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2005 volvo s80 review

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well, its that time again. another post reviewing a car means just one thing when it comes to me; i'm on another business trip.


the last two trips i was on, i was blessed with the craptastic 2004 chevy impala, and the equally unimpressive 2005 chevy trailblazer. this time, i opted to avoid GM fleets like the plague. i was lucky enough to end up with a 2005 volvo s80.


quick run down:


power plant:


2.5L DOHC transversly mounted turbo charged 5cyl engine


205hp @ 5,000 rpm

236 lb/ft tw @ 1,500 rpm


5 speed auto box




multilink rear suspension, machphersons in the front.


18-21mpg city/ 26-30mpg hghwy


curb weight: a plump 3737lbs.


now with the pleasantries out of the way....


the interior is quite spacious. typical utliliarian swedish design. rain sensing wiper blades came in handy. has both front and ass fog lights. the gauge cluster is straight forward, with a redling at ~6500 rpm. seats 4 easily. creature comforts include auto up/down front windows, auto open/close sunroof, soft push button open center console goodies - primary cupholder, followed by a small storage spot right behind it, that doubles as a secondary cupholder, and finally the arm rest, with a nice spacious place to hold a bunch of cd's.


standard equipment included the standard airbags that surround you in the even of a crash, auto dual climate controls, 3 memory power driver's seat, plush leather interior. also comes with stability and traction control (STC).




first thing i noticed right off the bat, is that steering is really loose. the car only had 4,000 miles on it, so it's still relatively new. maybe it just felt too loose, because i'm use to the tight steering on the legacy. the steering wheel is friggin huge.


the car, for it be a size of a small tropical island, does have some grunt. the notorious turbo lag i've heard about full auto turbo volvos is painfully obvious. i basically had to floor it, along with putting a gun to the turbo for it to spool up and pour on the power. but once it did, it delivered power smoothly.


traction control, for the most part, is unobtrusive. however, when it does kick in, it makes you painfully aware it is in action.


tuned more for luxury, than sportiness, the gobs of bodyroll the s80 has going around bends and twisties is obvious. it felt like i'm going to fall off the edge of the world taking a corner. surprisingly however, the car stuck to the ground. the tires unleashed squeals that would make a farm full of pigs proud, before snapping the car back into place. the suspension felt mushy, which wasnt bad, as it made going over bumps and potholes the size of the grand canyon pretty painless.


the stereo was pretty good for stock. like the legacy's you wont be swapping it out anytime soon, since it's all one piece. it rocks RDS for you radio lovers. i believe it's a 6 speaker setup, though there is a mesh grill on the dash that leads me to believe that a sub would reside under it. the speakers produce crisp highs, and booming lows, but you cant really push them that hard, as they begin to clip when rock music's introduced to it.


my main gripes are that the autogear box is horribly sluggish, and the turbo lag is brutal. reaching highway crusing speeds, and giving it more gas for passing power, it transmission let out a whining noise, as if the engine had a supercharger slapped on it. the body roll was aplenty, but again, it's a luxury vehicle.


overall, i think it's a decent car. i'm not sure if it comes standard with a front LSD, but wouldnt be surprised if it did, since i experienced little to no torque steer when punching it from a standstill. STC can be disabled at the push of the button, making the drive more enjoyable. it did have one slick feature. something so simple: the head rests for the rear passengers can be lowered at a push of a button, to remove the obstructions from your rear view. simple, yet clever.


despite putting the car through its paces, it's getting pretty good gas mileage. i estimate around 21-22mpg. had i done the same to the legacy, i'd be looking around 12-14mpg.


the S80 starts at around 36g's for the base FWD model. it's offered an awd trim, a FWD model with a 6cyl, and the top of the line premier model topping out at 50'gs.


some last things: somewhat overpriced, very good build quality....with cheap plastic parts. i would expect high quality parts for the money expected to be dropped on a volvo like this.

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I didn't realize they were making the S80 with a turbocharged inline five this year. I guess they dropped the NA inline six. I look at the S80 as a Swedish Park Avenue. Comfortably numb.


Nice writeup. Thanks.

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I didn't realize they were making the S80 with a turbocharged inline five this year. I guess they dropped the NA inline six. I look at the S80 as a Swedish Park Avenue. Comfortably numb.


Nice writeup. Thanks.


according to volvo's website, the base s80, and the awd rock the 2.5 5 cyl turbo, while the s80 T6 and T6 premiere get a 2.9 twin exhaust turbocharged I-6.

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But it is last of the true volvos... the platform sharing with ford will soon sweep through the rest of the line aka saab and then it will just be another ford :)
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti
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