Overall, it's a very comfortable, advanced station wagon that manages to be a visually pleasing addition to the Volvo lineup. With the rear seats in people-carrying form, the cargo area is good for hauling 27 cubic feet of whatever burdens you; fold those seats down and the number rises to 63 cubes. Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. Toss this V50 into a four-wheel drift on your favorite off-ramp, and the stability control doesn't activate while you're at play. Volvo had introduced the V40 in 2000, but it didn't perform up to the German manufacturer's expectations, perhaps due to a lack of unique styling and lackluster looks.
Otherwise, it appears little more than a leather-upholstered V70 station wagon in L. The tailgate has a nice pull-down grip to help close it in a hurry. A high priority for this wagon was style, and we think the company has succeeded. The 2005 V50 wagon looks good enough to appeal to younger buyers. How about a few third-gear launches? Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations. Volvo is well known for their emphasis on driver and passenger safety and the V50 has also been recognized as an especially safe wagon.
I'm happy to report that the V50, based on second-generation Ford Focus architecture, has all the latest Volvo traits--simple and futuristic interior design, a thick-waisted and modern exterior, seats that you wish you had in your office, and a punchy five-cylinder turbo. Phase two of its comeback plan was unveiled Wednesday with the Concepts 40. The higher-line T5 version, which comes with front or all-wheel drive, adds automatic climate control, a power driver seat and nifty aluminum interior trim. Maximum horsepower is 218 and maximum torque is 236 lb-ft, which mean good performance with the car's 3,400-lb weight. Standard side curtain-type airbags extend from the front roof pillar to the rear pillar and drop down from above the windows in side collisions.
Even with all this power, turbo lag is virtually nonexistent, noticeable only when lightly modulating the throttle from a standstill. The driving experience is more sporty than sports, although that may change Volvo has just shown a V50 concept car with a 340-hp version of the S60 R engine, but don't expect it in showrooms any time soon. The Volvo's steering is nicely weighted and is combined with a properly chosen ratio that doesn't demand constant correction on the highway and also doesn't make the driver turn the wheel too far for cornering. But don't think of either as a rebadged Mazda3 or Focus. It is a front engine car with front wheel or all wheel drive, although the 2011 version of the vehicle is not available in all wheel drive in North America.
Only 2,500 Limited Sport Edition models will be produced. The R Design trim has a sportier exterior and interior look along with other new features like heated seats and a sports-tuned suspension. The V50 was brought out in 2005 along with a redesigned V40 and instantly made a big impact in the small wagon market. Narrow rear doors make entry and exit a little difficult. The V50 has advanced airbags including side impact airbags and measures to protect drivers and passengers from whiplash. With a muscular look and great response, the V50 is a welcome improvement over the V40 and can be a fairly powerful wagon when outfitted correctly.
The seats provide good support up front and sufficient thigh support in the rear. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and would be the choice for a sport-oriented driver. The V50 has advanced airbags including side impact airbags and measures to protect drivers and passengers from whiplash. Scandinavian Modern design at its finest - check out the central control panel. The 2009 version of the vehicle won the European Golden Steering Award and a designation as a top fleet vehicle from Vincentric. The wagon shape is sufficiently rounded off to make it pleasing to the eye as well as to the air passing over it, registering a 0. The V50 is similar to Volvo's slick new S40 sedan March 15 AutoTimes and is made in Belgium, not Sweden.
Although it was on the car tested here, keyless drive won't be available until model-year '06. The V50 offers the usual desirable flexibility of a wagon that we appreciate. Even though the V40 comes in a single basic model, it can be equipped with a Premium or Sport option package. Do that, and the Geartronic will execute two upshifts. The Sport group adds front and rear spoilers, fog lamps, 16-inch Galactica alloy wheels, Visby sport leather seats and Cyborg inlays. Developed jointly with Mitsubishi, the entry-level S40 sedan and V40 wagon are built in the Netherlands. I have fond memories of the old V40, but it was a very different car than the large Volvos of its time.
It's a free-standing, brushed-aluminum wood optional piece that looks to be sourced from a high-end Scandinavian stereo manufacturer. Volvo feels it's safe to mention station wagons again, now that it's pretty much buried its old image as a producer of boxy, underpowered wagons and sedans. He was a member of the U. So it works very well with the optional five-speed automatic transmission with which my test car was equipped. And so the 2005 S40 sedan and V50 wagon were born.