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Confident, Safe, Comfortable and Good-Looking Mid-Sized Wagon by An MSN Autos Consumer on 08/19/2008. Trim: 2008 Volvo V50 T5 AWD, Owned less than 1 year.
Pros: Styling, rarity, and claim to a new prestige that didn't seem so obvious in older Volvos. The exterior is a huge improvement over previous models, but still lacking a little. The interior, more importantly, is wonderful. It's wonderfully comfortable, all the controls you need are easily accessible, and the amenities will be hard to live without in the future. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with cruise control should have no problem with the so-called "cryptic" controls on this model. I also don't notice anything particularly out of the ordinary about drive noise, except at effortlessly achieved speeds of 100-120 mph, at which stability and braking also remain wholly intact.
Cons: Storage space in the rear is sufficient but seems limited by the body's avoidance of the exhaust and spare tire. Have had minor issues with the car that might lead to a future diagnosis of a chassis problem. Seats fold down wonderfully to accomodate long/large loads, but it's not as easy as push-the-button-and-fold-it-down. Rear seats are admittedly a bit cramped, but only if the driver and front passenger are overly tall. The car is extraordinarily heavy - a trade-off for the incomparable sense of safety it instills. After initial service (7500 miles) and four other out-patient procedures, trust in the dealer is still a question, though I wouldn't yet say that I'm disappointed.
Overall review: What you see is what you get (and I mean that in a good way). It seems nothing on this car is there only to impress. Everything seems to have a purpose. It feels very safe and handles confidently. Braking, acceleration and stability are surprisingly reassuring and altogether wonderful. It's not a sports car, but it has what it needs to handle just about anything you'd ask of it, in spite of its weight. Good but not great use of interior space leaves little to be desired. Premium package and climate package are highly recommended. Also, the integrated child seats are not just for hype - they're an incredible asset that are more than worth the price. All in all a great value for a true quality car without a hint of cheap about it.
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