The Volvo S80 is sheer class
By Fatimah and Natu Ali
Volvos have always been built like tanks. The bigger challenge was always that they looked every bit like them too.
In our years of writing about cars, several of our die hard Volvo loving friends have stayed in our ears about why they'd never buy any thing else. "But they are so awkward looking," we used to challenge them. Clunky boxes that make too much noise." The standard comeback was always, "how safe and reliable the Volvo is, they are great family cars, and they seem to last forever," defending their reasons for keeping a 12-year-old automobile when they could easily afford a brand new one.
We always imagined Volvo engineers to be penny-pinching family men who cared much less about style when it came to building an automobile to fortress their loved ones against the world, or at least other drivers, bad weather conditions and long distances. Not that Volvos have ever been cheap by any stretch of the imagination. But they do tend to last longer than other cars, so they did make economical sense for the long term.
You could drive a Volvo for twenty years and put 200,000 miles on it before finally having to throw in the towel. People who may have at one time bought a Volvo because of its strength and safety features were turned off because they were just so, well--ugly quite frankly. Well not anymore. It took years for those engineers to figure it out, but they have finally designed an appealing car that offers beauty along with brawn.
Years of streamlining the Volvo's looks have produced a well thought out, strong and very attractive uni-body sedan that's sturdy yet sleek and features lots of high quality safety mechanisms. One of our favorites feature is the electronic sensor that sits perched on the hood of the car and rings an alarm to warn drivers when they come too close to an object.
Our Shimmer Gold Metallic test drive shines pure class; not too gaudy but tasteful. Those who are less daring can choose much simpler shades like black or white. Volvo's once boxy lines have softened considerably, and are well complimented with a tailored integrated front and rear fog lights. Inside, plush leather seating will tailor itself to any size or shape body. And real wooden inlays adorn the dash and storage compartments.
Under the hood sits a powerful 3.2 Liter 6 cylinder engine that produces 235 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 236 Lbs. Ft. and Torque at 3200 rpm. Supercharged, yet quiet, this engine timed mates to a 6 speed electronically controlled Automatic/Manual transmission that will come in very handy when driving through ice and snow. Mileage runs between 19 and 28 mpg in city and the highways.
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