Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo S80 - 2nd Report Update
15 May 2007
It's been bugging us for a little while, but it appears Volvo has overlooked adding something that might be considered crucial on a motorway cruiser
|15 MAY 2007|
|Forecast CPM 41.9p|
|Actual CPM 43.3p|
|One little irritation taints the S80's otherwise great long-distance ability. Why isn't there a clutch footrest on a car that will spend a lot of time blasting up and down motorways?|
The mission, that our long-term Volvo S80 chose to accept, was to transport four adults, three at least nudging six-foot tall, on a 600-mile overnight round trip to Paris.
On the way there we debated whether there was another sub-£27,000 car we'd have swapped for this specific task.
There's no doubt the Volvo's not the most exciting car ever to grace our fleet, but for this job we were struggling to come up with a better alternative because the requirements were decent economy, pace and ride quality in a (very long) straight line, plus decent space and interior quality for four.
Leaving London in time to grab a very early train under the channel, the big saloon felt right at home galloping down the smooth empty French autoroute . The ride around town isn't brilliant, but get the car into its favoured environment and it's right at home. The big comfy leather seats are almost an automotive La-Z-Boy chair, and if you're doing serious mileage well worth the £1200 option price.
There was little complaint from rear seat passengers, despite the seat cushion not being quite long enough to support long legs. But that didn't stop rear seat occupants from grabbing 40 winks as we cruised through France . The only other moan from the rear was that the stereo quality and volume wasn't brilliant, and we ended up heavily rear-biasing the fader control to get decent volume all round. And that's despite the S80's lack of wind or road noise. At least Volvo's one of those manufacturers that's fitting auxiliary sockets, so the iPod got a good workout over the weekend.
Munching on the move (only for the passengers, obviously) is easy thanks to numerous storage holes and handy gaps, although the armrest is entirely impeded when you use the cupholder for a bottle .
The impressively huge boot also swallowed four overnight bags and the inevitable few crates of beer and wine picked up in Calais on the way back.
The S80 isn't necessarily at home in town, where the aggressive clutch pedal, long throw between gears, hard low-speed ride and fundamental size count against it, but in this price bracket it makes a compelling, comfortable mile-munching case.