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Volvo S80
Volvo S80

The big S80 is the sedan that put the final nail in the coffin of the boxy Volvo designs that now look so last-century. Since then, the suddenly sexy Swede (that also happens to be the most prestigious and most luxurious vehicle in the Volvo lineup) hasn't changed a whole lot. But that's okay, given what a great car is has always been.

For starters, beneath the S80's chiseled, stylized exterior lies a chiseled, stylized interior that is a veritable lesson in ergonomic correctness, featuring clear, legible gauges and distinctly shaped buttons for all kinds of secondary control functions like climate control and stereo tuning. The seats (as with every Volvo) are among the best in the world, seriously. And hidden behind the high-quality textured plastic and fabric veneers on the dash and window pillars are world-class safety features, including safety cage construction and side and curtain air bags.

There are two engines available, a somewhat nonchalant 2.9-liter inline-6 that produces 194 hp, and a much more exciting twin-turbocharged variant that makes 268 horsepower. Two uplevel S80 trims available with the twin-turbo engine include an Elite array that features two inches more legroom in the rear bench seat and an Executive model that offers a two-person heated rear seat arrangement with sunshades, DVD/TV entertainment system and a small refrigerator! Prices start under $40K for the base model, going up to about $50K for the Executive.