2000 S80 New Car Test Drive
Think safety. Now think cars. No doubt the image of a boxy road tank is lumbering through your head, replete with an immaculately coifed soccer mom behind the wheel and 2.2 well-mannered kids buckled securely in the back seat.
And the boxy road tank is a Volvo.
The traditionally stolid automaker hopes to change that image with its new S80. Not completely, mind you. After all, Volvo is quick to point out that the S80 is the safest car it has ever built. And with its abundance of safety features, it's a difficult claim to argue.
In addition to dual front airbags, the S80 has specially designed headrests that reduce whiplash in a rear collision by 'cupping' the front passengers, buffeting their contact with the seats. Inflatable window curtains, as well as side air bags, protect the head and torso in a side impact. And all S80s come equipped with antilock brakes and traction control.
But Volvo wants us to believe that its flagship sedan can be super safe -- and a little sexy -- at the same time. Volvo? Sexy? Sure, in a sophisticated sort of way, of course. One look is all you'll need to be convinced.
The S80 is available in two versions. The $35,820 S80 2.9 comes with a 2.9-liter 6-cylinder engine that produces 197 horsepower. The $40,385 S80 T-6 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter inline-6 that delivers 268 horsepower. (Destination charge adds $575.)
Volvo's navigational system is available for either model for $2,495. A Homelink Security System is available for $595. Dynamic Stability Traction Control is a $1,095 option, while 17-inch alloy wheels are available for an additional $395. Leather upholstery adds $1,195.