The Extra Mile: 2013 Volvo S80 T6 AWD
Base Price $42,950
Price as Tested: $51,445
This week, we're driving Volvo's luxury sedan, the 2013 S80 T6 AWD. Built in Gothenburg, Sweden, the S80 is a combination of superb comfort, excellent safety and a peppy turbo engine that solidifies Volvo's legend as a builder of some of the safest cars in the world.
I've always taken any Volvo writing opportunity (like this one) to mention the late Walter Cronkite, the beloved news anchor who raced for the Volvo road racing team in 1959 and 1960. Add in several Volvo first hand experiences, including surviving a collision in 2001 when hit broadside by a Dodge Durango, and one can relate to my admiration for the manufacturer.
Built in both Sweden and Belgium since 1927 and 1965, respectfully, Volvo's ability to move forward in a world that has seen the demise of fellow Swedish-built Saab is noteworthy. Saab was an automotive favorite since 1949, but its' history came to an abrupt end following parent General Motors' bailout as both Saturn and Saab were eliminated from GM's lineup. Several attempts to save the cars by other companies failed, securing the sad conclusion.
Back to the present.
Available in both front drive and all-wheel drive versions (AWD), our S80 came with AWD and the powerful turbo engine. Specifically, a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that develops a stout 300 horses and 325 lb. ft. of torque allows S80 to run from zero to 60 in just 6.5-seconds. This is most impressive for an AWD car that weighs over two tons and delivers 25 MPG highway.
The excellent fuel mileage comes thanks to a standard six-speed automatic transmission, which these days seems more and more the norm for most modern day marvels. Underneath, a fully independent front and rear suspension is equipped with traction control, electronic brake distribution, 4-wheel disc ABS, ready alert brakes and more.
Volvo's "Sensus," introduced in 2012, features a system that controls audio, navigation and other necessary dashboard settings via controls either on the steering wheel or from buttons near the seven-inch display screen. I like this formula as the driver can make changes to radio or climate while not being distracted, or, the passenger can handle the duties.
"City Safety" is another notable standard safety item that utilizes infrared beams that automatically brake the S80 if a car ahead either stops suddenly or the driver is late in responding. When you add in all the airbags, safety cage construction, backup camera and ancillary protection features, it's no surprise Volvo S80 continues to earn countless worldwide safety awards.
Volvo's S80 T6 AWD comes with a bevy of standard features, way too many to list in a column. Noteworthy are a 4x40 Watt Amplifier Stereo/CD/HD Radio/Satellite, USB, Bluetooth, MP3, eight speakers, power sunroof, 18-inch wheels, power everything, interior walnut wood inlays, leather seating and more.
Inside, there's room front and rear as even though the S80 is listed as a midsize, it does have large car interior dimensions. Adding to the beautiful interior is a $2,300 S80 Platinum Package, which features Sovereign Hide leather, ventilated front seats, leather dashboard, walnut steering wheel, "Inscription" floor mats and tread plates and a leather front tunnel storage cover.
A Climate Package for $900 adds heated front and rear seating, heated windshield washer nozzles and an interior air quality system. The beautiful metallic paint adds another $550.
The final option is a $3,850 Navigation system with rear camera, Active Xenon headlamps, Homelink and front and rear park assist which brings you to the over $50K retail price.
Volvo's marketing heralds the S80 as "living in its own class of luxury sedans with a sophisticated look and in-car technology that create a driving experience unlike any other."
I agree, and highly recommend the S80 T6 AWD if you're looking for a world class car. Prices start ay $38,500 for the front drive with a 240 horse, non-turbo 3.2-liter inline-six.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 111.6 inches, 18 city and 25 highway MPG, 18.5 gallon fuel tank, 4,053 lb. curb weight and 14.9 cu. ft. of trunk space.
Likes: Interior, exterior, engine, safety, performance, handling, AWD
Dislikes: Expensive option packages.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist)