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Volvo S80



  • 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
  • keithpakeithpa Posts: 17

    We flew Delta (Philadelphia to JFK to Brussels) and Sabena (Brussels to Goteburg). What was bad about the travel was a scheduled 6-hour layover in Brussels that turned into a 9 hour and lost luggage on the return trip. At least we were able to go into Brussels during our layover.

    Goteburg was very nice, beautiful weather, lots of outdoor dining, and sunset was about 11:30 p.m. You will enjoy your trip.
  • keithpakeithpa Posts: 17

    Yes, you understood right. I did pick up a 2001 on July 4. However, the catch is that they will not deliver it until August 1 becuase it is a 2001.
  • neil2212neil2212 Posts: 16
    Shauns, when you tested the T6 did it have the stock 16" wheels or the optional 17" wheels. To state "... the T-6 had perceptibly louder road noise than the 2.9, and a rougher ride." w/o equivalent wheel sizes wouldn't appear to be fair, if that where the case. Neil
  • keithpakeithpa Posts: 17

    Sorry I missed your question about where tey put me up. They put me up in the Hotel Gothia. It may not have been as nice as the two Radissons but it was fine. They have a large breakfest buffet included in the price of the room. It also has a bar/restaurant on the 18th floor. The rate for the additional nights we stay was even less then what the Volvo travel agent quoted me. The only negitive was the room came with two single beds. We asked and we were told that they only had one room in the hotel with a double bed.
  • emachineemachine Posts: 17
    Thanks for the response. I too have a 6 hour layover, but in Newark. Ugh. I wanted to fly Delta but they stop servicing Gothenbug on August 1. Great timing. Oh well, my new T6 should be worth all the hassle.

    Volvo booked my wife and me at the Best Western Elite. I think the Gothia was full.

    One more question. How long does the factory tour take? We want to see the factory but it is closed on the day we pick up the car. We can take the tour when we drop off the car, but I want to make sure it is worth it to sacrifice touring time. We would have to be at the factory by 1:00.

    Any thoughts?
  • broeuxbroeux Posts: 46
    Keith, all the hotels we stayed in during our Sweden tour had single beds, even though one hotel had promised a queen. In fact, they all simply tell you to slide the two beds together and you have a queen! Not quite the same, though, and some of them didn't slide so easily.

  • gblock348gblock348 Posts: 5
    Does anyone know the specifics on the end of year incentives on s80 t6. supposed to be a new program that started today for non-repeat customers (yet!).

  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    Shauns, thanks for the info. I must agree with Neil, if the loudness is being caused by the low-profile tires on 17" rims, that's not a difference between the T-6 vs, the 2.9 but a tire difference. Our 2000 T-6 was delivered from the factory with 16" rims and I am pleased with the quiet ride although I imagine if Volvo wanted to add about 100 lbs. more sound insulation or choose the tires specifically for quietness the car could have been made even quieter.
  • broeuxbroeux Posts: 46
    We have the 17" Arrakis, and I don't have a problem with undue road noise. What noise I hear is quite tolerable and far outweighed by all the positive attributes of touring in this auto.

  • keithpakeithpa Posts: 17
    The factory tour takes about 1-1/2 hours. It is a combination film/lecture followed by a tour. Are you sure it is not available the day you pick up the car? I say that because the brochure said they stop the English speaking tour on July 1 for the summer but I went on it July 4.

    My wife and I enjoyed the factory tour. If going on the tour means giving up seeing something that you really want to see then skip the tour.

    In Goteborg take the Padden (toad) both tour. It is about 30 minutes and will give you a nice view of the city and some history.

    There is another boat ride out to an island fortress, I would skip that.

    There was an excellent restaurant near the Novotel Hotel. I do not remember the name but I think it began with an "s". It was highly recommended in the Foders Scandinavia Travel book and the people at the hotel desk thought it was the best one in town. It was a little price but good.
  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    Sorry for assuming your wife just didn't want the car. I did some experiments to see if I could replicate your wifes problem with the seatbelt "cutting into her neck".

    This is what I learned. The shorter the person, the closer the seatbelt comes to the neck area. However, this can be eliminated by raising the seat position up. If your wife is over 5' tall, I suspect she did not know how to adjust the seat up. It raises quite a bit when the lower adjustment lever is held in the up position. I imagine she was just tilting the seat back, the seat itself or sliding fore and aft. Let her have another try and make sure the seat is fully raised.
  • shaunsshauns Posts: 24
    In order of quietness:

    16" 2.9
    16" T-6
    17" T-6

    I did not test drive a 2.9 with the 17" wheels. There was a noticeable difference between the T-6 and 2.9 16" wheels, and a clear difference in ride with a further increase with the 17" wheels.
    From this, I would say that the tires are the primary problem here - the T-6 uses firmer, wider performance tires in both the 16" and 17" wheelsets. I was led to understand, but cannot verify, that the shocks and springs in the T-6 are somewhat stiffer than the 2.9, which will also increase transmitted road texture noise. If anyone can verify this I would be in their debt.

    As to whether road noise should be an issue, for some of us, yes it is. It is also a reasonable criterion for comparison, because Volvo wishes us to compare the S80 against the 528i, MB320, and Audi A-6, and GS400 - ALL of which have better smooth road noise levels and the 528i and GS400 which have very good rough road noise levels.
    Luxury sedans, whether sporting or not, are expected to have very high levels of noise isolation relative to mid-range sedans.

    Now - why did I choose a Volvo instead of a Lexus or a BMW? I'm tall-and the Volvo (and A6) were the only ones that fit me. Rough road noise-wise, they're a toss up - and considering I got my S80 at under $34K on Euro delivery against $40K+, the Volvo won. But yes, I would have appreciated it if Volvo had spent another 100lbs or so on sound isolation and suspension knock isolation.
  • Keith-- can you confirm that the 2001 has the flop down rear headrests? Any other changes you noticed for 2001? We're headed over to Gothenburg in about a week and half to pick up our car and tour around for two weeks. Assuming we want to go on the factory tour at what time should we plan to arrive at the delivery center. I assume taking delivety takes some time. Any information appreciated.
  • jack130jack130 Posts: 9

    Suggest you go to URL,
    click on "Traveling to Europe" then click on "S80." This will give you the breakdown of standard equipment and options for the 2001 OSD S80 including the "Head Restraints, rear, outer, foldable with dashboard switch."

    Volvo North America or your dealer should provide this sort of info, I think. Hope I've helped you.
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    I have a 2000 T6 and also have some minor issues with the seatbelt position as well. My wife is 5' 2" and I am 5' 7". On longer trips in the car, I have found the seatbelt does bother me a bit in the neck area while driving, and I do put the seat all the way up. This helped but did not eliminate the slight discomfort entirely (at least for me). I was dismayed that Volvo did not allow the seat belt pulley mechanism to be manually adjusted downward to fit shorter (or taller) drivers like some other car makes do...
  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    I have a 2000 T6 I took delivery of in March 2000. Much to my dismay when we received our factory order car, Volvo eliminated the fold down head rests for all S80s during that period (apparently due to some safety concerns with the child safety seat in the rear seat). Since then, they are now building the cars with this feature, which I wanted then and still want now.

    As I have no little children (just big ones!), I would like to have the fold down head rests 'activated' if possible. The Volvo service mgr at the dealer told me the seats were wired for the headrest fold down controls, but he did not believe that this could be done by the dealer (only by the factory). Does anyone know if this is true? It would seem to me that if the seats still had all the wiring that it would simply be a matter of getting the right head rests. Anyone know?
  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    Jarch, do you usually adjust the adjustable steering column all the way aft? This could help because then the seatback could be tilted back a little.

    I am constantly amazed at the number of comfortable positions this car can adapt to even though I'm 6'4".

    I think Volvo shoulder harnesses do come closer to the neck than other cars. I imagine this is a safety feature to minimize the possibility of rotating out of the harness in a 3/4 frontal collision.
  • dobigildobigil Posts: 2
    I purchased a 2000 S80 T6 last September '99 and while it is cool to look at, fun to drive, and marks me as a Man of Distinction (: or is that :), I am overall pretty disappointed for the following reason.

    The "helpful" grab handle attached to the ceiling is constantly banging me in the head when I turn to look over my left shoulder, and often even with lesser movements. I've sort of learned to avoid it, but besides the sore spot on my head, I think it is truly a hazard for additional head injury in a collision (I'm an ER doc so maybe that's why I'm sensitive to this.) I realize that the magic curtain is supposed to come down and protect against this, but I don't want to wait until it's needed to test this questionable notion. By the way, I'm only 5' 11".

    The dealer has been sympathetic but of no help. Likewise, "Volvo Central" is absolutely uninterested. For a make that markets itself so heavily regarding safety, and for a 40K car, I am really very disappointed. Note that previous models of Volvos (and other car makes) simply do not have these hand-hold things on the driver's side, or they fold down against the ceiling.

    I have made innumerable calls and tried to get some third-party outfit to remove this handle (which is easy) and put up some blank plate that doesn't look gross (apparently next to impossible). At this point, my wife drives "my" S80 (she's short), and I drive "her" Suburban (which doesn't have a hand grabber on the driver's side, but does have one on the passenger side--much farther from the passenger's head as compared to the S80).

    Has anyone out there successfully dealt with this problem? As far as I'm concerned, it's not quite in the league of the famous Pinto Exploding Gas Tank, but it is a dangerous design flaw.

  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #129:

    dobigil, I'm surprised you're still having this problem. To date, I think you are still the only person who has had a consistent issue with banging their head on the handle. I'm the same height as you and have never come close to hitting by head. Out of curiosity, what is the length of the inseam of your pants? (Before the wise guys get funny I'm wondering if your torso is disproportionately long?) Also, have you moved the seat down further to give you more headroom?


  • jarchjarch Posts: 16
    Just got my 7500 mile service on my T6 and I was a little surprised how much it cost; nearly $300! $142 for the service itself, $70 in miscellaneous parts including $50 for Mobil One oil (should have brought my own oil to them), and a one time fee of $75 to reprogram the VADIS for one touch unlock operation for the remote (should have had this done when I picked up the car). For such a simple service, makes me a bit apprehensive about my next service call! :-)
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