From sedate to ferocious, comforting to kidney-jarring, performance reviews of the 2009 Volvo V50 are all over the map.
Opinions regarding the Volvo V50’s 2.4-liter inline five-cylinder engine, which registers 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet, range from “perfectly adequate” (Edmunds) to “unimpressive, especially up long grades” (ConsumerGuide).
The optional 2.5-liter turbo in the T5 increases horsepower to 227, but perhaps even more significant, its 236 pound-feet of torque is available beginning at 1,500 rpm, allowing, says Car and Driver, impressive “launches off the line” and great highway passing, all with “no noticeable turbo lag.” Kelley Blue Book feels the “turbocharged engine brings the little V50 to life.”
The base engine still has a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic, but “the Geartronic manual shift mode is not as quick nor as fun to drive as the discontinued six-speed manual,” declares Edmunds. “Go easy on it and the stick can be slid from gear to gear with barely two fingers,” remarks Kelley Blue Book reflecting general praise for the manual transmission. Of the automatic, they feel it “seemed to work quite well.”
The stiffly sprung sports suspension, standard on the T5 AWD and included with the Sports Package, “makes for an uncomfortably stiff ride,” discloses ConsumerGuide. Car and Driver hails the base suspension’s “firm ride that manages to be both comfortable and compliant.” Cars.com agrees: “curves produce only modest body lean, and the sedan corners crisply.” Edmunds concludes, “most drivers would be more content with the standard setup as it offers a more livable compromise between performance and comfort.” Of note is the electro-hydraulically assisted power steering standard across the board. It's a willing ally with the V50’s responsive chassis, one that Edmunds says provides “high-speed confidence and low-speed ease.” “Just the right amount of effort,” agrees Road & Track.