By on November 18, 2011

Volvo has been very quiet about new products since Ford sold the only Swedish car maker still afloat. With little fanfare Volvo has updated the S80 and XC70’s interior with a new dash and new infotainment system and this is the first time TTAC has seen them in person. The 7-inch color screen is the same as the system used in the new S60. Compared to iDrive and Audi’s MMI the system is just as slick-looking but the smallish screen size just lacks the wow factor the Germans get when passengers slip in the car. Along with the new screen Volvo has added pedestrian detection to the S80, XC70 and XC60 as well as a new adaptive cruise control system that will take your Volvo to a complete stop and hold you there until traffic resumes. Of course all this is secondary to the sexy new stitched pleather dash the S80 on the LA Auto Show floor was sporting. Sadly Volvo tells us they don’t anticipate putting these revised Volvos in the hands of the press for reviews, probably spending this precious cash to devise new and better nannies to save our bacon in the future.

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46 Comments on “LA Auto Show: Volvo’s New Dash...”

  • avatar

    quite handsome and attractive. like the layout and the colors are superb.

  • avatar

    The wood looks less like plastic in person?

    Can’t say I’m a big fan of the new system. It’s too hard to dig through using the top right knob. They need a better-located knob+button system more like MMI and the latest iDrive.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      The easiest way to dig thru the system is on the steering wheel, the radio knob seems really meant for the front passenger to use. The wood has a very nice depth to it but it is epoxy coated and polished like most other luxury brands. The best wood going at the show was likely the Volvo oak trim which does not have a coating, and the ash trim in the Mercedes GL which was also not coated. Trim in the Rolls Royce and Bentley booths was no snazzier than the S80 if you don’t like to have your wood under an epoxy coating.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s interesting that Michael reviewed the S60 with the same Sensus infotainment system, yet he’s completely unaware that nearly all functions can be controlled conveniently from the steering wheel. That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in his review.

      Of course all this is secondary to the sexy new stitched pleather dash the S80 on the LA Auto Show floor was sporting.

      It’s real leather and part of the Inscription package which includes the wood steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery, and glossy instead of matte wood trim.

      As for Volvo being very quiet about products since the Geely acquisition, the S/V60 was launched with much fanfare after the acquisiton. Concept You was presented at the recent Frankfurt motor show along with announcements about the new SPA/VEA platform and engine architecture.

      The changes discussed in this article were announced via the usual press releases months ago before the start of the 2012 model year. The XC60 got the new Sensus system and pedestrian detection in the middle of the 2011 model year, starting with cars manufactured in late November, 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      That center console looks as if it was added on as an afterthought.

  • avatar

    Is it just me but the amount of “wood” reminds me of either cheap slap-on dash kits from truck accessories catalogues, or some earlier Chinese Toyota-hilux spin-offs with “top spec” interiors, finished in the same color scheme with the same wood aplique/bare plastic ratio.

  • avatar

    “…but the smallish screen size just lacks the wow factor the Germans get when passengers slip in the car.”

    Jeez, enough already with TV screens in cars. BMW and Honda used to do it right: a small simple radio, three dials for HVAC, and the speedo/tach/temp/gas cluster. Even the radio and tach could be eliminated. Need to know where you’re going? Use a map!

    Also, wood steering wheels suck. Particularly the kind with some wood and some leather. Is this supposed to be luxurious?

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I like it. Far too many cars have dashboards that look like the old REMCO crystal set radios that I played with years ago. Regardless of what one thinks of the wood accents, at least there appears to be a logical layout there.

    Most modern dashboards seem have a layout that’s right out of the Microsoft “put controls anywhere, who cares about ergonomics” school of software idiocy.

  • avatar

    Hey, that’s how they updated the old 760 dashes for the 960 series too back in the 90’s. With lots of genuine plastiwood.

  • avatar

    Rover lives but with fake looking wood!

  • avatar

    Gosh, what a contrast from the old look. Frankly, this looks wildly “Chinese Luxury-ified” compared to the clean, outgoing nordic design. The wood looks awfully shiny, and that Walnut burl look has become almost a cliche… see all the hootin’ and hollerin’ about natural wood finishes in Audis etc. Volvo used to be all about good materials highlighted by simple designs. This seems like a step backwards.

    • 0 avatar
      Hildy Johnson

      A Great Leap Backward.

    • 0 avatar

      Ed, the changes are relatively small and the wood is exactly the same as before. The biggest changes are addition of the 7-inch screen and the center console control pad is now the same as that on the S60; i.e., the changes for the Sensus infotainment system. Other than that, the overall interior design hasn’t changed much.

      2007-2010 S80:

      2012 S80:

  • avatar

    Looks better than the nauseatingly dull boring sea of black lung interiors with the equally fake silver trim all over the place. At least this is bright and airy feeling. And for those that like the fake shiny piano black wait until it gets scratched and shows every single finger print from little hands. In a way this reminds me of a 2008-2010 Taurus interior.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s interesting is that the previous S80 was a D3 platform vehicle just like the 500/Taurus, but the new one is EUCD, like the Mondeo and upcoming new Fusion, yet the new interior looks more like the old 500/pre-2010 Taurus than the one that shared the platform did:

      • 0 avatar

        The previous generation S80 was launched in 1998 before Ford acquired Volvo. It’s on a Volvo platform designated P2, also used for the previous generation S60, V/XC70 and the current XC90.

        Ford modified the P2 platform to create the D3 platform. The changes were primarily to make it cheaper (such as replacing aluminum suspension components with steel) for less expensive cars such as the Ford 500 and Freestyle.

        The interior design of the S80 hasn’t changed much since it was launched in 2007, as shown in the photos I provided in an earlier post.

      • 0 avatar

        I also see the resemblance with older Fords and Lincolns. Are you sure it is based on Mondeo? Control panel is located very low for convenient use during driving. Can imagine how difficult it will be to find and press these look alike small buttons while driving. I still consider Volvo a brand for older drivers, kind of what Buick used to be and they should make buttons larger, easier to find and put them higher.

      • 0 avatar

        The current S80 is on a platform called P24 by Volvo, but it’s based on the global Ford EUCD platform which underpins the Mondeo.

      • 0 avatar

        It may explain my surprise when I checked out new S80 and was surprised how tight interior was compared to older S80 or Ford 500. Honestly new S80 felt like even smaller car than Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion (and Fusion itself is and slightly enlarged compact Mazda 6), kind of on the smaller side of midsize segment. Interesting would be to compare it with new Buick Regal.

      • 0 avatar

        Inside Looking Out, vehicles on the same platform don’t necessarily have the same interior and exterior design. The vehicles can in fact be of different sizes and types.

        The current S60 and S80 share a platform, but one is compact while the other is midsized and they have different designs inside and out. The previous generation S60 shares a platform with the XC90 – different vehicle types, sizes, interior and exterior designs.

  • avatar

    Absolutely hideous dash. Reminds me of an old LTD dash.

    The shiny wood is overwhelming and so absolutely not the Volvo design aesthetic. Chopped up, no flow. Perhaps more the taste of Chinese buyers?

    • 0 avatar

      I thought pimped Buick, but OK. It’s way overboard.

    • 0 avatar

      It is horrible. I hate the fakish looking wood, and the beige is just wrong. If I have a choice of black and beige, like PCs used to have, just give me the black, my color of choice in pretty much all cases anyway. I’ve had cars with maroon, “burgandy” and medium blue dashes, and they all would have been better black/dark grey.

      I also hate dashes that aren’t reasonably close to flat on top, as once in a while, I would like to put a scanner up there, and on some vehicles, it’s impossible, so I have to use the cup holder, or one of those unreliable vent mounts that only work for very small radios.

      • 0 avatar

        I hate black interiors. Even with good materials they always look cheap and dour. What I hate worse is that with some vehicles (Regal GS, Acura TL and TSX) the only car you can get with a manual transmission also must have a black interior. You can’t get the stick and a lighter interior at all. Takes em’ right off my shopping list.

        I don’t think this interior looks bad, but I’ll never understand the attraction of wood on the steering wheel. It looks cheesy and it’s impractical (and cold in the winter) to boot.

  • avatar

    It looks like they are getting away from the “center stack” a little bit which I like. I prefer a more organic dashboard, I don’t care for center stacks.

  • avatar

    A proper steering wheel should be BLACK LEATHER. This one? Ewwwww, old people! Hey, at least they managed to integrate light-colored steering wheel, fake wood, AND fake aluminum simultaneously.

    So, if this car includes “Pedestrian Detection” how does it not keep beeping at you because it detects itself?

  • avatar
    John R

    There really isn’t enough wood here.

  • avatar

    Even Cerberus-era Chrysler used two shades of plastic on its door panels. They didn’t even bother with this.

    Imagine how much better that door would look if it had a chocolate cap that matched the dash.

  • avatar

    Hey guys, the Kia Amanti’s all grown up!

    What a giant step backward. Volvo’s been beautifully sleek, minimalist interiors for a few years – half Eames, half iPad. This seems like a giant leap backward, with shiny fake-looking wood, fussy lines (why oh why does the center console need to bulge out like that?), and a general lack of cohesion. What’s more luxurious: an elegant and unusual design, or as many bits of wood slapped together as they can find?

  • avatar

    Jeez, that’s horrible. Sorry to be repetitive here, but the old one was much better. Steering wheels get worse and worse these days. I love steering wheel controls, even redundant ones, but who needs wood and shiny crap on the wheel? Even the Germans do this now. Give me black every time.

    For what it’s worth, I just rented a new S60 for a few days in LA, and I have to say I was very surprised and impressed. It was a FWD T5, and it handled really well (felt a little FWD at times, but not bad), and was much quicker and smoother than I would have expected. Light years better than the last version. Very nice interior in terms of looks and feel, and excellent seats, but I didn’t like the HVAC and radio controls. Seemed like a very nice car for the money, which I guess is somewhere around $36K. Probably the right way to buy this car, as opposed to loaded up (T6, awd, nav, etc) and $46K.

  • avatar

    I knew it looked familiar – and then it hit me that this looks like an updated 1992-2000 Lexus SC dashboard.

    The whole interior reminds me of the SC, actually. Even the seats look similar!

  • avatar

    To me it looks like the Volvo I test drove 3 years ago except with all that fake looking wood. To me it’s tacky.

  • avatar

    I like it, but I think it departs from their normal Scandanavian/Ikea look. A nice light maple wood, in a more matte finish would look far more “Volvo”. I thought the old black and aluminum interior was just too cold and stark. I think wood add some warmth, but obviously, some dislike it.

  • avatar

    I like the sunshade on the display; I wish my Genesis had more shading on the display.

    Beyond that, I’m not impressed with the new dash at all. It looks like something at least generation past and the plethora of tiny buttons is an absolute turnoff.

    They are trying too hard!

  • avatar

    Apparently Volvo is buying its wood trim from the “Real Wood Dash!” pages of Car and Driver these days. Yuck, just gross. Absolutely no style at all. S80 sales are already in the toilet, and I predict that’s exactly where they’ll stay with this update.

    Note to Volvo: if you have to stick a key in the dash and then press a button to start the car, that defeats the ENTIRE POINT of keyless start. DUH.

    • 0 avatar

      Note to Davekaybsc: If you have keyless start on a Volvo, you don’t have to stick the key in the dash. I believe that slot will charge your key, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never actually put my key in it.

  • avatar

    Looks like a Ford 500/Taurus to me.

  • avatar

    It’s the Rover 75 reborn!

  • avatar

    Volvo might be going after the “Toyota” age demographics with that interior.

    I don’t want that much wood in a luxury car interior, and and the same time I don’t want too little like the older Volvos before the curved, wooden center-stack. Even then, those Volvos could have benefited from a bit more.

    It does look to me, as has been mentioned before, that it is being designed more towards the China domestic market’s tastes.

  • avatar

    I just hope the dashboard lasts for 15 years and looks OK when I am in the market to replace my ’93 940.

  • avatar

    What’s with the buttons on the center console? They look like little Pac Man faces…..

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