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By: James Baggott
April 24, 2002


Volvo S80 2.4T







quote:

It's not only a reputation for safety that's turning drivers on to Volvo. Value for money, build quality, excellent refinement and devastating powerplants have catapulted the firm right into the path of its German rivals BMW, Audi and Mercedes. If proof of this is needed, take the recently facelifted S80 as an example. The 5-Series rival's handsome looks and road presence make you feel as special - and as comfortable - as with any competitor, while the wide range and varied engine line-up offer something to suit most tastes and budgets.

From the economical diesel D5 to the high-performance T6, there's a car for everyone. However, if you're after the best of both worlds, this new 2.4 Turbo edition, priced £23,855, is a gem. On sale now, it's the perfect 'slot machine', plugging the gap between the devastatingly quick T6 and smooth D5. Capable of returning an impressive 30.4mpg, the 2.4T's engine is both efficient and powerful. It propels manual versions of the big executive car from 0-62mph in a mere 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph.

Our test car was fitted with an automatic gearbox, which adds half-a-second to sprint times, but despite the performance penalty it's a cracking system to use. The kickdown is spot-on every time, never struggling to find the right gear when an extra burst of power is needed. Couple this with a seemingly endless surge of torque, and it's no surprise the car whips you through overtaking manoeuvres with ease.

The interior is very roomy, and the instrument panel is information-packed. Adjustable seats and steering wheel mean there is no shortage of comfort, although tall drivers may find it hard to read some of the dials with the chair at its lowest position. However, despite this minor annoyance, the cabin is inviting and of good quality. The air-conditioning is effective and easy to control, while the rear seats are more than big enough to allow passengers to travel in some style. The materials have a high-quality finish, although colour-wise they look slightly bland.

One area in which the S80 really excels is when it hits the open road. On motorways it is effortless and will easily chew up the miles without tiring the driver. The supple suspension soaks up surface imperfections like a sponge, keeping out noise and vibration with impressive efficiency. Add to this the quietness of the cabin at cruising speeds, and the refinement ensures that lengthy journeys aren't a chore. Of course, Volvo's commitment to safety is on show as always. With the whiplash protection system (WHIPS), twin and side airbags, plus numerous crumple zones, the S80 claims to be one of the most robust cars in its class.

And when you consider you'd have to pay out around £33,000 for a similar-performing Mercedes, and in the region of £30,000 for an equivalent BMW, the Volvo's comparatively modest price makes it an appealing alternative. The Swedish firm has proved time and again that it is becoming a viable rival to the German marques, but will enough badge-lovers snub their favourites for a hot little Swede? We know what the sensible enthusiast would choose!
-Drew
 

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That's a pretty good engine for the S80 albeit not as refined as the 2.9L with the electronic mods for MY2002. But, for European standards, it is a pretty torquey engine!

Yannis
 

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quote:

Our test car was fitted with an automatic gearbox, which adds half-a-second to sprint times, but despite the performance penalty it's a cracking system to use. The kickdown is spot-on every time, never struggling to find the right gear when an extra burst of power is needed. Couple this with a seemingly endless surge of torque, and it's no surprise the car whips you through overtaking manoeuvres with ease.
I have to disagree with that, unless they changed it from the 2000 models. If there's one thing I can really complain about in both the S80 and XC, it's the appropriately named Slushbox. The upshifts are slow and not crisp at all. The loud pedal really has to be dipped into to force a downshift (this is especially true in the XC). The 5-speed auto in the XC is much worse than the 4-speed in the S80, but neither is any bit impressive.

As for making the 2.4T a third engine option in the S80 to bring the price down, I don't think its a bad idea.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by anony00gt:

As for making the 2.4T a third engine option in the S80 to bring the price down, I don't think its a bad idea.

It "ain't gonna happen", here in the US.

Yannis
 

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Early it was mentioned how the new Volvos are built to compete better with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes and although thats the intention, they fall far short of the goal. ::
uttin on flame suit::: I own lots of Volvos and they are good cars for the money but in no way, shape, or form do they come close to performance of the German rivals. The engines are lively, but the rest of the car cant handle it. The tranny shifts too slow compared to the other vehicles and the FWD creates tremendous torque steer. How does the new S80 compete with the ne Xtype R thats due any day now?
 

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quote:

Originally posted by vinmanC32:
Early it was mentioned how the new Volvos are built to compete better with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes and although thats the intention, they fall far short of the goal. ::
uttin on flame suit::: I own lots of Volvos and they are good cars for the money but in no way, shape, or form do they come close to performance of the German rivals. The engines are lively, but the rest of the car cant handle it. The tranny shifts too slow compared to the other vehicles and the FWD creates tremendous torque steer. How does the new S80 compete with the ne Xtype R thats due any day now?
OK, I will give it to you that BMW and Audi make "tighter" cars....but...MERECEDES?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? P-U-H-L-E-E-Z-E. Are you serious? Unless you move into the S class, their cars are...$h!t!!!! Sure, the "new" C-class cars are better than the taxi-cabs they used to be but in no way are they even close to a Volvo or even better to the class of an S80. The newer E-class have also improved their exterior looks but they still drive like a boat. What about the worthless ML class? Total POS!!! With plastic trims falling off the doors and behind the front seats...Have you attempted to drive one in a SEMI-spirited way? If not, try one and come back and post your impressions! Their interiors are so conservative that they make Volvo and BMW blush. Made for a grandpa. Audi makes the best interiors, period. But Volvo, for the $$$, is a much better bargain when it comes to overall safety, cost of ownership, handling, performance, etc. Mercedes cannot even come close. The only way a Mercedes can be exciting is after a trip and extended stay at the AMG plant.


MERCEDES spells OVERPRICED is some weird Germanic dialect...

So, how was that for a flame?

Not enough? OK, here you go...


Hehe!

Yannis
 

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LOL Yannis... I have the AMG version of the C series and think it is the best car I have ever owned. It sits in the garage next to a 99 Porsche 911 and I still stand by what I said. My S80 was very nice and I enjoyed every minute of ownership but, I didnt miss it when I got this one. I hear all the hoopla about MB build quality, but all the ones Ive seen (although most are S class) are exceptional. And the engines are phenomenal, whether they visit the AMG plant or not. They all pull like mules. Get the hose and put out that flame...
 

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quote:

Originally posted by vinmanC32:
LOL Yannis... I have the AMG version of the C series and think it is the best car I have ever owned. It sits in the garage next to a 99 Porsche 911 and I still stand by what I said. My S80 was very nice and I enjoyed every minute of ownership but, I didnt miss it when I got this one. I hear all the hoopla about MB build quality, but all the ones Ive seen (although most are S class) are exceptional. And the engines are phenomenal, whether they visit the AMG plant or not. They all pull like mules. Get the hose and put out that flame...
As I wrote earlier, S-class are a different league. But the rest...the engines are...phenomenal whether they visit the AMG plant or not??? Are you kidding me? And "they pull like mules"??? That's not very flattering!
I would rather ride a...THOROUGHBRED than a MULE! Hehehe.

And here is my suggestion for putting out the flame above...


Yannis
 
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