VOLVO S80 2007 – 2018

2008 Volvo S80

The Volvo S80 is the model that changed the public image of the Swedish car when it was 
launched in 1998. Once seen as the company that built safe, square, boring cars, Volvo is 
now regarded as a style leader. 
The Volvo S80 is a large sedan with a shape that can be described as ‘simple but 
effective’, especially in the cabin where it’s distinctly Scandinavian and will never be 
mistaken as one of its German or British rivals. 
Indeed, we heard owners say their S80 can almost be described as a Swedish lounge room on 
Interior space is good in the front but we would like to have seen about 100 mm more rear 
legroom in a car in this class. The boot is huge and reasonably easy to load despite its 
Handling is safe and predictable and the big Swede is easy to drive. It copes with long 
distance trips with ease – Sweden is a lot larger than most people realise, particularly from 
north to south which feels almost Aussie-like at times behind the wheel.
It goes without saying that the Volvo S80 carries a full range of safety features and that 
these substantially increased over the years. These include multiple airbags, front seats 
with headrests and seat-backs which collapse in a controlled manner during a rear-end 
crash to minimise the dangers of whiplash injuries. All five seating positions come with 
pyrotechnic safety-belt pretensioners.
Drivelines are many and varied, engines come with four, five, six and eight cylinders and 
drive either the front wheels or all four wheels – the latter being a favourite with snow skiers 
in Australia. Petrols come with or without turbocharges. All diesels have a turbo.
Automatics all have six ratios with the new model from 2007. For obvious reasons no 
manual gearbox is offered.
A revision of the S80 lineup in December  2009 refreshed nose with a bolder grille with 
bigger ‘Thor’ badge, as well as a slightly different tail. Some added chromed trim gave it a 
more up to date look. Inside were trim changes and as well as new choices of colour. The 
engines upgraded to meet the latest emission standards.

2013 Volvo S80

These Volvos are complex machines with a lot of high-tech components so are best left to 
professional mechanics for anything other than basic servicing.
Insurance companies like Volvos, not only because of the protection they offer occupants 
in crashes, but also because a considerable amount of design work has gone into making 
them relatively easy to repair after minor prangs. 
Volvo S80 was replaced by the Volvo S90 in October 2016 although they remained 
alongside each other until mid-2018. 
Some S80s may not have been sold new till early 2017, but note that date of build is how 
car should be valued as a trade-in or at resale time, so don’t think that a 2017 rego date 
applies to price.
Despite Volvo’s strong reputation in building practical station wagons the Volvo S80 is only 
sold as a sedan, probably to give it a ‘prestige saloon’ image, not that of a load hauler. The 
Volvo V70 wagon is based on the same platform as the S80, but oddly it is slightly smaller 
than the sedan.

2016 Volvo S80

Check for a full service-record particularly on a diesel engine as it’s important its belts and 
tensioners are replaced on time.
Look for a cracked engine mount on a V8 engine (in very isolated instances).
Check for any smoke from the exhaust on the straight six engine.
Listen for unwarranted noises from a turbo engine, particularly when you work it hard.
The Volvo S80 is generally fine on rough roads, but listen for noises from the suspension 
that may indicate wear.
Make sure all gearchanges from the automatic smooth and are all but impossible to feel 
unless at low to moderate throttle openings.
Check that the AM radio stations work as there have been problems. The FM band still 
works even if the AM is out.
Watch out for a performance model that has been driven hard. Uneven wear to the front 
tyres is an indicator of harsh driving. As is a lot of brake dust on the inside of the front 
Expect to pay from $5000 to $9000 for a 2007 Volvo S80 D5; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2010 
V8 R-Design; $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2015 T6 Luxury; $13,000 to $20,000 for a S80 T6 
Luxury; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2017 T6 Luxury; and $21,000 to $29,000 for a 2018 
Ideally any road test of a car you’re getting serious about should be done with the engine 
stone cold. Early morning is best.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: 

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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