A competent chassis, refined controls and enough grunt from the Ford diesel power plant makes this small Volvo a pleasure to drive.
The only downside is the cost - is there such a difference between the V50 and the Focus estate to justify the difference in price?
I have had the car 6 months and have covered over 15,000mls. In that time it has been back to the Volvo dealership in excess of eight times.
It has also failed to start on a number of occasions. It is all down to the 'communications package' fitted which includes Satellite Navigation, Integrated GSM telephone and Volvo's On - Call plus system. I am now on my 4th Volvo 'downloadable fix'! and to top it all I have had to have the o/s rear wheel bearings changed.
I am presently handing over the legalities of compensation to my solicitor. Not good for a vehicle manufacturer noted for its 'quality and reliability'.
New car on long term hire - wind noise around the driver's door is intrusive. The diesel is not as quiet as that in the Vectra or Passat. Gear selection isn't that easy - quite often selection lead to stalling. The cabin is top-notch.
The car has now covered 4000 miles with no problems apart from a creak on the driver's seat.
The diesel engine gives about 45mpg involving mostly fast motorway driving and is very subdued in top gear but with plenty of torque for safe overtaking.
The ride is comfortable for a car on 17-inch wheels and whilst it does roll a bit, once settled into a corner, it remains nicely stable.
The quality of the cabin is very good, feels like it will last a long time - as does the rest of the car, and the mimimalist design is very pleasing to the eye. Volvo appears to have done a lot of work in making the cabin a relaxing place to be and it works. A second look is required for some buttons but as quite a lot of the car's features are automatic, it doesn't require much thinking to drive it long distances.
The seats are great, offering a large range of adjustments. There is a lack of oddment storage in the cabin but it may be that Volvo designed this out to leave a lot of crush areas around the occupants. You certainly notice that there is a lot of room around the seats.
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