NEW FOR 2009:

– New R-Design option package
– Standard 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, front fog lights and wheel-mounted audio controls on 2.4i
– Standard heated front seats and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity on T5
– Optional Bluetooth on 2.4i
– New larger rear logo emblem
– Updates to optional navigation system
– 2.4i Premium Package adds auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, garage door opener and trip computer with fuel economy readout.

For 2009, the Volvo V50 wagon receives new standard and optional equipment, including an R-Design Package that adds 17-inch alloy wheels, dual Xenon Active Bending Headlights, skirt kit, rear spoiler, chrome mirror caps, sport instrument dials, aluminum inlays, sport pedals, two-stone sport seats with power driver’s adjustment, R-Design emblems and cargo cover, and on the T5, a power passenger seat. The optional Navigation System with Real Time Traffic, Remote Control and Map Care receives updates that will offer more scrolling and viewing features and, in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and in Vancouver in late 2008, the system will be better able to avoid traffic by customizing the drive route around known obstructions that have been digitally transferred to the system’s receiver.

The wagon version of the S40 and C30, the V50 is available as the 2.4i, with 2.4-litre five-cylinder engine, and as the T5, with 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The 2.4i bases with a five-speed manual transmission, the T5 with a six-speed manual; both can be optioned to a five-speed automatic with manual shift mode. The 2.4i is strictly front-wheel drive, while the T5 can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive.

Features on the 2.4i include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, "comfort chassis" suspension, front and rear fog lights, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, T-Tec upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, heated front seats, cruise control, illuminated vanity mirrors, outside temperature gauge, auto up/down on all windows, tilt and telescopic wheel with audio controls, variable intermittent wipers, and CD stereo.

The T5 adds dual-zone automatic climate control, sunroof, three-spoke leather-wrapped wheel, aluminum inlays, folding front passenger seat, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, trip computer, and high-performance sound system.

The T5 AWD adds "dynamic chassis" suspension tuning.

With responsive steering, a buttery-smooth clutch and shifter and comprehensive list of standard features, the V50 offers good performance in a surprisingly uncluttered segment, the compact station wagon. Both engines do their job very well, and the T5 offers the further enhancement of all-wheel drive. The interiors are comfortable, but passenger room can be tight, and large-shoed drivers may find the foot wells are cramped. Depending on the model, available options include navigation systems, Blind Spot Information System, bi-Xenon headlamps and upgraded stereo.

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