Volvo's small wagon, the V50, comes in 2.4i and T5 trim levels, the latter of which is only available with all-wheel drive. Competitors include the Audi A4 Avant, Subaru Impreza Outback Sport and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.
New for 2009
The front-wheel drive T5 has been discontinued.
The V50's looks are similar to its S40 sibling. A V-shaped hood bulge runs down into a sculpted nose, and there's a broad lower air intake. T5 models come with a standard sporty appearance package called R-Design, which includes a different grille, a sport body kit with body-colored side skirts, and front and rear spoilers.
The V50 comes in at 178 inches long, and its width is 69.7 inches. The V50 is longer and wider than the Impreza Outback Sport, but is smaller than the A4 Avant and Jetta SportWagen.
- Standard mirror-integrated turn signals
- Standard power moonroof
- Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard fog lights
- Aluminum roof rails are standard on T5
- Optional bi-xenon headlights with articulating headlamps
The standard upholstery in the five-occupant interior has a slightly coarse woven feel said to be inspired by sportswear. Leather upholstery is available. The T5 comes with unique premium leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logos, aluminum sport pedals, a sport shift knob, R-Design inlays, a watch-dial instrument cluster and a sport steering wheel. Aluminum trim is now standard on both the 2.4i and T5, while Nordic Light Oak trim is optional.
The rear seatbacks fold down separately, and the front passenger seat's backrest also folds flat. Passenger volume comes in at 92.7 cubic feet, larger than the A4 and Jetta SportWagen but slightly less space than the Impreza. Cargo space comes in at 27.4 cubic feet, but with the back bench down it increases to 62.6 cubic feet, larger than the A4 and Impreza but smaller than the Jetta.
- Standard locks and windows with express down/up
- Standard leather gearshift knob, parking brake and steering wheel
- Standard eight-speaker sound system with six-disc in-dash CD player
- Standard Sirius Satellite Radio
- Optional heated front seats (standard on T5)
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
An inline-five-cylinder engine is standard on either model, and high-performance T5 editions employ a turbocharger for more power. The T5 also comes standard with all-wheel drive and a sport suspension.
- 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter five-cylinder with 170 pounds-feet of torque
- 227-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard five-speed automatic transmission
- Front- or all-wheel drive
- Optional keyless drive
Though its sister model, the S40 sedan, earned good crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the wagon hasn't been tested. Unfortunately, differences in weight and construction mean we can't assume the same crash-test performance in the V50. The V50 does have a long list of standard safety features, including new-for-2009 automatic hazard lights that turn on when the airbags are deployed.
- Standard side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock braking system with electronic brake force distribution
- Standard electronic stability system and traction control
- Standard security system
- Standard immobilizer-encrypted ignition key
- Optional blind-spot detection system
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers