2005 Volvo S80 SE 2.0T from UK and Ireland


Nice car, but killed off by a refusal to sell parts for a gearbox, stay away


The gearbox in the car is giving trouble. My garage tells me that it needs only some internal parts to be changed, but Volvo refuse to supply them, insisting that I replace the entire gearbox and associated parts at a cost of more than €5000.

General Comments:

I always found the car very comfortable.

The kids love the separate heating vents in the back.

I have done a lot of miles. It does not handle as well as the Mondeo for example, but is a lovely cruiser.

"Volvo Car Corporation does not supply parts to facilitate gearbox repair". My lovely car is now next to useless.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2009

20th Nov 2009, 20:50

Unusual for a manual box to go, get a 2nd hand one from breakers.

26th Nov 2009, 06:35

I wrote the review. I have some good guys looking at breakers (scrapyards) all over the country and say they can't find any reliable gearboxes for my car. Not too car savvy myself, but these guys have been doing this for years and they are a little surprised they can't find anything.

2005 Volvo S80 SE 2.4 D5 from UK and Ireland


Ultimate long distance cruiser


So far nothing major has gone wrong with the car. As delivered to me there was a buckled wheel and rusting wheel locking bolts. Both were fixed without question by the supplying Volvo dealership.

There is no record of any warranty work for the car on the Volvo computer system either.

Early days though, I will report back as the miles go by with updates on the cars progress!

General Comments:

For most people, the S80 seems the most conservative choice in an already unadventurous Volvo range. Despite this, it appeals to me on several levels. Mostly because I prefer the proportions of saloon cars, but also because I love the high equipment levels offered on executive motors. Helpfully, the lack of demand in the second hand market keeps prices right down for nearly new, low mileage examples. After owning a 2001 V70 in the past, I was keen to get back into a Phase II Volvo, but didn't need the estate of the V70, which left me with a choice between the smaller, sportier S60 and the behemoth S80.

For me it was an easy choice, the S80 just oozes class and style. The interior feels a little more special than the S60 and comes better equipped.

Of more importance, the S80 has a better seating position, more rear legroom and a bigger boot. Not that the boot is especially large, just bigger than the S60s!

On the toys count, there isn't much to wish for really. The long equipment list includes: rain sensor wipers, 6 CD changer with Dolby pro-logic sound, Dual Zone climate, built-in DVD colour sat nav, integrated dual-band mobile phone, heated electric memory seats and mirrors, bi-xenons, etc. Some of these features were standard, other options on what was once a dealer demonstrator.

Inside, the cabin is a very special place to be. The basic design dates back to the late 90s, but still feels ergonomically perfect. All the controls are exactly the right size, shape and position. The best way of summing up the ambience is as a well decorated lounge that you can drive places with you. It's comfortable beyond words. My first journey in the car was a 750 mile round trip to visit relatives, the car effortlessly soaked it up like a trip round the block.

However, this is no drivers car. The sheer width of the car plus uncertain steering doesn't encourage back road blasts. Also, if the car encounters ruts in the road at speed it tends to jump worryingly over them, giving a feeling of losing all grip.

For motorway driving it has got it nailed however. Only a slight amount of wind noise faults it at all.

Whether around town or changing lanes at speed, the combination of the torquey 5 cylinder diesel engine (officially 163bhp, but known to produce more like 176bhp) and the smooth 5 speed autobox makes life easy.

Nonetheless, this is an older generation diesel now and it does show. The amount of vibration and noise at idle is not ideal. It's far from intolerable, but not anywhere near as good as the latest diesels, even 4 cylinder ones.

Don't expect to be beating much off the lights, this is not lightening quick, just adequate. Official 0-60 is a fraction below 10 seconds. In gear performance is very satisfying though.

Fuel economy is good for such a large car with an autobox. I'm averaging around 38-40mpg, with long runs achieving up to 45mpg. A colleague with the 2.9 petrol S80 spends most of the time getting low 20s economy, so I'm very happy with mine.

The biggest problem I have with this car is the image. Being in my early 30s, it's just not seen as the norm to be driving a big saloon car like this. However, to my eyes the S80 looks great and it's the most stress free means of getting from A-B I've ever had.

And for that, I'm more than happy to put up with the quizzed expressions when I tell people I drive such a barge!

I've also taken advantage of the Volvo's clever extendible audio system to add a fully integrated iPod solution. It works really well, with the iPod fully controlled by the stereo and steering wheel controls and track information on screen. I went for the iMIV solution and would recommend it to others.

Now all I need to do is get rid of the doggy smell left by the previous owner and their unrestrained mutts (dog hair everywhere) and all will be well! I like dogs, but don't much like my car smelling like a dog that needs a bath. A bit of Oust and the passing of time should cure it soon enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2008

29th Jul 2008, 07:22

Original Reviewer here. I kind of agree with your comment.

I do feel too young for it. On the one hand I don't see why we should have stereotypes that barges are for old people and small hatches are for the young. On the other hand, I am still sorely tempted to trade it in for a sporty hatchback!

This is partly because of the fact that someone drove into the back of my S80 and it's presently in for repairs. In its place I have been given a brand new 2008 S80 SE D5 (185bhp) six speed auto. It is a much better car in every meaningful way compared to mine, so much so that I don't wish to go back to my old S80 at all!

However, I don't fancy spending large sums on a newer S80 and still feel that niggling doubt that it doesn't suit my image somehow. So, with that in mind I'm thinking instead of buying a nearly new Focus, Leon, 308 or something like that, that drives well and will entertain me, even if it cannot satisfy my lust for gadgets and comfort the way an S80 can.

Other than that, my S80 is now at 35k miles and is doing fine. No more problems to report other than the damage inflicted by others! It's just all so boring somehow.

Here is my dilemma, no smaller car with a sporting edge can truly match the comfort and luxury I desire, or at least not in my price range!

I suspect a BMW 130i M Sport with lots of option boxes ticked might do the trick, but affording it is another matter...