Used Volvo V50 ('04-'12) buying guide
If you need more space than a Ford Focus or VW Golf can offer, the V50’s 417-litre boot could be just what you're looking for. The boot is a practical shape, too, with good access and rear seats that split and fold quickly and easily.
The cabin is comfortable, with plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment for the driver, but you have to put up with a cluttered dashboard that's difficult to navigate while on the move.
Volvo offered 1.6-, 1.8-, 2.0-, 2.4- and 2.5-litre petrol engines, or 1.6-, 2.0- or 2.4-litre diesels. The smaller petrols feel underpowered, while the range-topping 236bhp T5 petrol doesn’t offer enough performance to justify its higher running costs. That said, none of the petrol engines are particularly efficient.
The 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel never feels under strain – even when the V50 is fully loaded – while the 1.6 diesel offers claimed average economy of more than 60mpg in the efficient Drive form.
Entry-level S trim comes with alloy wheels, air-con, all-round electric windows and a CD player. SE gets cruise control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and aluminium pedals. SE Lux adds heated leather seats and bigger alloys, while Sport and R-Design models get 18-inch alloys and a sporty bodykit. For us, mid-range SE cars make the most sense.
There have been a few recalls on the V50, most notably to do with potential fuel leaks leading to a risk of fire, and problems with the windscreen detaching too easily in a collision. There have also been cases of faulty parking brakes and electronic keys refusing to come out of the dashboard.
We found these Volvo V50s on the forecourt:
Volvo V50 2.0D Sport
'08/08, 50,000 miles, £8995
Flemings Specialist Cars Ltd
Volvo V50 2.0D SE
'08/58, 35,000 miles, £10,750
By Rory White