I have had the SE Lux 1.6 Diesel for about two and half years now from new as a company car, and have just passed 100K miles, so really understand what it is like to live with as as a family estate. The engine really started to loosen up nicely after about 60K and just seems to get stronger. Firstly the economy is very, very good; I am averaging about 59 mpg across the tank and on motorway runs this is usually 62 mpg. However I have to say that taking into account this is only a 1.6D and with such good economy, I am suprised how effortlessly it cruises and seems relatively quick when it's going. The short 1st gear particularly is not great, but factoring in that this car is built for cruising and economy that's nothing too much to worry about. Once it gets going it is very smooth and you soon forget it is only a 1.6D.
The second crucial thing to mention is the comfort which is absolutely fantastic, particularly if like me you do lots of miles. I often have three or four hour trips to do and the car eats the journeys up effortlessly, economically and in great comfort; I cannot speak highly enough about that. Having BMW's and Mercedes before as company cars, for long distance travelling the Volvo beats them hands down.
I also think that whilst the V50 is very 'Volvo like' in its looks, I do think it is stylish and as estates go, looks quite sporty. In terms of what you: leather seats, premium stereo etc; then this is one very good car and one I would highly recommend
Bought this car second hand back in July and have covered 10k miles since. I am very impressed with the car - it looks smart, goes like stink and does very good miles to the gallon (glad I went for the manual over the auto box as better miles to gallon.
I used to own an Alfa 159 Sportwagon before and all I can say is that the Volvo drives like the Alfa should have done. It has great acceleration and the rumble from the exhaust is great
Inside it is very comfortable and oozes quality. The SE model I have has great kit - auto wipers, DAB radio, leather seats etc.
Would strongly recommend this car to all my friends.
I have had my 09 company car (march2009) 2 1/4 years now (at July1011 82 k miles). It has the DSG type autobox and with cruise control is very relaxing to drive. However mpg is very poor and has never increased from new. I do very long mway trips and even in manual mode in 6th, only get 43 pmp which means about 420 miles a trip before tank light is on and 45 litres to fill back up. That is at 70 mph or less!! 150 mile trip at 60mph constant only achieved 47 mpg. Load room is small and needed to remove wheel to get mountain bike in with seats down! Probably going for a passat next due to lower co2 and more room. Great fun to drive though and relaxing. TX fluid had to be renewed at 78k miles as autobox started to change gear all the time even in manual mode. Also fuel tank pickup fell off in tank stranding car. Footnote this diesel will not autobleed if it runs out of fuel and requires garage assistance!
Having owned a current model BMW 3 Series Touring, and also tried the Audi A4 I can only say for the money the Volvo is a far better all round package. I have had a few V50's and they are fun to drive, and doing upwards of 25k miles a year you certainly know the difference between getting out of the Volvo after a long trip and the uncomfortable seats in the BMW. The D4 engine is quite throaty, but not in a bad way, and very quick. Having had a D2 engine previously, for anyone that is more interested in the economy, this was a cracking engine with surprisingly good pull for a 1.6 diesel. I can't speak highly enough of the V50,there are quite a few pre registered examples about which get over the comments about it being expensive, as a pre reg car I certainly couldn't find anything of comparable quality, performance and spec to my D4 R Design for c£20k. In the R design spec it also looks really striking in the Ice White. Volvo dealers are also good, and actually seem to appreciate your business. Before you order your BMW and spend a fortune adding the bits others give as standard try the V50, you won't be dissapointed!
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