The new Volvo V50 was first introduced in 2004 and updated in 2008, with sport revisions on the exterior, additional storage space and slightly more power in the larger models than previously achieved. The entry-level, four-cylinder Volvo V50 2.0 engine delivers 107KW of power and 185Nm of torque, while fuel consumption is good in the city at 11.3-litres per 100 kilometres and even better on the highway at 8-litres per 100 kilometres (with six-speed automatic transmission).
Certainly the most popular models in the Volvo V50 range are the ones with turbocharged engines, both in diesel and petrol alternatives as they provide snappy acceleration and handling for these compact station wagons. The five-cylinder turbocharged Volvo V50 T5 delivers 169KW of power and 320Nm of torque, while fuel consumption combined with six-speed Powershift transmission is excellent at 12.6 litres per 100 kilometres in the city, and 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. The four-cylinder turbocharged Volvo V50 2.0 D engine delivers 100KW of power combined with 320Nm of torque, and fuel consumption is top-of-the-range at 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 5 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.
For long distance driving, the new Volvo V50 is solid and quiet as Volvo's engineers have endeavoured to suppress road and wind noise in this new station wagon. Minimal body roll combined with firm handling is supported by Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, which varies the power supply to each wheel and brakes according to under and over-steer readings. The Volvo V50's steering is firm and responds well to driver commands, while the sport-tuned suspension provides a more agile experience than your typically heavy family sedan.
The new Volvo V50's interior is comfortable and functional, with a slim "floating" centre console that is easy to use and attractive, making climate settings and entertainment easy to control. The seating is particularly lavish, wrapped in T-Tec fabric that is allegedly stain resistant and hard wearing. Ergonomic seating offers passengers a sense of comfort that isn't impeded by the Volvo's whiplash reducing headrests and airbag-filled interior. In terms of luggage space, the new Volvo V50 offers easy access to the rear compartments, rear-split seats fold down and there's place for roof racks so that families embarking on camping trips and long journeys have room for cargo. Other standard interior features include a leather-trimmed tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a six-CD changer and Bluetooth capability. In some models, automatic climate control, heated seats and bi-xenon headlights are available.
The V50 has gained high-intensity LED rear lights and restyled front projector beam headlights, but essentially this car's exterior has kept the athleticism that Volvo supporters will remember from its 2004 debut. Highly functional and with a no-frills appeal, the V50 has numerous storage spaces and cubbies in the doors and centre console, while the handbrake handle is smaller and the armrests modified for easy, relaxed driving. The signature fenders in the new Volvo V50 give this station wagon its sporty feel, while the V-shaped hood meets neatly at the apex of its curvy nose. Sleek and sculpted, this sport wagon lacks the "wacky" hatch of the V70, but gains in functional design features and space.
In terms of safety, the 2010 Volvo V50 has been decked out with accident avoidance features, including Anti-Lock Brake Systems, drive-side fontal impact, side impact airbags and an inflatable curtain airbag. In addition to much-tested crumple zones and an energy absorbing interior, the V50 has optional booster seats in the rear for children's safety as well as weighted sensors in the front passenger air bag to keep it from deploying when a child, or someone small enough to be injured, is in that seat. It also has keyless entry, Approach and Home Safe lighting, an immobiliser and threat-protector locks and lockable alloy wheels.