Volvo did a great job of designing this car. The front end gives the V50 an aggressive look and the large rear tail lights set it off from the crowd. Standard features are generous and the list of Options provide the ability to create a dream. I purchased the car using the Overseas Program. I would recommend that anyone opting for that program does not purchase any accessories from Sweden. The prices are twice what they are in the US - even though they tell you it is a "Special Price". Other than that, the trip to London, Sweden and Norway was great fun.
The low end torque gets the V50 T5 off the line very quickly. I seldom use the Turbo - which kicks in at 4500 RPM. It handles very well and the 6 speed tranny shifts smoothly and precisely. The sound system is great, but for the limitations outlines in "Suggested Improvements".
Volvo missed adding an Auxiliary input. With the 6 disc player, one can listen to about 5-6 hours of music or books on cd, but without the AUX input your options are limited to cds. Nor does the audio system allow for the playing of MP3 discs, cassettes or portable MP3 players.