What is it?
It’s necessary to view the refreshed Volvo S80 with a sense of proportion. This car is never going to be an Autocar driver’s favourite. But it could make a case for business drivers who rarely leave the motorway because they need to get where they are going.
The DRIVe, despite its SE specification, retails at £22,245 (our test car’s leather trim and heated seats added £1450 to the price) making it just two or three thousand pounds more expensive than a Mondeo or Insignia.
However, it has rather less power on tap than typical rivals because of the downsized 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. However, there are extremely competitive leasing rates currently being offered for DRIVe as well as the positive tax effect of a Co2 output of just 129g/km.
What’s it like?
This S80 is pretty pedestrian out of the traps, but once it’s rolling the 107bhp engine has a surprising amount of muscle. 80mph is a comfortable gait and the top (fifth) ratio is well judged enough to allow the car to range between 60mph and 80mph without cog swapping.
Other impressive aspects were the slick ‘box and smooth clutch action, engine and cabin refinement, impressive standard-issue stereo and climate control and the promise of a trans-continental range. Even with the trip computer showing 40.5mpg it predicted a range of 710 miles.