Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Volvo S80 D5 SE Lux Auto: Test Drive
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Volvo S80 D5 SE Lux Auto: Test Drive

Date: 19 March 2009   |   Author:

Category: Executive
P11D price: 29,000 (est.)
Key rival: BMW 5-series

Volvo's new S80 D5 diesel performs the impressive trick many manufacturers are managing of increasing power while cutting emissions.

In this case, a 20PS lift to 205PS and cut of 5g/km to 164g/km for the manual is the result, although that's disappointingly still above the 160g/km capital allowance threshold active from 1 April.

The new D5 engine is a slight rather than dramatic improvement on the previous D5. It's still a little on the gruff and noisy side, although in its natural motorway environment the S80 settles down to impressive levels of refinement and comfort.

As well as the new engine, Volvo has introduced two suspension options - comfort and a lowered dynamic set-up. Dynamic will be standard on the two lower trim levels of SE and SE Lux, with the comfort-orientated version standard on the top Executive spec but a no-cost option on the lower two.

Dynamic improves the S80's competence on twistier roads, but the car's bulk, uncommunicative steering and, in our test cars, an automatic gearbox that's constantly searching for another gear, blunt any sporting ambitions. However, on the motorway the S80 excels at carrying four adults in a peaceful and refined manner, which is why it makes sense to option the comfort-orientated suspension.

The S80 is never going to match its BMW and Jaguar rivals on a winding mountain pass, but will appeal to people who cover lots of motorway miles and whose passengers will welcome the luxurious space in the back.

Pricing is still to be confirmed so we can't yet get a cost per mile figure, but expect the S80 to undercut its premium German rivals.

In the right circumstances, for people spending a lot of time on motorways, the big, well-equipped and very comfortable Volvo is well worth consideration.

Volvo S80 D5 SE Lux auto
P11D price£28,000*
Model price range£22,000-£38,000*
Fuel consumption45.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 164g/km/23%
BIK 20/40% per month£106/£211*
Service interval18,000mls
Insurancegroup 16
Boot space 422 litres
Engine size/power2400cc/205PS
Top speed/0-62mph143mph/8.0secs
On sale Summer 2009
VerdictUntil we get pricing, spec
and costs we’ll know only
the new engine is good
but not class-leading


Until we get pricing, spec and costs we’ll know only the new engine is good but not class-leading