I have to replace a Volvo 240DL wagon and BMW328i. V50 has a nice combination of the virtues of both. It is big enough as a family wagon and is sporty enough to be fun to drive (the 240DL drives like a truck). It has all the electronic and computer gadgets of my 1999 328i, although its acceleration and handling are not as good. I have always driven a manual transmission so I was a bit skeptical about the Geartronics. It turns out to be quite acceptable. I can use it to slow down the car. When going up to Lake Tahoe I can down-shift to gain more power. The mileage after 6K miles is a decent 25 mpg, better than the BMW. I will be quite happy if it turns out to be more reliable than the BMW.
rear split seats
better visibility in rear and better sound quality