Inside, the Volvo S80 feels instantly relaxing. The cabin is bright and airy – especially with the light leather of our test car and the cross-brushed aluminium trim. It’s spacious in the back and front.
Most of the cabin controls are fine, but there are four rotary knobs – two each side – for the stereo and cabin temperature. And it’s all too easy to grab the wrong one when your concentration is focused on the road. You want Smooth FM and get a chilled cabin. You want TalkSport and get a blast of unwanted hot air. Come to think of it…
Otherwise, the S80’s cabin is beyond criticism. The driving position, particularly the steering wheel, is hugely adjustable, while rear passengers don’t want for comfort or space. All seats are large enough that you can shift yourself around in them, fending off long-distance aches and pains before they’ve even emerged. This is a cabin designed with long-distance travelling very much in mind.
The S80 is fitted with the Volvo Sensus infotainment system, which offers much of the secondary instrumentation on a five-inch or seven-inch screen. If the multimedia system is specified, it can display information and images from the navigation system, phone, reversing camera, panorama camera, DVD player or digital TV.
Eight out of 10 S80 buyers specify leather seats, and the soft hide is wonderful to the touch. If the car is equipped with power-operated front seats, they can be optionally upholstered with perforated and ventilated leather, which is excellent during particularly hot or cold weather.