The more affordable Audi A3 is a closer rival to the V50, but the A3 isn’t as roomy inside and doesn’t have as many of the safety features that are optional in the V50.
The A3 does feature a more fuel-efficient, and surprisingly powerful, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
In its base 2.5i form, the Subaru Impreza is a much more affordable alternative, with standard all-wheel drive and performance from its horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that’s similar to that from the base five in the Volvo.
But the so-called Impreza Wagon is no longer a wagon—it’s a shorter five-door hatchback.
The 9-3 SportCombi, from Sweden’s other car brand, Saab, is perhaps the V50’s most direct rival; compared to the V50, the 9-3 SportCombi doesn't offer any more usable interior space, but it does promise more performance, with a more powerful line of four-cylinder and V-6 turbocharged engines.
And all-wheel drive is now available throughout the 9-3 lineup—as opposed to on a single model as in the V50.
The new VW Jetta Sportwagen is another close competitor; compared to the V50, the Sportwagen also feels very refined inside and has the settled ride of a larger car; the VW also has an interior configuration that feels roomier than that of the V50, although the V50 maintains a more distinctive appearance and feel inside.
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|2009 Volvo V50Browse Used Listings||2009 Audi A3Browse Used Listings||2009 Saab 9-3Browse Used Listings||2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings||2008 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I5||Gas I4||Turbocharged I4||Gas I5||Gas Flat 4-Cyl|
|Small Station Wagon||Small Station Wgn||Compact||Wagon||Sub-Compact|
|4-Door Wagon 2.4L FWD||4-Door HB MT 2.0T FrontTrak PZEV||4-Door Sedan 2.0T Touring||4-Door Manual S PZEV||4-Door Manual i|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|5 Door Wagon||4 Door HB||4 Door Sedan||4 Door||4 Door Sedan|