Volvo S80 Years to Avoid

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The Volvo S80 is a luxury family sedan packed with quite a number of high-end features and sophisticated techs as expected of a luxury car. It is one of the sturdiest sedans to own, and it offers a lot of space for up to five passengers (including the driver). Volvo S80 checks every box for a new luxury sedan.

However, there are certain Volvo S80 years to avoid because they have been found to be more problematic than the other years. These model years are linked with a high frequency of major/expensive repairs at seemingly low mileage. The years to avoid include 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2009. Of course, other model years had their issues, but these ones had the worst cases.

Volvo S80 Overview

volvo s80 years to avoid
Photo by M 93 via Wikimedia Commons

S80 is an executive saloon car produced by Volvo Cars from 1998 to 2016 across two generations. The S80 offered a lot of space and the build was okay. It started with the 1999 model year and ended after the 2016 model year.

As luxury cars, Volvo S80s are equipped with so many in-car technologies and powerful engines. The second generation models introduced a new 3.2-liter i6 engine and a 4.4-liter V8 paired with four-wheel drive.

All Volvo S80s produced throughout the 18-year production years are actually good and recommendable. They all scored above average in terms of reliability and dependability. Generally, Volvos are strong, and the S80s are no exception. But, watch out for some years.

Volvo S80 Years to Avoid

It is important to note that even though these model years are considered the worst to buy, they are still being driven by many people. This is because the actual determinant of whether a car lasts so long and remains reliable is how you drive and maintain that car.

So, while some people allege that their S80 made in the following indicated years are not reliable, not all S80 owners think the same. Hereunder are the speculated worst years of the Volvo S80 sedan:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2009

These indicated model years are linked with a higher frequency of major repairs that occur before 100k miles. You should thoroughly inspect any Volvo S80 made in these years if you are about to get it at a seemingly “Great Deal.” To explain further, hereunder are reasons to avoid these S80 years.

Why You Should Avoid 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2009 Volvo S80s

1. Too Many Recalls

These model years have not fewer than 20 recalls for several issues, including overheated batteries, fuel system faults, and airbag problems. These issues are reported due to manufacturing faults from Volvo, and even though they go fixed after the recalls, it raises concerns over the reliability of these specific model years. These recalls were fostered by the NHTSA.

2. Transmission Shift Issues

It is alleged that the transmission on some Volvo S80 models shifts roughly or gets stuck in a particular gear position. These are critical issues that could lead to severe scenarios while driving on a very busy route. Transmission options for the S80 included 5-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic, and their manual variants.

Replacing a Volvo S80’s transmission costs around $1,400 to $4,000, depending on the model year and the type of transmission. The majority of transmission complaints about the Volvo S80s were recorded in auto forums; on platforms like Consumer Reports and CarComplaints, the S80 didn’t get much backlash for its transmission.

3. Battery Faults

Apparently, most Volvo S80s had battery issues – the stock batteries were constantly overheating, which could lead to engine overheating and subsequently result in other problems.

Most Volvo S80s were recalled for battery issues; if you missed the recall, the alternative fix is to change the battery and alternator, which costs an average of $1,200, depending on various factors.

4. Engine Problems

A couple of Volvo S80 models allegedly had engine issues such as motor mount failures and engine stalling due to faulty components; there were no complaints about complete engine failure. S80 engine problems averagely happen at 90,000 to 100,000 miles and cost around $1,000 to fix.

What Are the Best Volvo S80 Years to Buy

Simply take out the years mentioned as the “worst to buy” and there you have the best years staring at you. The best Volvo S80 years to buy include 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Apparently, there are many good years for the S80 sedan from Volvo.

However, although these model years are considered the best, they are not “perfect,” so expect them to develop faults over time – based on your driving culture and maintenance schedule. These S80 model years had fewer criticism and repair complaints, and that’s why they are recommended as the best to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Volvo S80 Sedans Reliable?

Yes, they are super reliable and dependable executive rides. The S80 sedan is one of the best in its class, in terms of spaciousness and reliability, but it didn’t come with as much high-end features compared with its rival models from competing brands.

Is Volvo S80 a Luxury Car?

The Swedish carmaker, Volvo, is a luxury car manufacturer, which means that the brand manufactures only luxury cars. All Volvo car models are classified in the luxury category and equipped with many features and techs to measure up to the standards. So, yes, the Volvo S80 is a luxury executive sedan for the family or running business purposes.

Are Old Volvo S80 Reliable?

Both old and new Volvo S80 are reliable. RepairPal gives the executive sedan series an overall 4.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking it 4th out of 30 for luxury full-size cars. Also, the average annual repair cost for Volvo S80 is $705, which is decent enough for a luxury full-size car. Finally, S80s are not linked with high frequency of major repairs compared with its competitors.

Is a Volvo S80 a Good Car To Buy?

People who buy Volvo cars, do so because of the trust they have in the Swedish brand in terms of dependability. The S80 is a great car that gives you all the comfort you need for daily driving, thanks to its spacious interior. The AWD models can take you through paths smoothly; you’d definitely love the driving dynamics.


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