Used 1999 Volvo S80

1999 Volvo S80
List price range
1999 Volvo S80

Pros

  • Safety. Comfort. Performance of the S80 T6. Interesting styling.

Cons

  • No wagon available - yet.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The 1998 Volvo S90 defines long in the tooth, at least as far as automobiles go. The design dates back to the 1985 740, though updates, improvements, and model designations have changed over the course of the past 14 years. As commonly occurs with models that have been sitting on the shelf for too long a period of time, consumers weren't buying many S90 and V90 wagons in 1998. While fully loaded with equipment, the cars were smaller inside than the less expensive S70 and V70, performed only adequately, and had the stodgiest styling this side of a Bluebird school bus.

The new 1999 S80 ushers the moldy S90/V90 out to pasture, starting now. Volvo public relations types are bragging about the "firsts" that can be chalked up as evidence of the brilliance of their engineers and designers, but none of the items listed above in the "What's New?" section are relevant to most consumers. What matters is the way the car looks, the way the car drives, the way the car coddles, and the way the car protects.

Until we can get behind the wheel, we're going to have to make some educated guesses about the latter three points. The S80 certainly represents a departure for Volvo in terms of styling. See that strong character line running up both sides of the hood and forming the lower boundary of the greenhouse? It flows into the rear deck, creating sheetmetal shoulders above the wheels and an interesting ridge in the taillights. The radical (for Volvo) appearance of the S80 was first seen on an environmental concept car displayed at auto shows several years ago, and likely represents a new corporate design theme that will be transferred to the next 40- and 70-series models.

The car probably drives quite nicely. Body stiffness is improved over the old S90, and that always goes a long way toward making any car more enjoyable to drive. Volvo has carried over the smooth 2.9-liter inline six cylinder engine from the S90, but in the S80 the engine's weight has been reduced, internal engine components suffer less friction, the cylinder head has been updated, and continuously variable valve timing has been added. The S80 2.9 makes 204 horsepower. A high-performance version of the S80, called the T6, has twin-turbochargers tacked onto a 2.8-liter inline six. Horsepower is rated at 272. Available with the world's smallest manual or an automatic transmission, the latter type adapts to the driving style of the driver and includes a winter mode to make acceleration on icy surfaces more surefooted. The S80 T6, when equipped with an automatic, also provides a Geartronic feature, allowing for manual shifting, as the driver desires.

Comfort is a Volvo hallmark, and we don't expect anything less than the best from the new S80. Climate systems have been improved, and there are heat and A/C vents in the B-pillar for rear passengers. The astounding Dolby Pro Logic system that debuted in the C70 Coupe will be available with RDS technology. And the three rear seat head restraints can be folded down to improve visibility. However, they fold forward instead of rearward, which means that a rear seat rider must employ them if he or she expects to be comfortable. Many things might occur in the roomy back seat of an S80, but whiplash isn't one of them.

Front seat occupants are also protected from whiplash thanks to WHIPS, which stands for Whiplash Protection System. When some moron plows into the trunk of the S80 while the car is stopped in traffic, WHIPS allows the backrest and headrest to move backwards in a parallel movement with the passenger's body, thus cushioning the head and upper torso in a more delicate fashion. Also new to the S80 is an IC (Inflatable Curtain), part of the SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) common on Volvos. The IC is essentially an airbag for the head, and it pops out of the headliner to cushion the craniums of both front and rear seat riders. Other safety items on the S80 include seatbelt pretensioners for all five seating positions, and front airbags that measure the force with which they should deploy based upon crash severity and whether the seatbelt is in use or not.

There are myriad other improvements and innovations in the new S80, from laminated side window glass to a multiplex electrical system to full range traction and stability control. But we're out of space here. Let's just say that the S80 is a huge improvement over the S90, and that we're happy to see it in showrooms - finally.

1999 Highlights

This long overdue redesign of the S90 counts several firsts to its credit: first with a transverse inline six, first with fully integrated GSM phone, first to carry an environmental specification (Europe only at introduction) and the S80 boasts the world's smallest manual transmission.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Volvo S80.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Beware of '99 S80 T6
jjc,02/10/2002
Have had three transmissions in three years, new mass air flow meter, five wheel alignments (won't stay aligned), transmission line solenoids, torque mount bushings, several transmission software fixes, lower ball joints, and other relatively minor problems -- all from Volvo's flagship sedan. Am now facing a $900 bill for a new electronic throttle module.
Nothing but expensive problems
Mariaelena,12/10/2005
I loved the looks and comfort of this car and felt confident in spending the extra money because it was a Volvo. Much to my expense, I wasn't informed that this model is Volvo's nightmare ( ask any Volvo service person). It had multiple problems with the window mechanisms, a faulty steering rack, an extremely costly throttle problem, an ABS computer sensor defect and the list goes on. Now I've finally had it and am steering clear of all Volvos made by Ford!
great when working
volvo s80 t6,12/25/2009
had this car over three years and when it was good it was great, but had a consistent throttle problem that even the dealer couldn't figure out and also a engine sludge problem even though the oil was changed at 3k intervals, thought maybe this was a t6 problem but as i see the base model has repeat problems that are common with other volvos, these are obviously not the volvos of yesteryear.I would purchase another volvo, but definitely not a turbo of any kind
About the same as others, apparently
Tom,02/02/2006
After reading most of the other reviews, I guess I'm not any different. Very expensive to fix, and that happens way too often. The Emissions service light is a way too common problem, I've given up trying to find out what it is. Had to replace the ABS module, Volvo warranty wouldn't cover their product, even under warranty. Power steering leaks, or doesn't, whenever it feels like it. The front end makes funny cracking and creaking noises and I can't find any reason for it either. I thought I was buying a quality, safe car (at least the price I paid for it). I've had my first and LAST Volvo.
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Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
201 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
16 city / 25 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
268 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1999 Volvo S80 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 1999 Volvo S80
Used 1999 Volvo S80 Overview

The Used 1999 Volvo S80 is offered in the following submodels: S80 Sedan. Available styles include 2.9 4dr Sedan, and T6 Turbo 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Volvo S80?

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Which used 1999 Volvo S80s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1999 Volvo S80s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo S80 for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,495.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,588.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo S80 for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,311.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,378.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Volvo S80?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volvo lease specials
Check out Volvo S80 lease specials