Volvo S80 D3

NIKHIL BHATIA, Autocar India
First Published: 15:07 IST(16/11/2012)
Last Updated: 19:14 IST(26/11/2012)
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The fascination with diesel is not limited to smaller cars. Buyers are concerned more about lower running costs than anything else. Even luxury carmakers sell more diesel cars than petrols. A small engine also implies better economy and not to mention lower buying costs. No wonder the three German giants in this class have a base diesel engine in their lineups. Volvo too has followed suit and has added a smaller diesel engine to its S80 luxury saloon to make it a more enticing option.

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The only distinguishing factor from the bigger, more expensive model is the D3 badge on the bootlid. It gets chrome surrounds on its grille and the lower half of the bumper. The wing mirrors sport a brushed aluminium look, adding a bit of sportiness to the design. However there is no denying the fact that the S80 now looks rather old in comparison to its more modern competition.

It might have a smaller engine, but with a press of the throttle the D3 gains momentum in a refined manner and there are no unwanted vibrations creeping into the cabin. Push the engine further and it remains willing even at high speeds. What suits the S80 best though is cruising at highway speeds. Trying to be too enthusiastic is not in its nature, the gear changes aren't rushed and the gearbox takes its own time to shift, but it does so without any jerks. Ride quality is good, especially at low speeds where the S80 deals well with surface abnormalities, but at high speeds it does tend to bounce around a bit. Nothing too disconcerting though. Chauffeur-driven owners won't have too much to complain about.

The cabin is spacious, especially at the rear. There is ample room for three people, the central tunnel doesn’t intrude much in the middle seat. The seats are quite well bolstered and supportive, only lacking slightly in thigh support. Overall though, it’s a very comfortable place to be in. Even the front seats are very supportive and relaxing, and come with lumbar support adjust.

It remains a well-specced car though. The City Safety Full-Auto Braking feature is unique to Volvos and is a godsend on our roads, and it also comes with a full complement of airbags. Quality isn’t quite in the league of its competition, and is only almost as good. The cabin doesn’t see too much change and remains simple, if a little uninspiring. So the S80 makes sense as a great overall car if buying costs matter and you don’t mind the lack of snob value. The recent tax hike on CBUs however will mean that its sticker price of Rs. 35 lakh will be subject to a rise.

BUYER’S FILE

Engine size          2.0 D
Price from           Rs 35 lakh*
Power                161bhp
0-100kph           12.01sec
Top speed         NA
Economy           11.8kpl
20-80kph in 3rd 6.21sec


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