The more affordable Audi A3 is a closer rival to the V50 and includes a more fuel-efficient and surprisingly powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
However, the A3 isn’t as roomy inside; it doesn’t have many of the safety features that are optional in the V50.
Another possibility is the Subaru Impreza; in its base 2.5i form, it’s 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, but the 9-3 SportCombi also has a cramped backseat while not offering the ride refinement and poise of the V50.
All-wheel drive isn’t available on the SportCombi either.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2008 Volvo V50Browse Used Listings||2009 Audi A3Browse Used Listings||2009 Saab 9-3Browse Used Listings||2008 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I5||Gas I4||Turbocharged I4||Gas Flat 4-Cyl|
|Small Station Wagon||Small Station Wgn||Compact||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 i|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|5 Door Wagon||4 Door HB||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2008 Volvo V50 vs. 2009 Audi A3||2008 Volvo V50 vs. 2009 Saab 9-3||2008 Volvo V50 vs. 2008 Subaru Impreza|