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Volvo S80

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Volvo S80
6/10

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Volvo S80 1.6 D Drive

Driven April 2010

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Reading through an old issue of TopGear (September 2004, issue 132), I noticed the stats for a few Volvos back then that helped me confirm a point I'd suspected was true anyway: the little 1.6-litre diesel engine in this S80 puts out a useful amount of torque.

The old S80 2.4S 170bhp (petrol) of 2004 developed 170lb ft of torque compared with this 1.6's 177lb ft. The 2.0T S petrol back then put out 177lb ft too. OK, they weren't quick, but it shows how the game has moved on. A modern, small-capacity diesel does the business for twist.

That's not to say this S80 isn't a slug. It is a bit. It not-rockets from 0 to 62mph in 12.4secs. But how fast do you want to accelerate these days anyway? You'll soon be stopped by the next traffic jam or light. So think instead about the combined fuel economy figure of 62.8mpg - 60mpg is very achievable on a light throttle - and the potential range of 800 miles on a single tank. Enjoy the space and refinement of this big car and revel in a low lease rate and the tax benefits of a clean 129g/km. It's not thrilling, but it makes a lot of sense, and it's only a few grand more than an equivalent Mondeo.

The S80 DrivE is an attractive proposition: it's refined, it rides well and it has a simple and solid Scandinavian elegance inside which makes driving it all the more of a pleasure. And it's beautifully made and finished. It doesn't need to be sporty, so it isn't. Fine.

Bill Thomas

On your drive for: £573pcm
Performance: 0-62mph in 12.4secs, max speed 118mph, 57.7mpg
Tech: 1560cc, 4cyl, FWD, 107bhp, 177lb ft, 1586kg, 129g/km CO2

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