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2009 Volvo V50

Overview
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2009 Volvo V50 Review

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The 2009 Volvo V50 is a compact premium wagon derived from the same chassis as the sporty S40 sedan. Although not large enough to provide a third-row seat, the V50's enclosed cargo area offers easy access when loading or retrieving items, as well as additional roof space on which to stow gear. With the rear seats folded down, the V50 can carry a fair bit of cargo or make room for the family dog. The V50 is far more fun to drive than a compact SUV, offers the added traction and stability provided by available all-wheel drive and is loaded with the latest Volvo safety and security technologies.

You'll Like This Car If...

If passenger safety is a top priority, the V50's side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags and Whiplash Protection System should hold strong appeal. In addition to the cargo-hauling capabilities of a wagon and appealing gas-mileage estimates, Volvo promises a healthy dose of performance with the turbocharged T5.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need room for four adults plus luggage, the V50's cramped rear seat will prompt a move to the larger (and more expensive) V70. Unlike wagons from Subaru, the V50's all-wheel-drive option can be ordered only with the pricey, top-of-the-line trim.

What's New for 2009

The V50 2.4i receives more standard equipment, while the front-wheel drive T5 model has been discontinued. The all-wheel drive T5 receives R-Design styling enhancements (unique grille, body cladding and leather interior), as well as more standard equipment.

Driving the V50

Driving Impressions Although the basic driving experience differs little from Volvo's S40 sedan, the V50 feels more serious and solid. Both are civilized, quiet and spirited compacts, especially with the more potent...

turbocharged engine. On snow-packed and icy surfaces the all-wheel-drive V50 clings with confidence. Despite the V50's refinement, the ride in the all-wheel-drive T5 can get rough on harsher surfaces, and even rolling over moderate imperfections may feel a little jittery, particularly to people who value plush comfort over crisp handling. Nimble in urban settings and stable on the road, the V50 T5 reacts quickly to the steering wheel, perhaps more quickly than less-enthusiastic drivers might find comfortable.

All-Wheel Drive
Anyone in the snow belt or who drives frequently on wet or slippery surfaces should appreciate the merits of all-wheel drive. Too bad it isn't available in the non-turbocharged 2.4i model.

Turbocharged Engine in T5
Like the all-wheel-drive system, Volvo's turbocharged engine does its job eagerly and effortlessly, without attracting undue attention to itself. It also runs quite happily on regular octane fuel.

2009 Volvo V50 Details
2009 Volvo V50 photo Interior

Basic in nature, the V50's interior reflects the spartan themes popular in Scandinavian automobiles. The ultra-slim center console is claimed to be the first of its kind and is available with optional aluminum facing. One drawback to the design is the limitations it places on installing an aftermarket audio unit. Volvo promotes "ergonomically designed" seating, including 60/40-split folding rear seats. Some controls on the console aren't quite as logical as they first appear. Though roomy enough up front, the V50 conveys a cozy sensation. Cargo space totals 37.4 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 62.9 cubic feet with the seat folded.

Exterior

Built in Belgium rather than Sweden, the V50 closely resembles other, larger Volvo models. Up front it's a virtual twin to the S40 sedan. Both Volvos are related to the European Ford Focus and the MAZDA3. The V50 is an evolution of the sportswagon "design language" that began with the larger V70 family wagon, but brandishes some "aggressive lines." Certain design characteristics are borrowed from classic Volvos, including the sporty 1800ES of the 1960s. Intelligent Design Architecture includes eight "exceptionally rigid" cross members for enhanced side-impact protection.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In basic 2.4i form the V50 has a five-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, alarm, immobilizer, remote keyless entry, power moonroof, power driver's seat, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, rear wiper/washer, front and rear fog lamps, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and a high-performance audio system with six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player and auxiliary audio input jack. Side-impact and curtain-style airbags are standard. In addition to a turbocharged engine, the T5 adds driver's seat memory, aluminum roof rails, leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control and heated front seats. Alloy wheels hold standard 17-inch tires and the V50's anti-lock braking (ABS) incorporates electronic brake-force distribution and Brake Assist for more effective panic stops.

Optional Equipment

Many of the V50's most desirable options are bundled into packages. The base 2.4i, for example, offers a Climate Package with heated seats, headlamp washers and rain-sensing wipers. Stand-alone options include leather seating, rear booster cushions and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and active bi-xenon headlamps. The T5 offers an HDD navigation system with real-time traffic updates, the Dynaudio package that adds a 650-watt sound system with Dolby II Surround Sound and 12 speakers and Keyless Drive remote start.

Under the Hood

The V50's 2.4-liter in-line five-cylinder engine provides solid, if unspectacular performance. The sports-minded T5 is equipped with a turbocharged version of the same engine, offering 59 additional horsepower and, more importantly, better torque for quicker acceleration.

2.4-liter in-line 5
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28

2.5-liter in-line 5 Turbocharged
227 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

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2009 Volvo V50 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 88 Ratings for the 2005 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Hot. You need to go and in any weather, you go!

By on Thursday, June 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Lots to love with the great handling."

Cons: "I wish I could buy another one!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The skateboard for the normal people. Lots of juice. Been happy with it for 5 years. Been fortunate for having the 5 year bumper to bumper service included with the purchase and only needed it once with a leak in the AC."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

A great car, even for a recovering Porsche driver!

By on Monday, May 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great handling, even at hi speeds on country roads"

Cons: "There are no cons; this car is perfect"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I did the research for 3 years, and when I saw the local Volvo dealer's newspaper ad for this retired service loaner, I jumped on it. It meets all my needs, has plenty of cargo space, and has been perfectly dependable. Because I am an avid gardener, my car has to be a work horse, not a show horse, and I have absolutely no complaints. It's now 10 years old and still looks brand new, handles remarkably, and performs beautifully."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

No repairs; inexpensive to own

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "looks, comfort, pep, owning cost"

Cons: "fuel mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This car just keeps on going; summer or winter, never a problem. Plenty of pep for highway on ramps and passing, fuel mileage a little low at about 22-25"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good car, easy to drive, park, load, unload, etc.

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,365

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Attractive car, eye catching, dependable"

Cons: "A.C. issues, economic, can load it up, info above"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"A new version of this yes, this car no, unknown to me it had been in a wreck. Yes, I received the CarFAX, it did not disclose it. I have paid for repairs every year I have owned it. Air Conditioner does not work well, and usually goes out when it is HOT outside! I have hauled a full size dishwasher in it, fullsize legal filing cabinet in it, large antique Curio Cabinet in it, it is a workhorse. I have had to replace several expensive items twice - full set of tires, battery, wheel bearing assembly, oil canister, etc. But it performs for me, has some interior and exterior woes, and the black decorative, seals around the windows are brittle and scaling off. The appearance at a distance is good. Interior panels on front doors is in shabby condition needs to be replaced."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Even better than I had expected

By on Thursday, December 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, drive (stability, etc.), general comfort,"

Cons: "Gas mileage; might not be for a large person."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have always respected Volvo for its reputation as a safe and dependable car, and in the last few years as a leader in design. All models are attractive. I bought my V50 used 1 1/2 years ago, and I have really liked just about everything about it. The gas mileage is only about 21, but I do not drive a lot and mostly in-town. I would not have chosen the low-profile tires, though that feature might be giving me better traction, etc. But I am still discovering features that I like, and right from the first I liked the interior design; most current cars have a "control console" that looks like a '40s juke box slapped into a jerry-rigged dashboard. The V50 has a handsome practical, integrated dashboard with a simple understated but feature-rich console. The dealership has been excellent to deal with so far, though recently it was gobbled up by a mega-dealer, and things might change. I paid a little more than I intended for this car, but I don't regret it."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

A Truly Trustworthy Car!

By on Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 157,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "This car was reasonably priced and fun fun fun!!!"

Cons: "Bumpy on a dirt road, small for family."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car from brand new to date. My husband works all over the country and I have often driven to his extended work locations. What a joy to get in this amazing car and know that without a doubt I will arrive safely without a hitch to my destination. The leather seats fit my back perfectly, the hum of the motor is absolutely perfect and the handling has been a blast to drive. I have swerved to miss a semi tire with seconds to respond and the car just doesn't tip or rock, it only responds. Slamming on the brakes, the whole car cooperates to safely bring the thing to a stop…it is like it sinks to the road. My only sadness is that it cannot handle potholes and bumps well because its suspension in Autobahn quality rather than country road (Tennessee highways - lol!) Love it, we call her little red, she has been and continues to be a blessing to me."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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