Volvo has always been a byword for safety and their latest release, the new S80 sedan, continues to carry the torch for the Swedish car manufacturer. The S80 has always been a capable vehicle and provided customers in the market for a luxury car a viable alternative from the available fleet of German sedans. Its looks may be vapid to most but one cannot argue that it isn’t dignified and understated. The car combines good engines, premium build quality and a ton of the most cutting edge and absolute latest safety features. The S80 also features a personal car communicator (PCC) system which means you simply get into the car with the key in your pocket, press the engine ignition button and you’re off. The PCC also lets you know whether the car is locked or not and if the alarm has been triggered.
Customers ordering the new S80 sedan can request for a 2.0 litre, 5 cylinder diesel engine under the bonnet that puts out 163 bhp of power and 400 Nm of torque. Else, if they require more power, they can order a 2.4 litre, 5 cylinder diesel engine that whips out 212 bhp of power and 420 Nm of torque. Despite which engine you choose, only a 6 speed automatic transmission will be hooked up to it. There is no option of a petrol engine or a manual transmission on the S80. The all-wheel-drive system consists of an electronic management system that continuously checks the speed of the wheels, the throttle position, engine torque, engine speed and brake pressure. As driving conditions change, this system distributes the power to the appropriate wheels to maintain road traction and vehicle balance. The steering is firm and quick at highway speeds but light and effortless during parking or while driving in slow moving traffic.
This area is where the Volvo S80 really comes into its own. The car is packed to the hilt with safety features and we’re not talking only about standard safety features like airbags and ABS. The S80 gets features such as pedestrian detection with full auto brake to prevent the car from hitting careless people walking across the path of the car, Intellisafe active safety systems, lane departure warning, blind spot information system, city safety technology that automatically applies the brakes when an impending collision is detected at speeds of up to 50 kph, rain sensor with heated windscreen to prevent ice building up on cold days, active high beam control to increase the illuminating efficiency of the car’s full beam and also switch between low and high beams to prevent dazzling motorists coming the other way. Even the front side windows are hydrophobic, which prevents water drop accumulation when raining and subsequently reducing visibility. The car gets a 7 inch touchscreen display in the centre console that can be operated even while wearing gloves and it contains a host of features such as internet music streaming, internet radio, Google maps and search, naviagation with traffic info, weather forecasts, a Volvo service locator and so on. On the outside, the changes between the new S80 and its previous version are minimal. The front grille is narrower and the revised front bumper now includes LED daytime running lights.
The S80 might not have the brand appeal of cars like those from the stables of Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz but it does make a case for itself. While taking on giants like these, the S80 needs to be leaps and bounds ahead of its competition and the car has not advanced that much so far. But for people who put safety at a much higher level of priority than performance, looks, handling and so on, there is nothing in the market now to beat a Volvo.