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2011 Volvo V50 Review

Reviewers agreed the 2011 Volvo V50 was a respectable pick among wagons in terms of performance and interior quality, but believed there were better choices among its competitors that have smoother rides and more cargo space.

Pros & Cons

  • Lively turbocharged engine
  • Available integrated booster seats
  • Rough suspension
  • Smaller-than-average cargo space
  • Short list of standard features

New for 2011

  • AWD no longer available
  • New base trim with turbocharged engine
  • Manual transmission no longer offered

Rankings & Research

The 2011 Volvo V50's #8 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Wagons category. Currently the Volvo V50 has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Volvo V50 Overview

In 2011, Volvo retired the 2010 V50's manual transmission, all-wheel drive and five-cylinder engine. Test drivers said the front-wheel drive, turbocharged five-cylinder V50 was quite lively and powerful, but some said the engine was too loud for their liking. The turbocharged engine averages 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is fairly low compared with the class average. Critics reported the suspension on the V50 made for a rough ride, but steering and braking were adequate.

Reviewers said that the V50 has a stylish and comfortable interior. They thought the front and rear seats were comfortable for most adults, but reviewers also said the V50 is on the narrow side. There’s 27.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, which is less than the cargo space in many of the V50's classmates. Standard features were limited on the V50, but they include a power driver seat with memory, heated mirrors, HD Radio and auxiliary and USB inputs. There was a long list of available features when the vehicle was new, including heated front seats, a sunroof, keyless start, leather upholstery, rain-sensing windshield wipers, integrated child booster seats, a 12-speaker premium sound system, rear park assist and a navigation system.

The V50 did not get crash tested by NHTSA or the IIHS, but it did come with standard safety features like traction and stability control and brake assist.

See the full 2011 Volvo V50 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen with its base five-cylinder engine and available diesel engine has the highest fuel economy ratings in its class at 24/31 mpg and 29/39 mpg, respectively. The Jetta SportWagen also has more cargo space than the V50.

The 2011 Subaru Outback has a large cargo area and standard all-wheel drive, which the 2011 V50 doesn't offer. Reviewers were impressed with the Outback’s suspension and handling.

Compare the V50 to the Jetta SportWagen and Outback »

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