Volvo S80 tyres
Volvo may be best-known for large estate cars but the S80 is its flagship saloon. It is said that when this car was launched, Volvo made quite a statement by deliberately not introducing the estate version which the industry had been expecting.
The S80 is built on the same platform as the S60 and V70, as well as the XC60 and XC90 four-wheel-drive cars. A feature of early models was the choice of enormous engines, rather out of touch with contemporary demand. Modern options are a bit more sensible and economical, with the 1.6 DRIVe diesel a case in point. The modern S80 may lack the badge appeal, looks or performance of its German rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. It also may not be a purist driver’s car; but nothing beats it for safety or comfort. In essence, it’s a car engineered for the motorway and not the scenic route. Reliability is better than for most cars – not a bad thing, considering that Volvo dealers can charge like the light brigade for parts and labour!
A big and heavy car like this will always be quite demanding of its tyres. That becomes exacerbated when the car in question features front-wheel-drive and huge amounts of torque on tap. Unsurprisingly, the front tyres of an S80 will always wear more quickly than those at the rear of the car.
In terms of tyres to suit the S80, the best options will provide grip, fuel economy and durability. In terms of both safety and performance, grip is a supremely-important issue, one that’s even more relevant on a car of this size and weight. Fuel economy will be an important consideration for the many S80 owners who use their car for an above average mileage every year – and a massive concern if you drive the 4.4 litre petrol version! Finally, durability is very important here since this car places such huge demands on its tyres, especially when braking and cornering.
For many S80 drivers, Continental’s SportContact range will tick those three boxes most strongly. It’s certainly etyres’ best-selling tyre for these cars and a common factory-fitted range. Michelin’s Primacy range makes a great alternative. Crucially, this is known to be a very hard-wearing tyre which will give a higher mileage than most. This, too, has proved very popular as a replacement tyre for the S80, as has Goodyear’s EfficientGrip range.
Nexen tyres are considered a more middle-market option than the three above. However, they come at a price that reflects this and are worth considering. Various Pirelli ranges have been factory-fitted to the S80, which makes them worth keeping in mind. Additionally, while Falken might not be the best known tyre-maker in the world, its Ziex range will suit a conservatively-driven S80 and its price is very competitive.