It might seem surprising for a car as large as the Volvo S80 to have just a 1.6 litre engine under its long bonnet.
Good fuel economy is the current holy grail across the motor industry. Average miles-per-gallon figures have been steadily climbing over the past five years, and car manufacturers deserve high praise for what they have achieved in a remarkable space of time. Who would have thought, just a few years back, that a car the size of this one could achieve an mpg figure comfortably into the 60s?
It might seem surprising for a car as large as the Volvo S80 to have just a 1.6 litre engine under its long bonnet, but this Euro 5 emissions-compliant turbodiesel, with automatic stop-start, delivers 114 bhp and 199 lb ft of torque. That is enough to give it ample oomph to propel this big saloon along as rapidly as most eco-minded drivers would wish.
Even so, this car is one of the best environmental performers of its size. It is a band C model for Vehicle Excise Duty, so the annual tax disc is a bargain £35. Company car drivers have the bonus of a low 13 per cent tax level on Benefit-in-Kind calculations. Volvo claims that the value of the S80 DRIVe’s average fuel economy, judged against rival models, equates to getting a free tank of fuel a year, at around 60 litres saved.
Volvo uses DRIVe badges to identify the greenest versions of each of its models. Many manufacturers have their own green labels to denote the ultra-frugal stars of their ranges, such as Ford’s ECOnetic, Volkswagen’s BlueMotion, BMW’s EfficientDynamics, Mercedes-Benz’s BlueEfficiency and Skoda’s GreenLine.
This car isn’t the quickest kid on the block. It’s no particular slouch either. It is tempting to think in terms of skin and rice pudding when you are looking at a large-bodied, relatively small-engined, high mpg, low-CO2 car. But in this case, it really is not a fair image to linger over. The S80 DRIVe has enough power and torque to haul it around. At times you might wish for just a bit more urgency when there is a fast overtaking manoeuvre to be made, but that is about the only reminder that this is a specifically eco-orientated car. The 0-62 acceleration time is well out of the sports car league, but it is a respectable figure.
Volvo S80 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volvo S80|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11 Seconds|
|Top Speed||118 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||70.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBC|
|Warranty||3 years/60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 04/11/11)||£29,595|