Volvo follows a distinct car philosophy which is not to everyone's taste. If you like Volvo's approach to design, handling, and safety the V50 is a great choice over any small SUV. We compared the V50 to station wagons from BMW, VW, Audi, and Subaru. The BMW 3 series and Audi A4, while nice, were quite a bit more expensive. The Passat's drive train (2.0l 4 cylinder turbo) was uncompetitive. The Subaru felt tinny. In sum, the V50 offered the best compromise between performance and price.
The V50, as all Volvos, has outstanding seats. The T5 engine is powerful, especially at mid-range, without displaying any annoying turbo lag. The floating center stack is simple and ergonomically designed. Cornering radius is very good. Thoughtful safety features abound.
The key fob looks cheesy and cannot be folded. The audio sound quality with the standard sound system is so-so. While generally quite at highway speeds there is some wind noise around the side mirrors. No horn sound when looking the car. Gas mileage in city driving is rather high