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Original MSRP: $26,690 - $30,190
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2007 Volvo V50 Review

This review was written when the 2007 Volvo V50 was new.

The V50 is fun to drive and has modern Scandinavian styling, but the passenger and cargo room is a little tight.

Despite being best known for stodgy-but-safe station wagons with little driver appeal, reviewers say that Volvo has created an attractive, sporty and functional wagon in the 2007 V50. Automobile Magazine says: "Volvo wagons have a long tradition of being so relentlessly functional and dorky that they actually became sort of cool -- see the 240 and the 700-series, for example. The V50 is the latest evidence that Volvo no longer stumbles upon coolness by accident." The Detroit Free Press adds, "Volvo just kicked off its Birkenstocks and slipped into a pair of slingback pumps."

The V50 was introduced in 2004 for the 2005 model year. It shares a platform and many other components with the Volvo S40 sedan. In fact, the two cars are virtually identical from the nose to the second row seat. Other platform-mates include the Mazda3 and the European Ford Focus, which is markedly different from the Focus sold in the U.S. The Auto Channel that buyers shouldn't "think of [the V50] as a rebadged Mazda3 or Focus. 'Platform sharing' is to be taken loosely here," and adds that many of  the S40's and V50's components, including their drivetrains "are completely different, and completely Volvo."

 The V50 comes in two trim levels: the 2.4i, which uses a 2.4 liter inline five-cylinder engine, and the T5, which uses a turbocharged inline five-cylinder. All-wheel drive is available on the T5.

Reviewers are pleased by the V50's looks and performance, but note that other wagons offer more passenger and cargo space. USA TODAY says, "If you're shopping for looks, Volvo's new-design V50 wagon is a lust object. If you're shopping for space, look elsewhere." Despite the tight interior, Edmunds says, "With its appealing mix of Volvo safety and Scandinavian style, the 2007 Volvo V50 deserves to be on your test-drive list if you're in the market for a small wagon with a premium feel."

While the vast majority of reviewers like the V50, they disagree on whether it is a good value, largely because the V50 is priced below many luxury compact wagons but above many affordable ones. Edmunds notes, "Much as we like the package Volvo has put together, we can't help but note that Audi has found a way to do it less expensively," and adds, "The Volvo is still the cheaper way to go if you want all-wheel drive, but at this price, the slightly larger, and nearly as luxurious, Subaru Legacy merits consideration as well." Forbes agrees with Edmunds, saying, "Other larger wagons from more mainstream brands, such as the Subaru Legacy and Volkswagen Passat Wagon, are close in price to the Volvo V50 and feel just as high quality."

Other reviewers feel the V50 offers a good value, given its premium feel and middle-of-the-road price. The Sacramento Bee asks, "Is there a better wagon out there? Given the fussy nature of wagon buyers, there are probably a dozen possibilities. But for now, I'll put the V50 up against all comers," and adds, "it's a pretty good deal." The Arizona Republic, reflecting on their test car, says the "price came to $34,815, which is getting up there but still buys a lot of safety, style and performance." The Washington Post recommends that wagon shoppers compare the V50 "with any premium compact wagon. It's a buy." IntelliChoice, however, agrees with the first camp of reviewers and gives the V50 a "Worse Than Average" value rating based on its total cost of ownership compared to others in its class.

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

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