5 out of 5 stars
eye catching alternative to A4 or Outback
by Volvo convert
from Fairbanks, AK
on Thu Dec 07 2006
I considered the Audi A4 and Outback XT wagon but settled on the Volvo V50 T5 AWD. The Audi dealer was so rude and didnt think I was serious that I ended up leaving after a brief chaparoned test drive. The Subaru, compared to the V50 felt downright clunky, big (but it was fast) and gimmicky in its controls. The V50 is fast, surefooted and has great interior and exterior asthetics. You see lots of A4s and Outbacks but I hardly ever see a V50 so I feel like I stand out a bit. Its a fun car and thus far its been bulletproof.
The gas mileage is great, advertised at 28mpg/hwy but the computer tells me I get 30-33 on the highway and even 28 when driving hard on twisty mountain roads. The center console combines all controls in a very easy to use and intuitive package. I would recommend the 6 speed manual, its fluid and falls into each gear effortlessly, not to mention making use of the turbo 2.5L 5 cyl to its fullest.
12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
RED DEVIL DOG HAULER
from Los Angeles, CA
on Fri Jul 18 2008
I found this 2006 model languishing on a California lot in 2007. Lucky for me, most prospective V50 buyers weren't interested in a family wagon that was fire engine red; had the six speed manual tranny from the awesome S60"R" models; slightly lowered sport suspension; 200+ horse T5 engine and AWD . But for a guy who's second car is a Porsche 911 and refuses to accept maturity gracefully, it was the perfect car!
This little red devil had actually been the display car at the Ford Factory in Dearborn, Michigan so it had every available luxury option (heated seats, sunroof, upgraded stereo etc.). When the dealership offered me a ridiculously good deal , I didn't hesitate.
I had owned a 2001 V70, and while I found it to be well constructed and safe, it was dull as dishwater to drive. This V50 is a whole different animal. About as good as it gets when striking a balance between luxury, utility and sportiness. It is extremely stable and predictable, even at high speeds. The steering is a little heavier (which I prefer) and therefore demands a more input from the driver than an Audi or BMW, but the handling limits of this car are VERY high. The turbo charged engine has very little lag and loads of torque. There's very little understeer due to the AWD. The car feels nimble, tossable. You don't don't just drive in the V50, you "maraud". It's too tempting NOT to test this cars limits.
The shifter is excellent and the clutch very light. Even in the worst LA traffic, I never get that crampy feeling in my clutch foot. A little practical touch that shows you how well Volvo knows their customers: you can basically roll to a complete stop before you need to depress the clutch and keep the car from stalling. So even in bumper to bumper traffic, you don't need to constantliy shift. You can nearly run the car down to 0 MPH before you must push in the clutch. Build quality is outstanding. Cabin ergonomics are excellent. While many German sedans have become busy looking and hard on the eyes, Volvo design elements are iconically Swedish with a subdued elegance. Sporty and attractive, not nouveau rich-y "look at me! look at me!".
No, it's not a Porsche, but I can't fit my three year old and two Weimaraners in the back of a 911 either.
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
Outstanding vehicle but beware mechanical problems
by Rock River Pirate
from Rockford, IL
on Sat Jun 18 2016
I bought my V50 2.4i used from one of the big name dealerships in town with 159,000 miles on it for only 5k. It was a fantastic deal, no rusting, easy handling, stylish exterior and interior design, and ample trunk space.
It is an excellent car but a problem before I even made my first payment, the coolant expansion tank had a crack in it. It wasn't noticeable until I was on a trip to Chicago. The crack opened up and coolant started spraying out and the engine overheated, causing the engine head to warp.
After repairs it is still a fantastic car to drive and has been extremely reliable since.
I would absolutely recommend this car, just make sure to get it inspected; as you should with all used cars. A damaged $200 part can end up costing you more that the car is worth.
9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
Great Small Family Wagon
by Grand Enigma
on Tue Nov 27 2012
This has been my daily driver for 100,000+ miles and I must say I could not be happier. It is a very comfortable, safe and extremely reliable car. I have not had to have the vehicle in for anything more than routine maintenance. The T5 AWD trim is very responsive and shore footed in all weather conditions. You will be hard pressed to find another AWD wagon in this class that has the comfort, style, and fuel economy of this vehicle. I highly recommend the Volvo V50 T5 AWD based on my years and miles of happy and trouble free ownership.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
2 out of 5 stars
Engine failure at 143K miles
from San Diego, CA
on Wed Feb 28 2018
I really loved driving the car when it was working fine. Quiet, fast, smooth. Multiple electrical issues with windows, door locks, etc.
These cars are under-engineered. The crankshaft bearings are made out of aluminum, and failed with 143,000 miles on the T5 engine. Putting in a "new" donor engine (with 70K miles) would be more expensive than the car is worth. So I had to dump it for close to scrap value. All the maintenance was done including oil and filter changes. Mechanic said I possibly used the wrong filter... Yet he stated he replaced a good dozen of these engines in the last few years!!!! I used MANN and K&N filters. Regular intervals maintenance was done with full synthetic Castrol oil. What a joke... if a different brand filter can kill an engine. NEVER AGAIN Volvo. Never again.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
A good premium alternative
on Tue Aug 28 2018
I bought a 2006 Volvo V50, 5 cylinder turbo, 6 speed manual transmission as a family car. It is a nice alternative to other premium cars. It gets 30mpg on regular gas (a bonus for a turbo car) and is very comfortable. The 5 cylinder engine combined with the low RPM torque from the turbocharger, makes for a silky smooth power delivery throughout the entire rev range. The 6 speed transmission shifts great, even after 120k miles and is geared very well for the weight of the car. I find no matter what you are doing or how fast you are going, you always feel like you are already in the right gear, something very rare nowadays. The car is typically wide for its segment so it does not turn particularly tight and feels like it takes up more road than older cars, but no more so than competing cars of the same time period. All around it is quite low (ground clearance, roof line, seat height) and features thick A-pillars, so visibility is not outstanding. The side mirrors are very small which makes for abnormally large blind spots, particularly on the passenger side. The ride quality is what you should expect from a car of this design featuring front wheel drive and McPherson struts (like most other cars). It is quiet and smooth with a Volvo-typical nonathletic poise, but passes very well and is comfortable and feels safe in any driving conditions.
The 9 speaker premium sound system with 6 disc changer sounds crystal clear and incredibly balanced, but unfortunately does not have Bluetooth or auxiliary input capability, something standard nowadays. The seats are small and larger people would find the interior cramped but I find the car very comfortable, especially over long distances. The sunroof operation is a little funny (a complicated switch) but I use it often because it is very quiet and does not disrupt the cabin at all. The floating HVAC & stereo controls look great and have aged very well. The storage is minimal, but that is typical for a Swedish car and I am not bothered by it at all. Every seat has a map pocket which can prove useful to offset the lack of compartments. Backseat room is typical of this segment car. Plenty of hip, leg, shoulder, and head room for smaller adults and children, but larger folks would find it uncomfortable over time. The seats themselves are very comfortable and the leather is high quality and has aged incredibly well over the years. The rear headrests are very large and do not fold down like the V70 of the same time period, so unfortunately I keep them removed and in the trunk so I can see better out of the rear view mirror. The car has a typical suspension design which makes for a narrow and unfortunately typically small trunk. The trunk over all is average in size by today's standards, but small compared to older Volvo's which utilized more unique rear suspensions. I believe this choice of suspension also takes away from valuable rear seat room. The trunk loads flat so there is no picking up or dropping things into or out of the trunk, which can make moving heavy objects a breeze.
Over all, I think this V50 (and the S40 of the same time) feels much less unique than other Volvos. It feels safe and secure and certainly nicer than non-premium cars, but not extraordinarily so. It lacks any quirkiness that Volvo has been known for which also means it doesn't feel as special. However, the T5 engine punches far above its weight, with smoothness, power, quietness, efficiency, and packaging that is far superior to any BMW or Audi of its time. I still strongly recommend this car as well as other Volvo's to people looking for something in its segment. It has aged incredibly well and looks and functions 100% still. What more can you ask for?
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
2 out of 5 stars
Volvo got in over their head
by Sports Car Enthusiast
from New Jersey, NJ
on Fri Jun 08 2007
The torque from the engine and the mpg are great. Starter went at 38k miles. I've had it in for numerous "software upgrades". I feel like a beta software tester. Radio stopped working, car only blowing hot air even when AC is on, software upgrades. Air bag warning light, back to the dealer to have it reset. Put anything on the passenger seat like for example a gym bag and the car warns me for ~10 minutes to put my seat belt on. In numerous times for that and it's still not right.
5 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
on Tue Aug 01 2017
Very good for new car owner. Very reliable but when you start hitting the 100k miles you will need to get a code reader. Mainly need to change the spark plugs and need to change oil every 12k miles.
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
1 out of 5 stars
by The Truth
from san diego ca
on Thu Mar 05 2015
There is nothing good to say about this dealer except unprofessional lacking customer service skills and unable to product as advertised. What showed in the photos was not what I saw at all. The car was damaged they claim they were unaware of such until I showed them they'er response was we can buff that out no problem we can wash the car in 2 minutes. I will never go there again nor do I recommend this dealer to anyone. Unbelievable!
3 out of 21 people found this review helpful. Did you?