V50 2.4: A Beautiful, Smart & Compact Estate by Volvo + Virtual Mod

Published on July 21st, 2009

The Volvo V50 2.4 Estate in my humble opinion is one of the most beautiful cars to be found on our roads, which were once regarded as one of the best roads in South-East Asia, so much so local road contractors were once engaged for the construction of new roads and the upgrading of existing ones in the biggest democratic country in the world, India.

Back to focus, the V50 2.4 not only looks good from the outside, it also looks deceivingly good on the inside as well. Some might be of the opinion that there is nothing much to shout about the V50 2.4’s interior as it seems rather simple and somewhat bland. Upon closer inspection of the cabin, the first thing to stand out will be the space-age design centre console, and this alone is enough to dispel simplicity and blandness from its cabin.

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The centre console is simply stylish, it is wafer-thin, comparable to that of a sheet, and it cascades from the dash to the floor. On it are the controls for almost every function in this estate. Its design ingenuity makes one forget about the rest of the car, be it good or bad.

Another positive aspect of the V50’s interior are the comfortable and classy, plush leather seats. From previous experiences with other current Volvo models, it must be said that Volvo seats are one of the most comfortable and relaxing seats to be sat on and enjoyed. Being in the driver’s seat more often than not, it cushions and provides sufficient lateral support which added to the overall pleasure of driving the V50 2.4, be it over short or long distances, through smooth or irritatingly uneven and pothole-laden roads.

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In addition to providing occupants with plenty of cranial and limb space, the V50 2.4 is capable of hauling items larger than its compact wagon tag would suggest, all thanks to a maximum cargo capacity of 42.6 cubic feet.

Looks? At first glance many will agree that it is one of the most beautiful estates to have been produced by the currently Ford-owned Swedish carmaker.

Beyond the smooth flowing lines and curves, as well as somewhat muscular stance (a safety based design cue where the car is wide to provide better side protection), that bellies its compact wagon tag, it has a slightly puffy front end because the nose has been designed to be impact-friendly towards pedestrians and even cyclists, and the bonnet is raised to give it a spring-like effect should it come into contact with any part of a pedestrian’s physical anatomy.

The V50 is powered by a normally-aspirated 2.4-litre, inline five-cylinder engine. This Swedish beauty pushes out a respectable 170hp coupled with a load-lugging sufficient 230Nm of torque in its naturally aspirated set-up.

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Power delivery from this Volvo compact is slightly sedate, as it lacks the punch and panache of the V50 T5’s force-fed engine performance, but this 2.4-Litre engine compensates for its lack of punch with superior operating refinement and rather low noise level. The century sprint of 0 to 100kmh for the V50 2.4 has been clocked in Usain Bolt’s territory of slightly under nine seconds.

The smooth power delivery from under the front bonnet of the V50 was made all the better thanks to the flawlessly performing five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, which shifted from gear to gear with smooth precision and ease.

The V50 is propelled by its front wheels, which can be kept in check with Volvo’s Stability Traction Control (STC) system. It struck a pleasant balance between taut handling and ride comfort. Overall, the V50 2.4 was expectedly well-balanced and predictable when put through sudden difficult or emergency driving maneuvers.

The driving experience of the V50 2.4 is to be enjoyed and not to be pushed and tested to its limits. It has to be noted and remembered that the V50 2.4 is a comfortable and space-friendly compact wagon that is a pleasure to drive or be driven in. However, because it is somewhat based on the new-generation Ford Focus, we felt that the suspension could be tweaked further for much better balance and the steering, although weighted, lacks a sharper feel and response to it.

The V50 makes quite a lot of sense functioning as a family mover or soccer-mom-mobile. Safety has long been Volvo’s pillar of strength and brand trademark. To maximize occupant safety, The V50’s chassis and shell have crumple zones that are divided by using different grades of high-strength steel. A smart design cue that doubles up as a safety measure and precaution is the placement of the ignition key. The ignition key has been moved to the dashboard, next to the center aircond vent so that it will not hurt the driver’s knee in the event of a collision.

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Its impressive and expected array of protection(it’s a Volvo for God’s sake!) also includes adaptive driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side-airbags and side-curtain airbags that are safely effective for both front and rear seat passengers. In addition to three-point pre-tensioning seatbelts at all seating positions (a world’s first that was introduced by Volvo), the V50 is equipped with Volvos Whiplash Protection System, which cradles the head and spine in a controlled manner in the unwarranted event of the car being rammed or hit from behind. Braking and emergency braking are one of the strong points of the V50 as it comes with gripping and powerful four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Volvo has reinforced the effectiveness of the V50’s brakes by providing Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) as standard equipment.

Standard equipment is something the V50 2.4i is not shy of. Volvo has heavily laden its entry-level compact wagon with plenty of what drivers will most definitely be pleased to expect in the V50’s price range. Standard equipment includes cruise control, delayed lighting, air conditioning with electronic climate control (ECC), Approach and Homesafe lights, AM/FM 6-CD in dash CD changer with eight-speaker audio with 4x40W amplifier, Interior Air Quality System (IAQS), power windows with auto-up and down, Power front seats (memory for Driver), foldable rear seats with two split (60/40), power locks, Volvo Guard Alarm System and electronic key with electronic immobilization. If the comforts of leather upholstery and premium sound are prerequisites to Volvo ownership, then getting the V50 2.4 is just a matter of placing one’s order.

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Air-freshners are not necessary in the cabin of the V50 2.4 as its air-conditioning system is somewhat revolutionary, with automated aromatherapy in the form of the IAQS, which removes nasty smells in order to deliver fresh air to the occupants lungs and nostrils.
Volvo’s designers did not stop here with their innovative ideas, thoughts and designs as they went the extra mile and length to ensure the car is allergic-friendly by having the seats and carpets made from hypoallergenic materials that won’t give an occupant or passenger asthma, eczema or any kind of attack or allergy.

Beneath this beauty of a compact wagon is a smartly designed car that is an astonishing demonstration of Volvo’s attention to detail.

After living with the V50 on a day to day basis for a couple of days, I could not help but get the feeling that Volvo deserves a well-earned pat on the back for this attractive compact wagon as it is head and shoulders better than the predecessor models.

Complementing the V50’s high level of passenger comfort is the absence of road noise. This is one very quiet compact wagon, although wind rush becomes evident as highway speeds are easily and unnoticeably surpassed, the wind rush can be considered to be an audible warning of sorts.

The engine was able to deliver sufficient power under various different driving conditions and needs, whilst being welcomingly quite refined compared to other compact wagons of other makes. The V50 2.4 can ferry a family of five and more around in enjoyable comfort, it is a relaxing joy to drive, and it is classy and good-looking when compared to its rivals, making its rivals look rather bland, and in some cases, boring even. With the V50 2.4, Volvo has successfully made a car that encompasses such valued and appreciative traits such as practicality, comfort, safety, and last but not least, refinement.

To be put simply, our verdict on the V50 2.4 is that it is an enjoyably satisfying compact wagon. It delivered refinement beyond our expectations, although a little more power from the normally aspirated five cylinder twenty-valve powerplant tucked neatly under the front bonnet, without paying the extra couple of thousand Ringgit for the range-topping V50 T5, would make this attractively functional compact wagon an almost perfect compact wagon.

For further enquiries and more information on the Volvo V50 2.4 compact wagon, log on to Volvo.

text: Azdee Simon  pix: Azdee Simon & Dinesh Appavu

Tech Spec:

Engine: 2435cc inline-five

Max Power: 170hp @ 6000rpm

Max Torque: 230Nm @ 44oorpm

Max Speed: 215km/h

0-100km/h: Slightly under 9 seconds

Wheels & Tyres: OEM 16”inch Volvo ‘Ceryx’ alloy wheels wrapped with Continental 205/55 R16 tyres

Safety Features: Dual Stage driver and front passenger airbags

Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)

Inflatable Curtains (IC)

Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), with

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Stability & Traction Control (STC)

Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)

Seat belt pretensioners, front/rear & outer positions

Power child lock rear doors

Park Assist, rear

Price: RM185,950.00 (w/out insurance)

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDvT0t6mf78 /]

Comments

  1. Posted by Eric Hundin on July 21st, 2009, 00:48

    I found your blog on MSN Search. Nice writing. I will check back to read more.

    Eric Hundin

  2. Posted by Paul Tan on July 21st, 2009, 04:00

    Nice that you guys are back, I still have a few copies of Traffic in my room. Your office used to be pretty near my house near the Nelly mamak, could always see your pimped out Proton Arena on the way out to work.

  3. Posted by Traffic Mag on July 21st, 2009, 17:46

    thanks for being a supporter paul. really appreciate it. our new office is in wangsa maju. less jam and no parking space during office hour too!

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