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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
“As stock decks go, Volvo’s are better than average”
“Simple, clever, practical, handsome, Swedish.”
“popular options are mostly bundled into packages”
Kelley Blue Book
Says Kelley Blue Book, “even in the base 2.4i trim, [the Volvo V50] features air conditioning, side-curtain airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), an engine immobilizer, traction control, rear fog lamp, keyless remote entry, heated power mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, a single CD player and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.”
Autoblog describes Volvo’s Dynamic Trim package as “a $1,895 bundle of body kit baubles we would normally forego.” It incorporates front and rear spoilers, rear valance panel, side sills, and lower moldings at the doors’ edges. Kelley Blue Book mentions that “popular options are mostly bundled into packages,” such as the Climate Package and Select Package. Stand-alone options include leather seating (2.4i), the Blind Spot Information System, and the five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission (2.4i). The T5 offers active bi-xenon headlamps, a sport steering wheel, sport suspension, 17-inch "Zaurak" wheels, navigation, and Volvo's Keyless Drive remote start system.
The biggest changes for technogeeks and audiophiles seem to center around the updated--and iconic--floating Volvo center stack, which can now be ordered in Nordic Light Oak or Virtual White (think Steve Jobs). The Auto Channel mentions “more dynamically styled instrument panels for the T5 model, Dynaudio speakers for the Premium Sound system, a new hard drive-based RTI road traffic information and satellite navigation system and a redesigned remote key fob with Auto Open and Auto Close for all side windows and sunroof.”
Navigation is standard on T5 models but not available on the 2.4i. Bluetooth is standard across the board. But inherent in the Volvo’s unique center panel design is the inability to upgrade to an aftermarket radio. Of the optional Dynaudio stereo, Jalopnik warns, “Don’t expect bass-thumping demonstrativeness…it’s strictly about midrange clarity.”
The 2008 Volvo V50 offers brilliant audio systems, navigation, and other technophile features—but you better be happy with the factory sound.