I have an 04 V40 with 70K miles and have had exactly 1 mechanical (one of the tumblers on the ignition lock failed). The V40 was a Mitsubishi joint venture and that car feels more Japanese than the V50. The V50 is bigger, heavier, roomier, safer, more powerful and gets about the same mpg's. Both cars have an elegant simplicity to them. The V50 is understated and easy to live with. If I drive slow I average 25 mpg with a mix of highway and around town. If you need power its there. The 5 cylinder turbo has been in production for years and should be reliable. 5 years 60K mile bumper to bumper warranty and free maintenance is unmatched. Like all Volvo's = many safety features.
Well in a little over a year and I'm done with this car. The quality is just not there for the money. Things break inside and out. Examples: The plastic cap on the e-brake pops off and is now floating around the car; the rear tow hook bumper plug broke and fell out, so thats now missing; the front seat covers on the back that are roll under and clipped in pop off and are lose. The engine is loud... almost sounds broken. The brakes give off sooooo much dust if you don't wash the wheels twice a week in a month they'll be black. The tires that came stock, out of a list of 30 different tires are number 27... almost the worst you can get. Not exactly Safe+Sound!!! Snow tire are a must!!!
Owned v50 for over a year. Styling is excellent. After a year, still like looking at the car. The interior is unequaled in this class, high-end minimalism, nothing annoying visually. Power is not one horsepower more or less than 'average'. Wish it had 5 more horses at least, but not bad. Disappointing mileage--18-19 city, and maybe 22 highway. Should be better! The handling is so-so. The suspension takes bumps fairly hard, and feels 'rough' on dips and larger bumps or road imperfections. Just stable enough. Feels European, in a good, but not great way. Good utility. Good space. Visibility is compromised by FAT pillars. Overall, recommend this car. But... don't love it really.
Irecently picked up my car at the factory in Gothenburg, Sweden, and cannot say enough for the quality of that experience alone. Volvo goes all out to take care of every detail. This is my second time signing for the car in Sweden. My 2nd experience was as flawless as the 1st. Now to the car..WOW! A beautifully built car, wonderful to drive even on the snowy streets and freeways of Europe in a major snowstorm. I kept up with the best of the experienced drivers on the "fast" Autobahn in Hamburg, Germany. I bought the R design and it is stunning, inside and out. Try the overseas program Volvo offers, it truly is the best in the world. Now, about the local dealership in Monterey, CA.. The best!