Fresh and modern at its 2004 introduction, the 2008 Volvo V50 welcomes exterior and interior tweaks to keep it competitive and address some niggles with the interior.
With an exterior described by Car and Driver as “athletic, highlighted by short overhangs and bulging fenders,” Volvo adds, according to Cars.com, a “V-shaped hood bulge [that] runs into a more sculpted nose” and a broader lower air intake for the 2008 model year. Further exterior changes include a Volvo logo 50 percent bigger than before, high-intensity LED rear lights, and restyled front projector beam headlights.
Inside, the V50 provides a functional, cool place to work its controls. Kelley Blue Book says the V50’s interior is “Scandinavian in nature” and that it must surely “qualify as no-frills.” The interior retains “the button-and-knob-infused stack” that “isn't immediately intuitive,” according to Car and Driver, but Volvo has made numerous changes in response to complaints. Chief among the changes are additional storage cubbies for “more storage space in the doors and the center console,” Motor Trend says. Cars.com adds that “the center armrest is modified for greater comfort, and the handbrake handle is smaller and less intrusive.” Of the V50’s tailgate, Automobile feels that its “V70-like tailgate,” a standard clamshell design, is “a shame--designers should have gone with a wackier C30-like butt.”