The unique Swedish styling of the 2011 Volvo V50 is a sure winner. Reflected in the car’s cabin and sheet metal are the minimalist Scandinavian aesthetics that make the vehicle stand out from the rest of the pack. The thin, floating center stack of the vehicle looks as modern and chic as it did in 2005, when the car debuted. The 2011 Volvo V50 also has extremely comfortable and supportive front seats.
The turbocharged engine of the 2011 Volvo V50 is a good performer. It makes the vehicle more powerful than most of its competitors, due to a more refined powertrain and chassis. Customers looking for the ultimate powerful engine in its class are most likely to go for the V50. While driving on a winding road, the car is confidence-inspiring and stable. It doesn’t cede much ground to its more expensive rivals.
Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 2.5-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo V50 T5, Volvo V50 TR-5
For 2011 Volvo has replaced the previous base model V50 2.4i with a similarly equipped T5 that has a turbo engine. Manual transmissions and all-wheel drive are no longer available.
Standard equipment on the T5 includes heated side mirrors and 17-inch wheels. The T5 R-Design variant has a sporty exterior trim and a sunroof, aluminum roof rails, and a sport-tuned suspension. The Climate package includes headlight washers, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and wipers. Standalone options include adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, and keyless entry/ignition.
The 2011 Volvo V50 has a good-looking interior that is likely to arrest the attention of the discerning buyer. The main attraction of the interior is the slim-center stack suspended in between the dashboard and the console. Almost everything in the interior directly challenges the comparatively austere cabins found in rival models, such as the cool blue-faced gauges and two-tone seats in the R-Design variant. Although the all-round effect is high, it isn’t luxurious.
Most of the controls inside the cabin seem easy to operate, but the navigation system marks a major exception in this case. The rear seats can be folded 60/40 to make room for more cargo.
The T5 features steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt-and-telescopic steering, an eight-way power driver’s seat along with memory settings, neoprene-like T-Tec upholstery also known as Dalaro, an eight-speaker stereo system with Bluetooth and a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface, and an auxiliary audio input jack. There’s a Preferred package offered with this variant that has leather upholstery, a sunroof, and a power passenger seat.
The T5 R-Design boasts a power passenger seat, partial leather upholstery, special R-Design floor mats and gauges, and a shift knob. The Multimedia package has a premium 12-speaker surround-sound system, a navigation system, and satellite radio. Standalone options include integrated rear-booster seats, rear park-assist, and satellite radio.
Performance & Handling
The base 2010 V50 was powered by a five-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine. This wasn’t very well received, however, and the 2011 Volvo V50 shares the turbocharged, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine used to haul the T5 R-design trim of the car’s 2010 version. The engine has now been made a standard in all Volvo variants. Thanks to this upgrade, the V50 is now more affordable, and the price-speed ratio is far more reasonable.
Cabin roominess is a scoring point of the 2011 Volvo V50. The car, in fact, is a wagon variant of the Volvo S4 sedan and boasts of a good 63 cubic feet of maximum luggage space with the rear seats folded. This feature places the car well above several of its peers that lack sufficient cargo space. The fuel economy rate of the car is another strong point of the vehicle, with the 2011 Volvo V50 being more frugal at gas pumps compared to many of its peers in the crossover and premium wagon segment.
The 2011 Volvo V50 has met all the latest safety standards. It comes equipped with traction and stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, whiplash-reducing front-seat head restraints, and side-curtain and front side airbags. Other optional safety features include a blind-spot warning system and integrated rear booster seats.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo V50: 21/30 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable front seats
- Stylish and well-constructed interior
You Won't Like
- Falls short of being a true luxury car, despite its price
- Handling not what you’d expect from a sport wagon
- No all-wheel drive
The mix of comfort and style has made the wagon a very respectable choice amongst serious buyers.
If You Like This Vehicle
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