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Avg. Price Paid:$9,837 - $12,793
Original MSRP: $26,815 - $31,565
MPG: 20 City / 28 Hwy
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2008 Volvo V50 Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Volvo V50 was new.

The V50's interior design is particularly noteworthy to most reviewers because of its thin center console, which seems to "float" from the dash, creating an attractive design, as well as a small storage nook behind it. The V50 was introduced in 2005, and Edmunds says "its unusual interior design, which features an ultra-thin center stack, looks fresh and contemporary three years into the model cycle." They add, "Every touchable surface feels high in quality with no sign of the cost-cutting that sometimes occurs in entry-level cars. But even with quality and comfort aside, it's the unique interior design that moves the cabin beyond eye-catching." The center console has been slightly redesigned for 2008. According to Edmunds, additions include "an auxiliary audio jack, a redesigned handbrake and most importantly, sorely needed additional storage space."

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Seating

Seating in the V50 is comfortable despite the wagon's small size. "Adults will find adequate legroom in both the front and rear," reports Edmunds, adding that the V50 is "wider and taller than the V40, and as a result offers more front and rear headroom than the 325xi, A4 or Passat wagons, as well as class-leading front legroom and rear legroom second only to the VW." Critics also found the seats themselves comfortable. About.com says, "The seats are superb."

The standard upholstery on the V50 is an innovative T-Tec fabric that Volvo claims resists wear and staining. Most were impressed by the material, with The Auto Channel saying it "has the feel of eternal life, looks great." Leather seating is an optional upgrade.

According to the majority of reviewers, the front seats of the V50 are comfortable. Many, however, noted that the whiplash reducing headrests were uncomfortable. Forbes says the driver and front passenger "seats are comfortable and supportive, though skinny and smaller occupants will find the protruding headrests designed to mitigate whiplash in the case of a rear-end collisions to be annoying." Others say occupants will feel the V50's small size, even in the front row. Kelley Blue Book reports "the V50 conveys a cozy sensation," up front.

The majority say the second row is not very comfortable for adults. "Rear-seat passengers in the V50 will notice a shortage of legroom, although the vehicle attends to them quite well in other respects," reports the Detroit News. USA Today adds, "With the front seat fully back, there's a scant 34.4 inches in the rear. Comfort requires about 36." Taking note of the cramped backseat, Kelley Blue Book states, "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."

Interior Features

The majority say both the base 2.4i and the T5 V50 come with a long list of standard equipment. MSN reports, "The V50 is well equipped," and adds, "Even the base front-wheel-drive 2.4i version has air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt/telescopic leather-covered steering wheel, a split-folding rear seat, an AM/FM/CD sound system and power windows, mirrors and door locks with remote keyless entry." The T5 trim adds automatic climate control, a power driver's seat and aluminum trim.

Most find the V50's interior features easy to use. USA Today says, "The thin center panel houses Volvo's new, enlightened approach to radios: Two big knobs, one for volume, one for tuning, and 10 push buttons for storing favorite stations. Looks good, works great. Applause." The Detroit News likes the climate control, noting that it "has an icon of a human figure, which is an easy way to tell at a glance where you are directing the air flow."

A navigation system is available for the V50, but most reviewers didn't mention it beyond noting that the display screen, which rises from the top of the dashboard, occasionally washes out in direct sunlight.

Cargo

There's division on the usefulness of the V50's cargo area. While offering more hauling capacity than a sedan and some other small wagons, the V50 does not offer class-leading cargo space. Echoing a slight majority, Edmunds says, "Even though the Volvo may not be able to handle as much cargo as an Audi or BMW, chances are unless you're regularly hauling excessively large items, you won't notice the difference."

With the rear seat up, the V50 holds 37.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the rear seat down, it offers 62.6 cubic feet. Kelley Blue Book says, "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." However, the Los Angeles Times reports the "cargo hold of the V50 is less user-friendly  ... You have to flip up the rear seat bottoms and then detach the rear headrests in order to fold the seatbacks flat. The loose headrests are secured in slots in the tilted-forward seat bottoms; stowing them there is awkward and steals cargo space." Still, compared to some competitors, the Volvo is a winner. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, "Like the Subaru Outback tested a week earlier, the V50 also is a good hauler, which generally is why you buy a wagon. In fact, while the Outback is a peppier car, the Volvo wins the usefulness prize with more cargo space than the Outback."

But smaller storage space is disappointing. Edmunds says, "If you're looking for storage other than in the far back, it's not as easy to come by. The front door bins are super tiny, the rear map pockets are small, and there are no rear door bins to accommodate backseat occupants." However, many reviewers note that the floating center stack provides a small and useful storage space. The Detroit Free Press notes, "In addition to looking as relaxed and graceful as Henry Moore's modern sculpture Reclining Figure at the Detroit Institute of Art, the floating control panel conceals a handy storage space ideal for purses and other small objects."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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