NEW FOR 2008:

– New black egg-crate grille and larger logo, new headlamps and lower air intakes, new taillamps and rear bumper
– Redesigned inside door panels, more compact hand brake and improved centre storage compartments
– T5 turbocharged five-cylinder engines receives 9 horsepower boost to 227 hp
– Standard dynamic stability and traction control on all models
– Optional active bi-Xenon headlamps
– Brake lights feature flashing Emergency Brake Lights function
– New features on optional DynAudio stereo package, including Alpine digital amplifier and new speakers
– High Performance and Premium Sound systems add MP3 and WMA format
– All stereo systems include auxiliary audio jack

For 2008, the Volvo V50 wagon receives a mild facelift, with changes to its exterior and interior, and stability and traction control now standard on all models.

A wagon version of the S40 sedan, which also undergoes similar changes for 2008, the V50 is built on a global platform also used by the Mazda3. Models are the 2.4i, with 2.4-litre inline five-cylinder engine, and the T5 and T5 AWD, with 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The 2.4i uses a five-speed manual, while the T5 models use a close-ratio six-speed; both can be optioned to a five-speed automatic with manual shift mode.

Features on the 2.4i include 16- inch steel wheels, manual climate control, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear fog light, T-Tec upholstery, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, mechanical driver’s height adjustment, cruise control, floor mats, outside temperature gauge, intermittent wipers and CD stereo.

The T5 adds 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, front fog lights, power sunroof, leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, aluminum inlays, height-adjustable folding front passenger seat, trip computer and premium audio speaker system.

The T5 AWD adds dynamic chassis tuning.

The V50 handles well, with sharp and responsive steering, and its shifter and clutch are buttery-smooth. Both engines do their job very well, and this is a comfortable model, although interior room can be tight, especially in the footwells, which large-shoed drivers may find cramped. Depending on the model, available options include navigation system, blind spot information system, bi-Xenon headlamps and heated power seats. Prices remain unchanged from 2007.

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