2010 Volvo V50 Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Volvo V50 Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volvo V50 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 168 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Volvo V50

  • The 2010 Volvo V50 is a stylish, spacious and fuel-efficient alternative to compact luxury crossovers. However, it's expensive, so finding a great deal is a must.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent front seats, stylish and well-made interior, ample safety features, more cargo capacity than many compact SUVs, available all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Not quite a luxury car despite premium pricing, tepid acceleration with base engine, handling falls short of true sport wagons, underwhelming safety scores.

  • What's New for 2010

    For 2010, the upper-level Volvo V50 T5 AWD R-Design gets a standard six-speed manual transmission, thereby bumping the five-speed automatic to the options list. The base V50 2.4i gets standard automatic climate control and increased option availability. Option packages have also been reorganized and renamed for both trim levels, and all models get adjustable head restraints. Fuel economy improves slightly throughout the range.

Full 2010 Volvo V50 Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the upper-level Volvo V50 T5 AWD R-Design gets a standard six-speed manual transmission, thereby bumping the five-speed automatic to the options list. The base V50 2.4i gets standard automatic climate control and increased option availability. Option packages have also been reorganized and renamed for both trim levels, and all models get adjustable head restraints. Fuel economy improves slightly throughout the range.


Small wagons haven't been popular in the United States since, well…come to think of it, have they ever been popular here? The 2010 Volvo V50 is unlikely to reverse this trend any time soon, but it is an appealing small wagon that could be a good choice for those searching for more space and better fuel economy than the latest wave of compact luxury crossovers. And while we think it's on the pricey side, a trend toward heavy discounts for the V50 should make it more palatable to value-conscious shoppers.

The V50 is the wagon version of Volvo's S40 sedan and boasts a healthy 63 cubic feet of cargo room with the 60/40-split rear seats folded. That's only a bit less than Volvo's new XC60 crossover but more than the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLK. If you're looking to save money or fuel, but still need lots of space and luxury features, the V50 is a definitely a smart alternative.

Although the V50 is now in its fifth model year, its Swedish styling inside and out still looks fresh. In particular, the ultra-slim "floating" center console looks as cool today as it did back in '05. For 2010, the V50 gets minor changes associated with optional package content, plus a standard six-speed manual for the T5 AWD R-Design trim. Fuel economy also improves slightly throughout the range.

There's certainly plenty to like about the 2010 Volvo V50. However, a comparably equipped Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen provides the same power, space and interior quality as the V50 for considerably less money. The inelegantly named V50 T5 AWD R-Design is also on the pricey side, but at least it's more comparable to even more expensive luxury wagons like the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 328i xDrive and Saab 9-3 SportCombi. Luckily, V50s tend to be heavily discounted, making the V50 a smarter purchase. Small wagons may not be popular, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Volvo V50 is a five-passenger compact wagon that comes in 2.4i and T5 AWD R-Design trim levels. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, cruise control, automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, neoprene-like T-Tec upholstery (also known as Dalaro), Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB/iPod audio interface.

The T5 AWD R-Design adds all-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, aluminum roof rails, sporty exterior trim, partial leather upholstery, driver memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and special R-Design floor mats, steering wheel, gauges and shift knob.

The Climate package includes heated front seats, headlight washers and automatic wipers. There's also a Preferred package that gets you a sunroof, a power passenger seat and keyless ignition/entry. Stand-alone options include a blind-spot warning system, bi-xenon headlights, integrated rear booster seats, full leather upholstery, a navigation system and on the 2.4i, satellite radio and wood trim. The Multimedia package available only on the T5 R-Design is essentially a 12-speaker Dynaudio surround-sound system that includes satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Volvo V50 2.4i is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-5 that produces 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission available. Volvo predicts a 0-60 sprint of 8.5 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.

The all-wheel-drive V50 T5 AWD R-Design is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 good for 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. Volvo predicts a 0-60 sprint of 6.7 seconds with the manual and 7.1 seconds with the auto. Estimated fuel economy is 20/26/22 mpg with the manual and 19/27/22 with the auto.


The 2010 Volvo V50 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front head restraints. Optional features include integrated rear booster seats and a blind-spot warning system.

The V50 has not undergone official crash testing. However, in the government's frontal impact tests, the V50's S40 sedan sibling was awarded four stars for driver protection and five stars for front passenger protection, while netting a perfect five-star rating in the side-impact test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the S40 its highest rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset test, but only the second-best "Acceptable" in the side crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

If you like to shop at Ikea -- or at least admire the company's modern designs -- then the 2010 Volvo V50's interior should strike your fancy. The centerpiece is the slim "floating" center stack, which is suspended between the console and the dash. Pretty much everything about the S40's interior design is a direct challenge to the relatively austere interiors found in competing models. The R-Design in particular features snazzy two-tone seats and blue-faced gauges. It certainly looks cool, but calling it "luxurious" might be a stretch.

Fortunately, function lies behind the V50's impressive form. Most of the controls are straightforward to operate (the navigation system being the major exception) and the ergonomically designed seats are extraordinarily comfortable and supportive. The rear seat folds 60/40 to reveal a maximum cargo capacity of 63 cubic feet, just a shade less than the Jetta wagon's rear cargo hold.

Driving Impressions

The base five-cylinder engine provides acceleration that's only slightly sprightlier than your typical four-cylinder family sedan. The turbocharged-5 is far superior, though its turbo nature makes it a little sluggish off the line. On curvy roads, the V50 is stable and confidence-inspiring. However, real driving enthusiasts will find the Audi A4 Avant or BMW 3 Series more to their liking.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Correction of husband's review

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

I have just become aware that on 4-14-10, "Tom" offered a review of our 2009 Volvo V50 T5 Awd R design 4dr wagon. We have previously owned 5 Volvo wagons since l971, each of which was "my" car,and our adult children have had six Volvos. Tom's criticism of my V50 was a little harsh, and unfair to compare it to our larger, more substantial wagons, the last of which was traded in on the V50 simply to reduce the turning circle from 43'+ to 35'+. The keyless entry has caused hassle and extra expense. Volvo recently changed the cap for driver's door..... let's hope it works!!

Nuisance problems !!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

The "no key system" has a small cap for driver's door lock. This has fallen off on its own 3 times. $90.00 each time to order, have painted,etc. The front airfoil/dam is too low, rubs on curbs, and is frequently scratched/damaged. $650.00+ to replace. The rear roof tapers down so much that load capacity is severely limited, and this includes large dogs who bump their heads on entry. Mileage is about 20. The manual supports use of 87 Octane and up. We have owned 5 previous Volvo wagons going back to 1971. This vehicle doesn't compete !! Worried for the future of Volvo!!

Why subaru copies volvo!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

This is the main reason Subaru is in existence...to offer a cheaply made alternative to people that can't quite afford a premium European brand. This car has it all! It's equipped with a Haldex AWD system years ahead of the Subaru technology. Lower noise than the subaru. "Safe and Sound" warranty 5 years of cost free ownership is unmatched in the industry! I will only need to pay for tires and gas for 5 years! It is above average in every respect.

Very family friendly

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

I sold my Jeep for a reason of too much as thirsty and bought this V50. Awesome quality! Although it does not have the power and torque feel like the Jeep, it suits the purpose of "utility". I would not complain about the road noise like other reviewers, because it's MUCH less compared to the Jeep. The seats fold flat, even the passenger seat folds down. I carry my 2 kids, plus their bicycles, balls, toys in the back cargo space, and still have space to spare. The car drives smoothly; the audio system is good. It's just perfect for a small family. My only problem is the gas mileage. I have not reached the 31 mpg as the manufacture stated. I averaged about 25-26 mpg in mixed driving.

Pricey but nice

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

V50 R, is my 4th Volvo (still have XC90 and C30, recently traded xc70) First impression is the V5o isn't up t the high standard of the others. I really got the feeling that I was in a rebadged Focus. Funny thing is though this car can grow you on. The comforts are subtle. Performance is great, handling is top notch( unless you hit bumps then you feel the sport suspension) For city driving with the kids it is perfect, neither too small( C30, nor too big XC90) Volvo has switched to this clunky menu/ enter / select / exit audio and phone control system which stinks. Huge distraction which ought not be tried while driving. Odd development for a car that promotes safety. The previous was better

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It's a looker...for a wagon!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volvo V50

I drive it on the Autobahn in Europe, my normal speed...100 - 115 mph. It has plenty of power, comfortable seating, plenty of cargo room...it is what it is...a sportswagon. I purchased a few extras for it that you can't get in the states to include the color. Great experience with Volvo! Nice car! It replaced my 2002 Mini Cooper. I hope to have this Volvo for years to come!

Talk About The 2010 V50

2010 Volvo V50 Discussions See all Started By

I'm looking at a '10 V50 T5 R Design AWD, and am wondering:...

I have at present a 2007 V50 and 2008 S40, both with the same Nav system as the current V70. A lot of folks (mostly reviewers) don't like the Volvo Nav system, as its controls are out of sight behind ...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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