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Volvo S80



  • kaputkin1kaputkin1 Posts: 1
    i am considering a new s 80 2.9. many reviews claim that the car lacks a sporty feel, and may be sluggish.
    Any opinions out there?
  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24
    Relative to a 528 or an A-6, both S80s "lack a sporty feel". They're not designed to be sports sedans as much as luxury sedans with predictable handling.

    I have the 2.9. It's more than adequate for U.S. needs, and doesn't have the problems of the overpowered T6. The 2.9 is the largest engine that the S80 frame really works well with.

    On the other hand, the sports seats in the T6 are much more laterally supportive than the 2.9's. But the 2.9 has a softer ride and less road noise over rough pavement.

  • ji17ji17 Posts: 3
    My wife and I test drove the S80. I was very comfortable while driving the car. My wife however had a problem with the shoulder belt cutting into her neck. Regardless of how she positioned the seat, the shoulder belt cut her neck. Does anybody else have such a problem and if so how was it fixed? (If it was fixed!)
  • Your description sounds suspiciously like the noise I had. I thought it was a belt slipping, but it turned out to be a bad belt tensioner. Replaced it and no more noise. Have them check this. And they told me it was a problem; could have destroyed belt if not repaired.

    Good luck! I love my machine. rld.
  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    If I had to guess I would say that your wife is not going to let you buy such an expensive car. The unusual fact that she claimed the shoulder belt was "cutting into her neck" no matter how she positioned the seat represents a "pain in the neck" message which she is unconsciously sending you. Find a car that makes more sense financially and your wife will let you buy it.
  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    During our 7500 mile service we had the opportunity to drive a 2000 2.9. The 2.9 seemed to have plenty of power for all normal driving. With two people and no luggage it actually felt quite peppy, especially so for such a large car. For passing maneuvers above 50 MPH the extra power of the T-6 would be welcome but many drivers never pass at these speeds.

    The difference that stood out the most to me was that the 2.9 had more engine noise during acceleration and was more likely to kick down to the next lowest gear than the T-6 with it's extra torque. Still, when the 2.9 kicked down the car did not hesitate to get up and go. In a way, the 2.9 gave the impression of sportiness because the engine would growl more and the transmission would kick-down while, under the same conditions the T-6 would remain very quiet and composed.

    Shauns, I didn't get the opportunity to drive the 2.9 on really rough roads but am curious what you attribute this statement to:

    "But the 2.9 has a softer ride and less road noise over rough pavement."

    Do you feel there is less road noise on rough pavement due to a softer suspension?

    I have heard the 2.9 has a softer suspension but I do not recall that impression during my drives. If anything, my 2000 T-6 gave the impression of being quieter and having a smoother ride (at least on normal roads).

  • ji17ji17 Posts: 3
    Somebody I know has a 13 month old S80 T6. Recently (on 3 occasions) their battery died after being parked with the engine off. On all three occasions the valet key was in the ignition. Two times the car was in a parking garage. Once at a mechanic for a state inspection. After using the car and taking the key (non-valet key) out of the ignition the next time the car is used there is no problem. The car starts.

    Anybody hear of such a problem?
  • ji17ji17 Posts: 3
    It's not my wife. The salesman at a dealership told me that his wife has the same problem. She sewed a fur wrap around the belt where it cuts her neck to solve her problem. He also said that others have this problem. Volvo is supposedly aware of the problem.
  • keithpakeithpa Posts: 17
    I went to Sweden last week to pick up my t-6 with the OSD program. It was an very enjoyable trip (except for some airline problems).

    We went to the Volvo museum and on the factory tour. Both were enjoyable but I particularly enjoyed the factory tour (english speaking tour at 1:00 pm).

    While on the tour they mentioned the top speed of the S40-T4 so I asked about the S80-T6. I was told that there is a "Gentlemans Agreement" among auto manufacturers (he mentioned Audi, BMW, and Mercedes) to regulate the top speed of the cars to 150 mph (not that I plan on testing the 150 mph).

    They told me that the deliver date would be August 1, because I got a 2001 model.

    For those of using the OSD program, make sure before you go that you call the factory deliver center and they will arrange for a taxi to take you from the airport to the hotel and later from the hotel to the factory deliver center.

    The weather was beautiful, about 78 F with low humidity. Many restaurants have outdoor dining this time of year. The public transportation is very good in Goteburg and I recommend buying the Goteburg card which includes use of the public transportation and free entry to several museums. I also recommend you take the Padden boat tour.

    New for 2001, they added to the seat position memory the side view mirror position and the leather seat/sunroof option was now standard.
  • emachineemachine Posts: 17

    I am so jealous! I can't wait to pick up my T6 in Sweden on July 31.

    Where did Volvo put you up and how was it? What was bad about the flight? I am on SAS and have horrible layovers. Just curious.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • dolamitedolamite Posts: 8
    Is the standard sunroof and leather rolled up into the overall price or is the car indeed less expensive for 2001?

    Any other information available?
  • speck5speck5 Posts: 1
    I am going to purchase a new vehicle this week and have narrowed it down to two cars, the Acura CL (Naples Gold/Parchment) or pre-owned (11,000 miles) Volvo S80. I've got the same bottom line price for both. My dilemma? A 1999 vs a 2001, a pre-owned vs. new, a coupe vs. a sedan, a luxury vs. near-luxury car. Any thoughts? I currenlty own a '93 850 with 112,000 and lots of repairs.
  • dfwt6dfwt6 Posts: 24
    If you've read through the posts on this board you know that S80's built before 1/2000 were/are prone to transmission and O-ring problems. If these were fixed, your long-term ownership experience should be a good one.

    If you're financing, your APR will be higher on the used car, and no incentives will be available. (Volvo's running some loyalty and year-end incentives right now, you may want to double-check what it would take to get you into a new one...)

    I've always preferred a new car from the maintenance standpoint, setting aside any major failures (get an extended warranty), but at 11,000 miles the differences are so great (a la new tires, ever-increasingly-expensive service intervals, and that new-car smell versus what-in-the-hell-died-under-the-seats smell).

    Enough mall parking garage in-and-outs will remind you why not to buy a coupe.

    Good luck!
  • mkrichmkrich Posts: 8
    re # 103: I assume you're talking about a 2.9. I own a 2000 S80 2.9 (7500 miles, 11 months) and when the new CL came out I test drove one just for grins. I actually tested the TL first then a Type S when one became available. My impressions follow:
    2 very different cars, and it really depends on what you're looking for. The performance difference was less than I expected. The CL is quicker off the line but so was the TL, and those two didn't seem all that different, both of which I think are bested by the T6. In terms of ride, both were very nice rides over all pavements, CL was tighter but stiffer, the S80 was smoother overall. Ergonomics was the biggest difference in my mind, and the S80 won that category big. I liked the S80's layout the first time I saw it, and instantly did not like the CL's. Climate controls, radio, cruise control, tach and speedometers all make sense in the S80, both in terms of how they work and where they are, not so in the CL (for me). Plastics seemed very cheap.
    I went in preparing to be wowed by the performance of the CL. I didn't seriously expect to trade as I would have gotten killed by the initial depreciation, but I came out completely underwhelmed and even happier with my car.
    As far as reliability, I had the bushing problem, fixed @ ~3000 miles with no recurrence, other than that the only issue was with the technician improperly completing the bushing fix and that led to another couple of false problems which were fixed at the next visit when they properly completed the fix.
  • broeuxbroeux Posts: 46
    dfwt6, I think the transmission problems were present in cars built before 1/99, not 1/00; and I'm not certain "prone to" is very accurate, though I have no statistics on it--there were reportedly a number of transmission failures in the early build cars, but I don't think it was the majority of cars. I'm not aware of any significant problems with transmissions in cars built after the initial problem was discovered. As for the subframe bushings, this did persist in 2000 models, but I believe--correct me someone if I'm wrong--the incidence of this was reduced, too. Our 2000 T6, built 10/99, has not had the bushing problem, or any of the other clunks, thunks or squeaks reported by some.
  • broeuxbroeux Posts: 46
    My wife and I, celebrating our anniversary, traveled down to The Big Easy this weekend. Since returning from our tour of Sweden we haven't been able to get the full benefit of our navigation system except on occasional trips to New Orleans. But what a joy it is to be able to hop all over town, NEVER looking at a map, and go point to point, turn for turn with complete confidence. If you've ever driven much in the Crescent City, especially at night, you know how challenging it can be to see the tiny street signs and negotiate the turns and twists without getting off-course. We did encounter one error in the guiding, when it directed us to turn left at an intersection where left turns are prohibited. It was easy to go a quarter of a block beyond the intersection and loop back around to return to the course, even before the nav system figured out we had not followed its directions! I will be notifying Navigation Technologies of the correction needed in the mapping. Now we await completion of mapping for our area, targeted for 1/01.

  • bucky1bucky1 Posts: 20
    I have got to be one of the luckiest Volvo S80 2.9 owners who reads and writes to this board. I bought the very first S80 my dealer received in October of 1998. Needless to say, I paid too much for my passion to be the first one in town to have this car. But at 18,750 miles, I still have the original transmission, the original battery, the original bushings, the original tires, and even the original new car smell (i.e. leather), and I have never had a problem with any of these components. My AM radio reception is awful, but everything else works the way it was intended and this is the best Volvo (my fourth) that I have ever owned. This car gets my "two thumbs up" despite all of the negativity I keep reading from the few unhappy people who cannot accept that, in spite of its upper $30K price, this is a complex piece of machinery, and machinery (unlike some humans) is not perfect. Do not assume that all early S80's had built-in mechanical just ain't true.
  • clsweeclswee Posts: 1
    Do I understand correctly that you picked up a 2001 S80 T6 in Sweden in early July? I was told that 2001 S80s would not be available that early. Thanks.
  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24
    My comments on road noise and ride were based on test driving the same patch of rough, studded tire rutted road that is common out here. Almost all cars with the exception of the Lexus and the BMWs fail the road isolation test on this surface, with M-B and Audi even resonating in the 30-50 MPH range.

    Road noise amplitude and spectrum were directly related to the size and brand of tires used. Short sidewall, large wheel diameter tires were worse.

    On the 2.9/T-6 comparisons, the T-6 had perceptibly louder road noise than the 2.9, and a rougher ride. The S80 is not particularly good at road noise isolation, averaging in the low 70dBC range at 70MPh against mid-sixties for its competition. My measurements of my 2.9 show that with the standard 16" 55-series tires and wheels, about 70-72dBC is typical, with 75dBC obtained on my rough road. The T-6 was about the same on smooth road, with about 78-80dBC on the rough road.
  • anuthjanuthj Posts: 5
    My 1999 S80 T6 just went into the shop for replacement of a tie rod joint that was in the process of failing. It manifested itself as a nasty front end shimmy, but oddly, no vibration transmission was felt thru the steering wheel.

    The car has almost 26,000 miles on it, but I've driven other cars into the ground without ever having a tie rod go. Obviously, I'm concerned because had the thing let go on the road at speed, I could be shy one of my front wheel assemblies.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    - Jim
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