My Volvo has broken down seven times in 9000 miles in 5 months.
Just dont know when its going to die again. As there are so few on the road, does everyone else know something I don't?
I have spent 12 months detailed analysis of Whatcar reviews and reports combined with test drives of relevant vehicles with the intention of arranging a company lease vehicle over 3 years.
I have selected the V50 2 litre D SE as it is a very favourable cost on company lease plan and company car tax, has great fuel economy, and is a delight to drive with superb build quality. It was the only vehicle that I went back for several test drives and the Volvo dealership couldn't have been more accomodating. A good sign I hope for a helpful and friendly relationship into the future (servicing etc.)
I have ordered one in light blue and it is due for delivery mid March '05 - the delivery date is due to my request for a range of additional "extras" such as a sun roof. I can hardly wait.
The drive is surprisingly reassuring and the car grips well in corners and in the wet with stiff suspension and a solid chassis.
The model takes Volvo on to a more premium level. Every aspiring exec has an Audi or a BMW so dare to be different!!
The cabin is excellent - well presented dials and driving position. The stereo is fab and the quality of materials used and build are close to that of BMW and Audi. Lavish equipment levels.
The 2.0-litre diesel is excellent - very responsive and great mid-range pulling power.
On a improvement front - The car is OK on fuel but not as great as I would have expected for a 2.0 litre diesel (I average 45mpg on the motorway and 33mpg in town).
The inside storage is let down by a miniscule glove box and very little storage, in which Volvo usually excels.
Overall, though, I feel very relaxed and comfortable cruising the country in this car. It still has a novelty factor and at circa £4000 less than an equivalent equipped A4 and 3 series it is great value and deals can be done. I know my car was around £19,000 with a list price of circa £21,000.
My advice is if you want to stand out from the crowd, do not care about preconceptions of motor brands and you have a little steel in the bones - go ahead be different, be brave and drive a V50!
I bought my V50 T5 SE back in July as an ex-demo with 1,500 miles on the clock.
The Volvo 'experience' is definitely the most enjoyable of the three cars I have had over the last three-four years (the Volvo, Audi A4 Avant, Saab 9-3). The combination of the torquey 5th and 6th gears and the excellent handling and grip of the car make country road jaunts a real joy. The accleration, which from standstill is pretty rapid, is great to rid yourself of the usual BMW 3 series-driving idiot from your tail.
The icing on the the cake, however, is definitely its drive on the dual carriageway/motorway (hence its 5 points for its on-the-road score); it just glides along on a real quality ride (no bounce like the A4) and has real firm, reassuring steering feel (so often cars' steering have absolutely no feel at motorway speeds).
I read a review of its ride quality, prior to purchase, describing the ride as jittery which is simply untrue. I have averaged 33.4 mpg which for a 2.5 Turbo petrol engine is excellent.
What's bad about the car? Well, only the biting point of the clutch which takes quite a lot of getting used to and some of the buttons on the centre console are a bit small. Apart from that, nothing.
The car has been a reliable and comfortable (I am 6ft 4) companion over the last 6 months and I would recommend one to anyone.
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