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The editors of TheCarConnection.com have driven the new Volvo S40 and V50 and present their expert opinion here, along with a comparison to other choices. TheCarConnection.com’s auto experts have also researched available road tests on the new Volvo S40 and V50 to produce this conclusive review and help you make sense of differing accounts.
- Large-car refinement combined with compact-car efficiency
- Maneuverable around town
- Comfy upmarket cabin
- Strong safety credentials
- Harsh ride (T5)
- Pricey options list
- Lethargic base engine
- Average safety scorecard
The S40 sedan and V50 wagon manage to straddle the line between fuel efficiency, refinement, luxury, and sportiness in a package that doesn't betray Volvo's traditional standards of practicality and safety. On offer for 2010 are a base 2.4i model and high-performance T5, both of which come with a host of upgrades for the latest model year.
The two engines offered with the S40 and V50 are worlds apart in terms of performance. The turbocharged, higher-powered T5 models get a 2.5-liter inline-five, which functions well with either the five-speed automatic or six-speed manual. The engine is rated at 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and is available with either front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. The base 2.4i model comes with a 2.4-liter inline five-cylinder engine making 168 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque; though not winning any awards for acceleration, it can be rather fun with the either the manual or automatic.
The 2010 Volvo S40 and V50, while offering the feel and stability of a larger German thoroughbred, are very compact and easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Handling along country roads and high-speed cruising are especially fun in the T5 variant, with the S40 and V50 offering more enjoyment than the larger Volvo models. Considering it falls into the same category as other small sedans, road noise is negligible, though at lower speeds the ride isn't the most rewarding. The available Haldex all-wheel-drive system is electronically controlled and works on an instant of slippage at the front wheels before torque is sent to the rear. It does prove its worth on wet or slippery roads.