What: New version of Volvo‘s mid-full sized sedan, and its first with V-8 power
How much:;Base price, $48,045; As tested, $58,490
What’s hot:;Rockin’ 311 horse Yamaha V-8.; High quality design, inside and out. Cool safety features like BLIS blind-spot warning system.
What’s not: ;A bit thumpy on rough road surfaces.; Seems pricey, although there’s a lot of content.; Shifter paddles would be fun.
On the road:;Engine spits, snarls, and revs like a thoroughbred.; 6-speed auto trans is a willing partner.; The S80 V8 isn’t quick, it’s genuinely fast.; AWD means neutral handling, although we didn’t get to sample grip, as there was no rain or snow nearby during our test drive.; Looks are Euro clean without being boring.; Great seats with perforated leather, heaters, and coolers.; Nice audio and nav system; the “remote control” styled center stack is easy to understand and operate.; The adaptive cruise and Park Assist functions are cool, but the trickest bit is “BLIS,” Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System, which really works: when a vehicle is in either of your blind spots, a little lamp mounted near the mirror glows.; It’s just enough to let you know that someone is there without being annoying.; Driver and passenger sides are calibrated to match each side’s blind spot.; Brilliant.;
Bottom Line:;V-8 power, and the near $60K price point, are new for Volvo.; Time will tell if the market accepts it there.; Resale value and such is TBD.; But the car is sophisticated looking, terrific to drive, and packs great hardware and technology.