In common with Volvo’s other DRIVe models, this version of the S80 sits fractionally lower than a standard version. The car rides very smoothly, with commendable suppleness and comfort. Handling is crisply assured. With a Volvo you know what you are getting, and it is road behaviour that is calm and mature, not especially exciting, but sure-footed and safe. You can feel the bulk of the big body as you drive but it contrives to be more agile across country than its size would suggest.Ease of Use
There are aerodynamic tweaks to help lower drag while optimising economy and CO2. These include an air deflecting panel behind the radiator grille and wind deflectors ahead of the front wheels, to manage the airflow past them. The car’s control system only allows the alternator to charge the battery when the engine is operating at low load, such as on downhill sections of road, and a low-friction belt is used to drive the alternator and air conditioning compressor. Eco-optimised steering and a low-friction gearbox are among other enviro-friendly measures. Front and rear access is easily achieved via good sized doors, and there is a 422-litre boot.Comfort and Refinement
Refinement is generally good. You can stir the car to be a bit more raucous by driving it somewhat brutally, but that rather misses the point of this being the green version of the S80 range. An engine cut-out system is standard, to minimise fuel from being wasted when the car stops at traffic lights or a junction, or when it is stuck in traffic. This works with slick efficiency and is relatively unobtrusive, both on shut-down and re-start.
The S80 DRIVe’s cabin is a serene oasis of cool Scandinavian design efficiency. There is good elbow room, plenty of kneeroom all round, and a light airy ambience. The décor is stylish, with elegant details. The car’s CO2 emissions and fuel thirst are pared down, but there is nothing anorexic about its kit list of standard equipment. Four trim levels are offered: SE, SE Premium, SE Lux and SE Lux Premium.
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