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2011 Volvo V50

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2011 Volvo V50 Review

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Those looking for a premium compact wagon have few choices. Add the word "affordable" to that sentence and the list may narrow to a single car, the 2011 Volvo V50 wagon. Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar have all abandoned the segment. That leaves the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 328i Sports Wagon as the 2011 Volvo V50's leading European competitors. Against such competitors, the Volvo V50 looks like a pretty darn good deal. With so few premium wagons on the market, the Volvo V50 might easily attract buyers. Then again, with the continuing rise of car-based compact crossovers (think Acura ZDX), the Volvo V50 may very well turn out to be among the last of a dying breed.

You'll Like This Car If...

If occupant safety ranks as your top priority, the 2011 Volvo V50 wagon won't disappoint. Those worried about soaring gas prices will love the V50's fuel efficient, yet potent turbocharged engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a wagon with a roomy rear seat, a V6 engine or all-wheel drive, the Volvo V50 will not satisfy your desires.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Volvo V50 no longer offers the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter model or optional all-wheel drive. The 2011 Volvo V50 lineup now consists of two trims: The base V40 T5 and V50 R-Design.

Driving the V50

Driving Impressions One might think that sharing the same chassis and engine as the S40 Sedan would return a carbon copy ride. But, for whatever reason, the 2011 Volvo V50 feels more...

stable and buttoned down than its sedan sibling. Once the 227-horsepower engine enters its prime power band, acceleration is rapid and steady. The Volvo V50's front-wheel-drive layout coupled with electronic stability control ensure that winter's worst won't be too much of an obstacle. The Volvo V50 doesn't take kindly to rough-road surfaces, transmitting all manner of shake and jittering into the passenger compartment. The Volvo V50's handling, on the other hand, is decisive, proving nimble in urban settings and just plain fun on twisting back roads.

10-Speaker Audio with Navigation
Volvo's premium sound system sounds and looks fantastic. From the floating center console that houses the radio controls, to the hidden navigation screen that rises up from the dash, the Volvo V50's Multimedia package is almost as exciting to watch as it is to hear.

Turbocharged Engine
Volvo's turbocharged engine does its job eagerly and effortlessly. It also runs quite happily on regular gas.

2011 Volvo V50 Details
Interior

The 2011 Volvo V50 is endowed with a simple, straightforward interior. The highlight of the Volvo V50's interior is its ultra-slim "floating" center console. T-Tec fabric seating is standard on the base V50 T5, while the V50 R-Design is fitted with vividly contrasting white-over-black leather inserts and R-Design logos. An all-black leather package is optional. Though roomy enough up front, the Volvo V50's rear seats will be a tight fit for average Americans. Cargo space totals 37.4 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 62.9 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding rear seat folded down.

Exterior

The Belgian-built 2011 Volvo V50 wears the brand's traditional design language. That means it now looks rather boxy and dated when compared to the stylish Volvo S60 sedan and Volvo XC60 crossover. Unlike a number of compact crossovers, it's easy to step in and out of the Volvo V50 and its roof is also easily accessible. Thin support pillars allow for lots of glass, which translates into good 360-degree visibility. The slab-sided Volvo V50 projects an image of stability and strength, while the rear-pillar mounted high taillights add a touch of exoticness to an otherwise cautious design.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Volvo V50 T5 features a 2.5-liter, turbocharged, 5-cylinder engine that's mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Other standards include remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power driver's seat with memory feature, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, rear wiper/washer and front and rear fog lamps. The standard audio system features an in-dash CD/MP3 player, USB and iPod interface and an auxiliary audio input jack. The T5 R-Design adds a power moonroof, power passenger seat, leather seating surfaces and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Many of the 2011 Volvo V50's most desirable options are bundled into packages. The Climate Package adds heated seats, headlamp washers, electronic climate control and rain-sensing wipers. The Preferred Package adds a power glass moonroof, power passenger seat and leather seats. The Multimedia package combines a premium 650-watt 10-speaker sound system with Volvo's navigation system featuring Real Time Traffic, a remote control and two map updates. Stand-alone options include full leather seating, rear booster cushions, Keyless Drive, rear park assist, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and dual xenon headlamps with Active Bend Light. (The latter turns the headlamps in the direction the car is steered.)

Under the Hood

The Volvo V50's turbocharged 2.5-liter engine pumps out 227 horsepower, runs on regular gas and can go 30 miles on a single gallon of gasoline. The 5-cylinder transmits a bit vibration. The engine is coupled to a 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission.

2.5-liter in-line-5 turbocharged
227 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30

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2011 Volvo V50 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 90 Ratings for the 2005 - 2011 models.

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

Solid car, good performance, good gas mileage,

By on Friday, June 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Bought as a second car, but became primary when other car was totaled out (another Volvo, no injury - that's why this is my 3rd Volvo.) Mileage around town 21/24, winter/summer, 32-33 on trips, have gotten as high as 36. It is a turbo, so I feed it nothing but premium and it performs well. Had to replace front sway bar links, a common Volvo problem. Other than that, no expenses in last 3 years. Only complaint is interior appearance. It is somewhat plain when compared to the S60, S80, & V70."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

R-Design

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500

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

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

"This model captures the essence of what good looks combined with a solid road vehicle should be. Volvo was right on when designing this car. It is a must have for long trips."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Very reliable, drives like a sports car, and comfy

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: wanted newer volvo

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: "fun to drive, reliable, and elegant"

Cons: "more expensive tires than usual, but its a volvo"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The 2008 Volvo v50 was one of the better Volvos I've driven. I never really had any problems with the car, other than having to fix the oil pan because of these horrible pot holes in New Orleans. The only flaw is that the tires or more expensive because only premium tires fit on it."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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."

14 people out of 21 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"

15 people out of 23 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."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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