- Stylish aesthetics
- Attractive interior
- Economical diesel engines
- Not as practical as you might expect
- Unexciting handling
- T5 model is expensive to run
Stylish compact estate that’s safe, comfortable, and cheap to run.
The Volvo V50 estate, when it was first introduced in 2004, signalled a change in the way we see Volvo estates. Gone was the dull, boxy styling, and in was curvaceous, clean, and modern aesthetics. The interior was a huge upgrade as well, with an attractive floating centre console, and high quality fit and finish. Practicality isn’t quite as impressive as you might imagine, but there’s still plenty of space for passengers and storage. The V50 came with a good range of efficient engines, with the super efficient diesels being way ahead of their time. And with unbeatable safety, and a comfortable ride quality, it remains an excellent family car.
In 2012, the V40 was replaced by the new Volvo V50.
High quality design, solid practicality, and generous equipment.
Sweden is a country that is famed for its attractive, ergonomic designs, and the inside of the V50 is no different. It isn’t quite as practical as the Volvo estates of old, but there’s more than enough space for family buyers. All models come with plenty of kit as well.
The V50 might have been released a decade ago, but the interior feels as fresh as ever. The floating centre console forms the centrepiece of the cabin, and it still looks modern, even today. Controls are logically laid out and easy to use, so it won’t take you too long to get accustomed to the V50 once you’re behind the wheel. As you’d expect from a premium product, the quality of materials is excellent throughout. Dense, soft-touch materials adorn almost every area, giving it a real air of quality.
When you buy a Volvo estate, you expect practicality in abundance. Though the V50 isn’t quite as practical as the old boxy Volvo estates, it still offers more than enough for family buyers. There’s enough leg and headroom in the rear seats for adults to travel comfortably, even over longer distances. And though the 417 litre boot capacity is smaller than a lot of its rivals, it’s a good shape, and will hold a full family’s worth of travel luggage. The rear seats also fold completely flat, which makes weekend trips to Ikea a doddle.
Equipment in the V50 is generous no matter which model you go for. The entry-level ES trim comes with climate control, alloy wheels, electric windows, CD player, and a leather steering wheel. SE trim adds half-leather seats, cruise control, Bluetooth, and rear parking sensors. SE Lux adds luxuries like satnav, electric mirrors, and full leather. Whilst range-topping R Design trim includes LED daytime running lights, an upgraded sound system, and sportier exterior design.
All in all the inside of the V50 is a great family focused package. It’s practical, well-designed, and features some classy fixtures and fittings. No matter which model you go for, you won’t feel short changed when it comes to equipment.
Comfortable and refined, but not a lot of fun.
When you’re looking for a practical family estate, thrills behind the wheel aren’t usually of great importance. The Volvo V50 certainly doesn’t break the mould. Despite this, the V50 is an incredibly easy car to drive. The steering is nice and light, which makes city centre traffic, and tight parking spaces a breeze. It offers little feel at speed however, and never feels especially fun on winding country roads. Body roll is kept reasonably well in check however. Ultimately, the V50 is a very easy car to live with day-to-day.
Suspension and Chassis
When it comes to comfort and refinement, the V50 comes up trumps. The supple suspension easily copes with loose road surfaces and potholes. Both in town, and at speed, the V50 is composed enough to never leave you with a sore bum. This is also helped by the incredibly comfortable seats. Ride refinement is also excellent. There’s very little road and wind noise when you get the V50 on the motorway, making it a fantastic long-distance cruiser.
Gearbox options in the V50 come in two guises. The standard throughout the range was a six speed manual transmission. It offers smooth, precise gear changes, and is well geared for town driving, and out on the motorway. An optional six speed Powershift semi-automatic was also available with some models after 2008. It features paddles behind the steering wheel that allow you to change gear manually, for when you want a more involving drive.
Everything from super efficient diesels, to racy petrols.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your V50, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. For most buyers, diesel power makes the most sense. They’re lighter on fuel, lower on tax, whilst still having enough power for your daily routine.
If it’s all-out power that you want from your V50, you should consider the 2.5 litre T5 turbocharged petrol engine. It produces an impressive 230bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds. Pretty rapid for a family-focused estate car. This model won’t be cheap to run however, with fairly limited fuel economy, and a big road tax bill, due to the T5’s high CO2 emissions.
Though the T5 model won’t please eco-conscious buyers, the V50 DRIVe model certainly will. The 1.6 litre diesel engine produces just 99g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s lower than a lot of tiny city cars that are released today. Not only will your V50 help save the planet, it will also cost you absolutely nothing in road tax, making the DRIVe a great option for money savers. And with fuel efficiency of up to 74.3mpg, you won’t be spending much cash down at the service station each week.
Whichever engine you go for in your V50, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Our pick would be the super-efficient DRIVe model. Though it is the least powerful in the range, its low running costs will appeal to both family, and company car drivers.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with all the kit you’d expect from a Volvo.
Like nearly every car in its class, the Volvo V50 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. This is of little surprise, especially as Volvo has the reputation as being the safest manufacturer of cars on the market. The V50 comes as standard with a full set of airbags, whilst a blind spot monitoring system was an optional extra on all models. ABS, stability control, and traction control all feature as well. Volvo’s unique side impact protection system should also help in the event of a side-on collision.
Excellent value for money, especially for a luxury estate.
The Volvo V50 is one of the best value used estates on the market. Though it will cost a little more than an estate from a less prestigious manufacturer, it should hold its value better over time. Running costs are low in the V50 as well, especially if you stick to one of the diesel models. The T5 is understandably more expensive to run, due to its high performance, so if you want to save some money, it’s a model worth avoiding.
Insurance groups for the V50 depend on which model you choose to go for. Whatever spec you decide upon, you shouldn’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival. The range starts in group 17 for the entry-level 1.6 S model, and climbs up towards group 34 for the range-topping T5 R Design SE Sport.
Depreciation was a factor to consider with the V50, but only if you chose to buy from new. First year depreciation was as high as 40%, which makes getting an inspected used equivalent at a bargain price, a relatively simple process.
The Volvo V50 is an excellent option to consider if you’re a buyer looking for a practical estate car, that doesn’t compromise on design. Volvos of old might have been ugly boxes, but the V50, despite being released ten years ago, still looks remarkably modern, even today. It comes with a high-tech interior, a comfortable ride, impressive refinement, and an impeccable safety record. And with class-leading running costs on some diesel models, it won’t cost you a lot to run day-to-day.
Buying a used Volvo V50 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo V50 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used V50. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo V50 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volvo? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Volvo V50, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used V50, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.