Vehicle Overview

Related to the S40 sedan, Volvo's smallest wagon has been around in current guise since the 2005 model year. It loses its base engine for 2011. Competitors include the Audi A4 Avant and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.

New for 2011
The base V50 2.4i has been discontinued, leaving only the turbocharged V50 T5. The T5 R-Design's available all-wheel drive and manual transmission have also 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. The grille receives a larger logo this year. Exterior features include:

  • Standard mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Optional 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Standard fog lights
  • R-Design features aluminum roof rails, silver grille frame, rear spoiler, ground effects and unique tailpipes
  • Optional power moonroof
  • 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 R-Design comes with unique premium leather seating surfaces. Aluminum trim is standard. Interior features include:

  • Power driver seat
  • Leather gearshift knob and steering wheel
  • Eight-speaker sound system with in-dash CD player and USB/iPod compatibility
  • Optional Dolby Pro-Logic II surround-sound stereo
  • Optional automatic climate control
  • Optional power glass moonroof
  • Optional heated front seats
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional power passenger seat
  • R-Design versions include unique floormats, aluminum accents, steering wheel, upholstery and gauges

Under the Hood
Last year's 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter five-cylinder has been discontinued, making a turbocharged four-cylinder the sole engine. The T5 R-Design also comes standard with a sport suspension. Mechanical features include:

  • 227-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
  • Standard five-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive

Though its sister model, the S40 sedan, earned a score of Good in frontal-offset and rear crash tests 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. Safety features include:

  • Antilock braking system with brake assist
  • Side-impact and side curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system and traction control
  • Optional blind spot warning system
  • Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers