Alternative to Mercedes E-Class for big, prestigious five-seater 'private hire' operators and owners simply wanting a big, safe, solid car. Much improved
Very close to E Class prices, except for sensible, entry level 2.0 litre models. Few will buy the 4WD I6 and V8.
Latest Update Volvo S80 from 2006: Emissions of D3 and D4 Geartronic automatics reduced to under 130g/km.
16-9-2012: Powershift dual clutch automatic transmission requires fresh fluid every 3 years at a cost of £250.
5-9-2012: Professional Driver Car of the Year 2012. 120,000 mile warranty offered on chauffeur driven S80s.
Introduction (from Volvo S80 D5 2007 Road Test):
It used to be called ‘Carriage Trade'. Now ‘Private Hire'.
Those Middle Eastern guys in sharp suits, sunglasses and E220 CDIs who show up to take you to a TV studio.
I wondered what they would think of the new Volvo S80 D5.
It's a big, comfortable car that feels immensely strong, cruises at 2,000rpm at 70, yet definitely keeps you in touch with the road both through the steering and the seat of your pants.
Soft it isn't.
It's a full five seater with plenty of head and legroom even for piggy in the middle in the back. The boot is huge, with a flap that folds up from the floor to divide it in two and hide an illegal immigrant.
Whether the private hire guys see it that way depends on how their customers view a Volvo badge against a three pointed star.
But 39.6mpg in a lot of traffic would certainly sway me.
Continued at: Volvo S80 D5 2007 Road Test