2009 Volvo V50

Find Another Volvo V50
19 CITY / 28 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Standard Bluetooth hands-free phone interface
  • Features of former Select package become standard
  • Standard Sirius satellite radio
  • V50 T5 model discontinued
  • New T5 AWD R-Design model
  • Standard Dynamic Sport Suspension (R-Design model)
  • Standard front fog lights
Volvo offers two station wagons in its 2009 lineup. With the V70 straddling the middle ground between midsize and full-size wagons, consumers who prefer something smaller are directed to the Volvo V50. First sold to North American customers in 2005, the V50 traces its history to the V40, introduced nearly a decade ago. That early wagon was based on the sedan version of the Volvo S40. Similarly, the 2009 V50 is based on the current S40 model sedan. The V50's chassis, engines and drivelines are all shared with the S40.

Model Lineup
The big news in the lineup is the discontinuation of the mid-range T5 model, so 2009 offers only the V50 2.4i, and new V50 T5 AWD R-Design model. The V50 2.4i is offered in front-wheel drive (FWD) trim only. Seats are manually adjustable and upholstered in cloth. (Leather upholstery is optional on all models.) Air conditioning with manual temperature control is standard, as are most powered accessories. The standard audio system is Volvo's Performance Audio System with MP3/WMA/CD functionality and includes a standard 6-disc in-dash CD changer for 2009.

The turbocharged V50 T5 AWD models receive an R-Design moniker for 2009, and include all the design features that go along with the title. Standard are unique R-Design elements like special dash inlays, upholstery with R-Design logos, unique floor mats, sport pedals, sport steering wheel, and a sport body kit with a rear spoiler. The Dynamic Sport Suspension is also standard, as well as heated front seats, aluminum roof rails, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power driver's seat memory feature.

Major options for the 2.4i model include the Climate package with heated front seats, headlamp washers, and rain-sensing wipers. Stand-alone items for the 2.4i include leather seats and Nordic light oak inlays. Other options are metallic paint, a blind-spot information system (BLIS), a navigation system, and high-intensity-discharge headlamps. There is a Dynaudio package for the T5 AWD R-Design model, which features Volvo's uplevel Dynaudio sound system.

The Volvo V50 models are powered by two different 5-cylinder engines. The standard engine on the V50 2.4i is a 2.4-liter rated at 168 hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway. The T5 AWD R-Design has a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine rated at 227 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. Both engine choices are mated to a 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and the V50 is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty.

Standard safety features on the 2009 Volvo V50 include dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, a Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) in the front seats, side-impact air bags, and an inflatable side curtain to protect both rows of outboard passengers. Daytime running lamps, a Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are also standard. Other safety features include Volvo's automatic hazard warning system, which simultaneously activates the hazard lights when the air bags deploy, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system (TPMS).

The Volvo V50 has been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and received a 4-star rating for driver protection in frontal impacts; a 5-star rating for the front passenger in frontal impacts; a 5-star side rating (front and rear); and a 4-star rollover rating. The V50 has yet to be tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Volvo employs high-tensile steel in all of its vehicles. In the V50, four different grades of steel-including ultra-high-strength Boron steel-are used throughout the vehicle. By using different grades, or strengths, of steel in select components, Volvo engineers are able to design a vehicle structure that is progressively stronger as components are located in closer proximity to the passenger compartment, the company claims. The result is a vehicle that has a controlled deformation during a crash-which Volvo says limits the energy transferred to the passengers and reduces the possibility of injury.

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