the T6 permitted manually selected gear changes.

Safety equipment included Volvo’s inflatable curtain airbags, which dropped down from above the side windows in a side impact. Volvo’s WHIPS system was designed to move the front seatbacks and headrests rearward to minimize whiplash during a rear-end collision.

Standard equipment included dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, eight-way power front bucket seats (with driver memory), and a split folding rear seat. Heated power mirrors, power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, a cassette/CD player, and 16-inch alloy wheels also were standard. The T6 sedan added heated front seats and mirrors, along with wood interior trim.

Rivals included the Acura RL, BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS 300/400, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Saab 9-5.

Yearly Updates

2000 S80
A new option group included sun-blocking rear curtains. Called the Warm Weather package, it also featured a windshield with infrared treatment to reflect the sun’s heat. An antiskid system was optional, as were 17-inch wheels and a navigation system. Output from the base engine dipped to 197 horsepower.
2001 S80
A better-equipped base model became available in 2001. So did a new T6 Executive sedan aimed at CEOs, offering 2 extra inches of rear leg room, via a repositioned (and heated) back seat. Divided by a center console, the back seat only held two passengers. Occupants of an Executive also benefited from wider rear doors, a powered rear-window sunshade, wireless fax/copier, and a rear-seat DVD-based audio/video system. The DVD unit and a rear-compartment beverage cooler also were standard in the regular T6, and optional for the S80 2.9 model. A new front-seat sensor system could trigger dashboard airbags with reduced force, depending on crash severity and whether the occupant was belted. The base model added standard leather upholstery and a memory for the outside mirrors.
2002 S80
Both engines were slightly retuned this year to deliver greater power at lower rpm, and the base 2.9-liter engine dropped to a 194-hp rating. The posh T6 Executive sedan remained on sale, now riding 17-inch wheels. All models gained an in-trunk emergency release and newly designed alloy wheels. A new Elite sedan had the extra rear leg room and wider-opening doors of an Executive, but with a three-passenger rear bench and fewer amenities.
2003 S80
Volvo’s On-Call Plus assistance system became available. It was optional on the 2.9 and standard on other models. Rain-sensing wipers are a new option.
2004 S80
Volvo adds an all-wheel drive version of the S80 in 2004, the AWD S80 2.5T with a 208-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. Also new this year is optional adjustable suspension, a revised steering system, and new front and rear fascias.
2005 S80
Available run-flat tires and real-wood interior trim are among 2005 additions to Volvo’s flagship sedan. The 2.5Ts come with 16-inch wheels and are newly available with a Sport option package that includes 17s and sport seats. T6s come with 17s and are newly available with optional 18s. Run-flat tires on 17-inch wheels are new options for front-drive S80s. Optional for T6s, and now for the front-drive 2.5T, is Volvo’s Four-C adjustable suspension with driver-selectable Comfort or Sport settings. For ’05, real wood replaces synthetic as standard cabin trim on T6s and as part of the 2.5T’s Premium Package. And T6 Premier’s rear seat is no longer angled for 2 inches more leg room, though it does include DVD and TV-tuner video. No longer available for any S80 is Volvo’s On-Call Plus assistance system.
2006 S80
All 2006 versions of Volvo’s largest sedan have a 208-hp turbocharged 5-cyl engine. Discontinued are T6 and Premier models, which had a 268-hp turbocharged 6-cyl. The ’06 is available as the 2.5T model with front-wheel drive or as the AWD 2.5T with all-wheel drive.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Base models used a 2.9-liter, dual-overhead-cam inline 6-cylinder engine that initially produced 201 horsepower (reduced to 197, then 194 in 2002). A turbocharged 2.8-liter six went into the T6 editions, developing 268 horsepower. Both engines drove a 4-speed automatic transmission. All 2006 versions of Volvo’s largest sedan have a 208-hp turbocharged 5-cyl engine. Discontinued are T6 and Premier models, which had a 268-hp turbocharged 6-cyl.

dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.9/178
Engine HP 194-197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 207-210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/26

19.2

Turbocharged dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/170
Engine HP 268
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 280
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/25

20.7

Road Test

In base trim, the S80 has only adequate power, whereas the turbocharged T6 is downright stirring–quick by nearly any standard. Fuel economy is reasonably good, too. A base S80 averaged 19.2 mpg, while a T6 turned in a 20.7-mpg average. Shift action is smooth.

Both versions offer sure-footed handling. Steering seems firm and precise, but some drivers might consider it numb or overassisted. Stable on the road, base sedans easily absorb bumps that register sharply in the stiffer-suspended T6. Best to try the T6 on a variety of surfaces, to make sure ride comfort is acceptable. Stopping power is strong, but a test base model suffered numb pedal feel.

Doors open wide for easy entry/exit and the S80 provides generous room, front and rear. The dashboard layout is clean and modern, but the radio’s station-memory function uses a dial instead of buttons and is a chore to preset.

When activated, the optional navigation system’s map screen rises from the middle of the upper dashboard. It’s near eye level, and controls are on the steering wheel rather than on the dashboard. But like many such systems, this one demands study and patience to program and operate. In addition, the screen can be hard to see, especially in bright sunlight.

Rearward visibility isn’t the greatest, for a full-size automobile. In addition, the S80’s large trunk is tempered by its small opening. On the plus side, the plush T6 Executive pampers its rear-seat occupants like a more costly Lexus LS 430.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Volvo S80 2.9

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 8
80%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.9 189.8 72.1 57.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.2 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 37.6 42.2 35.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Ball joints
Description: Ball joints wear prematurely and should be replaced regardless of time or mileage. (1999-2000)
Oil consumption
Description: The screen in the oil filler can get loose inside the filler neck and often would’ve been replaced when the vehicle was in for other services. (2000)
Poor transmission shift
Description: On less than 10,000 vehicles, the transmission was receiving an announced software upgrade (2000-01) and those with a GM (model 4T65) transmission needed a replacement shift solenoid to correct a shudder between 2nd and 3rd gear. (1999-2000)
Vehicle noise
Description: Whining noise below 60 mph requires a damper on the four-wheel-drive viscous coupling. (2000)
Battery
Description: A magnetic field is created because the battery is located in the trunk and the positive battery cable is routed through the vehicle. Swedish owners who complained were offered a repair kit. (1999-2000)
Battery
Description: Car may not start, and warning lights for CHECK IMMOBILIZER, LOW BEAM, BRAKES may glow due to excessive resistance between the positive battery cable and the main fuse panel. (2005)

Recall History

1999 S80
Description: Some electric cooling fans could be inadequate, allowing components to overheat and even melt.
1999-00 S80
Description: The ball joint between the front wheel-king pin and the suspension link arm could be loose.
1999-01 S80
Description: Under certain operating conditions, some cooling fans may overheat, potentially causing heat damage and rare possibility of engine-compartment fire.
1999-01 S80
Description: A dirty throttle housing and/or inefficient software calibration may force the vehicle into limp home mode. Dealers will install the current software upgrade onto the involved vehicles.
1999-05 S80
Description: For vehicles sold in or registered in the states of: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and the U.S. territories. When exposed to certain environmental conditions (hot climate and temperature cycling) over time and in combination with varying fuel quality, the fuel pump can develop cracks in the fuel pump flange. If the condition occurs vehicle owners may notice fuel smell and/or fuel leak which, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire. Dealers will inspect the fuel pump installed in the vehicle, and if necessary replace the fuel pump with a part of a modified design. This service will be performed free of charge.
2001 S80
Description: Rear-outboard seatbelt-anchorage bolts may be loose, leaving occupants improperly restrained in crash.
2005 S80
Description: Positive battery terminal may conflict with starter-motor solenoid, leading to short circuit; smoke may appear from under the hood, and engine may not start or, if car is moving, electrical power may be lost.
2005-06 S80
Description: The label denoting the tire and loading pressure information is incorrect. Dealers will mail the correct labels free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.