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2009 Volvo V50 Review
Above average safety and numerous features.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2009 Volvo V50 doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it should be: a premium compact wagon that functions as a sedan with extra space. It doesn’t offer much sportiness and has less safety than what is expected from Volvo, but it is a fine wagon that excels in enough areas to be attention worthy.
Engines: 2.4-liter inline-five, 2.5-liter inline-five
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: V50 2.4i, V50 T5 AWD R-Design
For 2009, the Volvo V50's slow-selling manual transmission is discontinued, leaving only a five-speed automatic transmission. While a number of features that were options in the past are now standard fare, the price increase to reflect this change means that buyers can’t opt for the less expensive and more spartan vehicle.
The 2009 Volvo V50 is available in two trim levels: 2.4i and T5 AWD R-Design. The new ""R-Design"" refers to a collection of sporty exterior and interior styling cues. The V50 2.4i starts off with standard gear like 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and foglights. The T5 AWD R-Design upgrades to a more powerful engine, the AWD in its name, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, and a sport suspension.
The look of the 2009 Volvo V50 can be considered stylish, given that Volvo is typically known for designing boxy cars. While it isn’t the most stylized vehicle in its class, the 2009 Volvo V50 has a nice look to it.
With a decent amount of space and a design that manages to emphasize form and function, the 2009 Volvo V50's interior is quite nice. Maybe not quite the luxurious offering as made by some of the high-end rivals, it certainly exceeds many of them in class offerings.
The Volvo V50 2.4i has a power driver seat, a trip computer, neoprene-like ""T-Tec"" cloth upholstery, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio jack. The 2009 Volvo V50 T5 R-Design adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats with a memory function for the driver’s seat, leather upholstery, and automatic climate control. There are a number of options packages as well as stand-alone options available.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Volvo V50 2.4i comes with a naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter inline-five that generates 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The T5 AWD R-Design makes use of a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline-five that pumps out 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox option. In Volvo’s tests, the 2.4i made it from zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. The T5 AWD R-Design makes the same run in a respectable 7.1 seconds. Most wagon buyers do not purchase based on extreme quickness, so acceleration is considered acceptable for regular traffic situations.
The Volvo V50 ride is rather comfortable, allowing this wagon to have some sporty handling. The T5 can be a bit rough riding on bumpy roads. The handling is not class leading like Audi and BMW, but it offers a bit more driving fun than a typical or plain wagon.
A 15.9-gallon fuel tank allows the 2009 Volvo V50 2.4i model to travel 318 miles on a full tank and 445 highway miles. The T5 R-design will have a slightly reduced range due to the impact that increased power and AWD have on fuel economy.
The 2009 V50 has not undergone any crash safety tests, so buyers will have to turn to the scores earned by the S40, a sedan design upon which the 2009 Volvo V50 is built. The S40 receives scores that may be a bit above average, but are substandard for the Swedish maker known for safety.
Standard safety equipment on all 2009 Volvo V50s includes traction control, stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, and whiplash-reducing head restraints in all outboard positions. Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) is optional on all models.
EPA Fuel Economy
V50 T5 R-Design AWD: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Luxury interior
- Safety features
- Cargo capacity as a compact SUV
- Quiet interior
You Won't Like
- Sporty model has rough ride
- Handling lags rivals
- Base engine
Above average safety and numerous features.
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