The 2008 Volvo V50 wagon is offered in two trim levels, the 2.4i and the T5. Both come standard with front-wheel drive, but the T5 has an option for all-wheel drive as well. The 2.4i drives away with a 2.4-liter, 168 horsepower inline five-cylinder engine, while the T5’s slightly larger 2.5-liter version of the same five-cylinder engine offers 227 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. The standard transmission on the 2.4i is a five-speed manual transmission, while the T5 comes with a five-speed automatic that has “Geartronic” technology for manual gear changing. Adding the “Dynamic Trim” package to the T5 gives you a sport steering wheel, a shift knob trimmed in aluminum, and a more robust “sport suspension.”
Crash-test data for the Volvo V50 is not available as of this writing, but the car’s sister-sedan, the Volvo S40 earned good ratings. While this may be a sign that the V50 wagon will fare well, differences in construction and vehicle weight preclude that assumption.
Still, the 2008 Volvo V50 does have an impressive array of safety features that all come standard, including side-curtain and side-impact air bags, all-disc anti-lock brakes, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, traction control and an electronic stability system, and even a “blind spot information system” that flashes an indicator-light just inside of either side-mirror when there’s a car in the corresponding blind spot.
Inside the Volvo V50, you’ll find seating for five, and a sportswear-inspired interior fabrics, though leather upholstery is available. Storage space includes larger capacities in the door pockets and the center console, while the center armrest has been redesigned, and the handle for the hand brake has been made smaller.
In the 2008 Volvo V50 T5, there are new gauges, with watch-face styling and aluminum trim, while the 2.4i has the option of Nordic Light Oak. In both models the backs of the rear seats fold down separately, and the front passenger seat back also folds flat. Air conditioning, power windows and door locks, and keyless entry are all standard, as is an auxiliary jack for MP3 playback capability. The standard stereo system is an AM/FM radio with a single CD player and controls on the steering wheel, but an in-dash six-disc changer is available as an upgrade. On the 2.4i, Sirius Satellite Radio is also available as an option, but it’s standard on the T5. Either way, the first six months of service are free.
External refinements of the 2008 Volvo V50 include a modified nose and tail, the former of which is more sculpted, and the Volvo logo on the grille is even larger than ever before. The “dynamic trim” package mentioned earlier also adds a spoiler to the liftgate on the T5. The standard wheels are sixteen-inch alloy, but either trim level can upgrade to 17-inch wheels and aluminum roof rails by adding a “premium package.”
Fuel economy for the 2008 Volvo V50 ranges from 18-20 in the city to 26-28 on the highway, and the starting MSRP for the basic 2.4i is $26,815.