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2008 Volvo V50 Specs and Review

V50 is a fully modern Sportswagon. Stylish and dynamic with a simple Scandinavian style, yet worth versatile and great compared to many other premium brands, this product appeals to customers who need Sportswagon to improve their active lives. Manufactured at the Volvo plant in Ghent, Belgium.

directly known as a member of the modern Volvo family, this Sportswagon confirms its own strong identity. Viewed from above, the Volvo V50 has a boat shape with a curved front tapered backwards, and this, coupled with cabin-advanced proportions, helps to emphasize sports aspirations. While the rear lights are stacked and almost vertical back doors are known, this car has a back that is softer and more sculpted than a more traditional estate.

Inspired by the classic Scandinavian design themes and high-tech electrical equipment, the interior has a layered construction that focuses on a unique, ultra-slim and free-floating center stack. It holds controls for the audio system and climate control, and includes a display for the system menu that allows the driver to personalize preferences for locking / unlocking doors, and audio settings, etc.

The Volvo V50 is 46mm longer than the Volvo S40 saloon, with an overall length of 4522mm. With a height of 1457mm and a width of 1770mm (not including wing mirrors), sitting on a 2640mm wheelbase, it offers a spacious cabin environment of up to five adults. With the rear seats in place, there is a generous 417 liter cargo space and this can be extended to a maximum of 1307 liters by folding the split / folding rear seats flat. The front front passenger seat is also folded forward to allow for extra long loads.

For the 2009 Model Year, the Volvo V50 benefits from a wider and wider exterior emblem on the boot lid so that the Volvo brand is more easily recognized from a distance. The car underwent several more changes in the 2008 Model Year where it moved closer to the Volvo V70 plantation, with a new grille and a more sporty headlamp layout and distinctive three-front air intake and features a Volvo and Volvo chrome-plated grille. bigger badge. The unique rear style of the Volvo V50 benefits from a slimmer tail light unit equipped with LED brake lights, adding to the shoulder of the car. New boot handles, bumpers are restyled, and a revised pair of exhaust pipes complete the look. The framed back door and side frames also underline the visual changes between the old and new Sportswagon models.

Volvo designers and engineers also provide a comprehensive V50 revision cabin to add more storage space and bring versatility and enhance interior trim choices. The Volvo iconic ‘floating’ center stack has revised controls and is equipped with a multi-functional tunnel storage area, a more compact handbrake design, and a revised armrest that is longer and farther forward for greater driver comfort. It can also flip 180 degrees to act as a useful table for rear passengers. In addition to the redesigned cup holder, there is now a much larger storage area under the armrest, while the bottom of the front door inside the panel has been redesigned to accommodate larger items. The auxiliary input for the audio system has been repositioned under the armrest and is now standard throughout the range, while the roll-top cover for the central storage area provides higher security.

Volvo V50 is attractive to younger and professional people. His most obvious rivals are other premium brand compact estates, such as the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3-series Touring. They are attracted by the combination of style and design, the practicality of the Volvo V50, and most importantly, the quality of premium brands.

Design concept

The Volvo V50 is Sportswagon – a sporty, dynamic, five-door car with a smart modern design. The back of the Volvo V50 Sportswagon has a softer design, is more sport-oriented than a typical Volvo estate, like the Volvo V70. This effect is also enhanced by a soft round nose, short hood and cabin-forward design. Chrome grille provides design links to the larger Volvo V70 plantations.

Designed by a talented and multi-cultural Volvo design team in Gothenburg, Barcelona and California, V50 captures Volvo’s premium values ​​in a more compact package. The results were immediately recognizable as members of the modern Volvo family, but also confirmed their own distinct identities and brought the language of Volvo design in a new direction.

The Volvo V50 2mm is shorter than its predecessor, the Volvo V40, but the 63mm front track is longer, while the wheelbase is 78mm longer. The wheels are pushed out into every corner, which benefits the style, interior packaging and dynamic stability of the car.

Viewed from above, the body resembles the shape of a hull, with a round bow, a broad midship section and a narrowed stern. “We want it to look sturdy and efficient, which is why it has a boat shape,” explained a Volvo designer.

In combination with the familiar Volvo wide shoulder line, this ‘boat shape’ promotes the impression of strength and dynamism and contributes to Volvo V50’s fine aerodynamics: the drag coefficient is Cd 0.31.

Customers who want to emphasize their Volvo V50 sports credentials are offered a choice of R-Design Sport models and R-Design SE Sport with a fully integrated bodykit including front and rear spoilers, side skirts and rear roof spoilers, all of which are painted to match the car’s color.

Driving Dynamics: Engine

The new Volvo V50 Sportswagon is available with eight modern engines, including three diesel engines, which reflect its role as a premium alternative. Two engines joined the range for 2007: 145 PS 2.0 liter gasoline and 180 PS D5 turbodiesel. Lining next to it is a five-cylinder, transversely mounted engine that is refined: 230 PS, 2.5-liter T5. Then there is the 125 PS 1.8 liter gasoline unit and turbodiesel 136 PS 2.0 liter, which has second generation common-rail technology and a lot of torque, and is compatible with Euro IV – good news for car drivers who are aware of tax and environment. The environmentally friendly 1.8 Flexifuel engine also joined in the span of 2007 along with a 100 PS 1.6 entry-level gasoline engine and 109 PS 1.6 which lowered the entry level price.

2.0 and D5

Two engines joined the Volvo V50 lineup for the 2007 model: 145 PS gasoline engine, four cylinder, 2.0 liter with manual transmission and 2.4 liters, 180 PS, five cylinder D5 turbodiesel.

The 2.0-liter gasoline produces smooth performance (0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds) along with respectable fuel savings (combined figure of 38.2mpg), maximum speed of 130mph and CO2 emissions of 176g / km.

The D5 is familiar with its use on the Volvo V70 and the rest of the Volvo range (a slight decrease in power here is a result of limited cooling capacity permitted by the smaller front area of ​​Volvo V50). Available in the R-Design Sport, SE, SE Lux and R-Design SE Sport versions, the D5 has a six-speed manual gearbox, Geartronic transmission is available as an option, and provides excellent performance with 180 PS, 350Nm torque, 0-60mph possible in 7.6 seconds, emissions of 166 g / km and a maximum of 55.4 mpg in the extra-urban cycle.


The five cylinder gasoline power plant is based on the low friction unit found in the larger Volvo, but is revised and extensively repackaged for installation on Volvo V50. The latest generation is called RNC, with ‘C’ indicating the Compact.

The 2.5-liter T5 is available with an optional five-speed Geartronic transmission and offers four valves per cylinder and dual camshaft, along with CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing), to maximize torque at low engine speeds and to reduce exhaust emissions.

The superior performance of the Volvo V50 range is T5 2521cc. Equipped with a lightweight turbo pressure, it produces 230 PS of power at 5000rpm and emissions of 208 g / km. The available 320Nm peak torque output starts from 1500-5000rpm, proving that top-end boosts need not be achieved at the expense of mid-range flexibility. Manual rocket T5 from 0-60mph in only 6.4 seconds and will reach 149mph. But despite its high performance, it still reaches 32.5mpg which is very good in the combined cycle.


Lining up next to the flagship diesel engine, D5, is 2.0D 1997cc. It features second generation common-rail technology, providing an unbeatable combination of power, refinement and frugality. 2.0D has a maximum power output of 136 PS, while the peak torque of 320Nm is available only 2000rpm; this includes an increase of 0-60mph in 9.0 seconds and reaches 127mph.

But while 2.0D acceleration is like gasoline, the economy underlines the value of diesel power. With this engine, the Volvo V50 Sportswagon produces an incredible average of 48.7 mpg and carbon dioxide emissions of only 153 g / km. This is not only good news for the environment, but also gives the driver a useful tax-saving car tax. The engine complies with Euro IV emission regulations. Volvo Powershift transmission was introduced as an option at 2.0D in early 2008, this six-speed unit has twin wet clutches to provide convenient gear changes from fully automatic transmissions with manual gearbox performance.


Completing the Volvo V50 Sportswagon lineup for now is a 1798cc four-cylinder gasoline engine. Offering 125 PS and 165 Nm of torque, it combines spry performance with a possible 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds, emissions of 174 g / km and a top speed of 124mph.

1.6 and 1.6D

Both offer good performance and economy – and value for money. 1.6 provides 100PS and 150Nm of torque, 0-60mph in 11.4 seconds, 169g / km emissions and 39.8mpg in the combined cycle.

The 1.6-liter turbodiesel also offers strong and flexible performance, with 109 PS and a lot of flexibility provided by 240 Nm of torque from 1,750 rpm. It offers the best fuel consumption of the range, with 65.7mpg recorded in the extra-urban cycle, 56.5mpg in combined and 44.8mpg in urban areas.


The third machine to join the ranks in 2007 was 1.8 Flexifuel. Strengthening Volvo’s longstanding commitment to environmental care, this engine uses renewable E85 bioethanol fuel, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel, emitting up to 80% less carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline. Choosing Volvo V50 Flexifuel can help reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions without sacrificing performance or comfort. Based on the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder normal aspiration engine produces 125 PS, 1.8F runs on E85, fuel consisting of 85% bioethanol and 15% ordinary gasoline. If the E85 is not available, the vehicle can also use unleaded gasoline – both fuels can enter the same tank in any mixture that offers total flexibility. The car engine management system monitors the mixture and automatically modifies the injection and ignition times to optimize performance.

Driving Dynamics: Chassis

The compact Volvo V50 Sportswagon provides a dynamic and exciting driving experience with a high level of active safety. To achieve this, he uses a sophisticated suspension system, high torsional rigidity, wide lines and the latest electronic stability systems.

To maximize driving pleasure, the dynamic chassis and Rally Bar are installed for the R-Design Sport and R-Design SE Sport models (except 1.8) and all T5 variants.

The Volvo V50 body is 34 percent stiffer than its predecessor the Volvo V40 thanks to its sophisticated body design and the use of high-strength materials, including High Strength Boron Steel. This high torsional stiffness allows the suspension to do its job well and the conditions are an integral part of the design of the car. This not only benefits the driving and handling characteristics of the Volvo V50, but also its reliability.

Further contribution to outstanding stability The Volvo V50 is provided by wide tracks (1535mm front, 1531mm rear) and long wheelbase (2640mm). The first helps improve the balance of the car, allowing it to overcome high cornering strength, while providing clear and consistent feedback to the driver.

Meanwhile, the long wheelbase contributes to a balanced weight distribution with a low minimum moment of inertia. Practically, this improves steering response and helps ensure that the Volvo V50 responds in a controlled and predictable manner in all circumstances, contributing greatly to active safety.


A sophisticated and independent suspension system uses spring struts on the front, carefully calculated geometry to provide a fast and precise steering response, enhancing the sporting appeal of the car. The rear suspension is a sophisticated multi-link system, which allows a little rear passive steering when cornering. This helps maximize stability and control. Anti roll blades also appear at both ends.


The mechanical settings are carefully honed supported by DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), which is the standard on each model. The sensor arrangement monitors the behavior of the car and if it starts to slip, the DSTC will automatically brake the individual wheels to help the driver regain control. Traction control elements also function to alleviate wheelpin problems, ensuring that the Volvo V50 provides a safe and positive driving experience in all weather conditions.

Each Volvo V50 benefits from ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) that feel the emergency stop and automatically make the car stop in the shortest possible distance.

Driving Dynamics: Steering, Brakes and Transmission

Volvo V50 Sportswagon has an electro-hydraulic power steering system that has been developed to optimize driver feedback and response. This helps the driver accurately place the car on the road and assess the available grip.

Ventilated disc brakes are installed in front and rear. The disk size is adjusted by engine power and the size of the wheel rim, up to a maximum diameter of 16.5 inches (320 mm). As you would expect from Volvo, the anti-lock braking system is installed as standard and this is put together by EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), which continuously distributes braking power between the front and rear wheels to ensure maximum retardation regardless of road conditions or how the car loaded.

Each Volvo V50 model is also equipped with EBA (Emergency Brake Assist). This system automatically senses when an emergency stop is needed and adjusts the braking pressure so the car stops at the shortest distance possible.

Normal aspiration gasoline engines, 1.8D and 1.8F are mated to the latest generation of Volvo five-speed manual gearboxes, which have triple synchromesh to provide faster and more positive changes.

T5 range-topping uses a six-speed manual gearbox. The ratio has been adjusted to the characteristics of the engine so that it can combine strong acceleration with high top speed. Gearbox has a triple synchromesh and convincing direct gearshift.

2.0D offers six forward ratios, but this gearbox is not the same unit as the one on the T5. The ratio has been chosen to complement the 320Nm diesel torque and to provide easy pull across the entire engine range. The VD 2.0D is also available with the new Volvo Powershift transmission introduced as an option in early 2008, this six-speed unit has twin wet clutches to provide the convenience of fully automatic transmission gear changes with manual performance. gearbox.

Operating as two manual parallel gearboxes, Powershift has twin wet couplings that work independently of each other. One clutch controls odd teeth (1, 3, 5 and backwards) while the other handles even ratios (2, 4 and 6). Both grips operate alternately with one pulling while the other releases, like a slip clutch. This means that at the same time when the engine gets full power and maximum thrust in the first gear, the second gear is placed ready to be activated. And when the second gear has been activated, the third gear is prepared, and so on. This provides continuous power flow without interruption in power transmission or loss of torque. This results in very fast and smooth gear changes while maintaining acceleration that allows 0-60mph to be reached in 9.2 seconds and offers a top speed of 127mph.

Apart from the convenience of gear changes and high performance, Powershift also contributes to producing improved fuel efficiency. Powershift Automatic offers a combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg and an impressive 159g / km CO2 figure on the Volvo V50.

Powershift gives the driver an automatic transmission that allows sequential search, as is the case with Volvo Geartronic transmissions. The difference is that with Powershift even manual searches occur without losing time or power. Also, unlike conventional automatic transmissions, the Powershift does not require a torque converter, planetary gears, or some wet couplings, nor are there additional torque losses brought by these features.

The Geartronic system is available as an option on the D5 turbodiesel and T5. The Geartronic system is fully adaptive – automatically adjusts the shift pattern according to the individual driving style and can be changed to ‘manual’ mode if needed.

Interior design

The interior of the Volvo V50 represents nothing but a revolution in car design. The focal point is a stack of ultra-thin central instruments, which seem to float freely in space. This is the first in the world for the automotive sector and previewed at Volvo VCC (Versatility Concept Car). This is a reflection of the Volvo Scandinavian design heritage and its commitment to premium quality.

The Volvo design team is influenced by the Scandinavian design tradition for clean surfaces and uncluttered lines. They got inspiration, for example, from the elegant simplicity of the printed Series 7 seats, designed by the world-famous Arne Jacobsen. The trend of high-tech electrical equipment, such as cameras, audio systems and computers, was also studied. Notes are taken about how designers use and combine new materials so that they form part of the user experience. These different influences – classic Scandinavian styles and high-tech innovations – are combined to create very different interior concepts.

The interior is built from several visual layers. The first is the edge that flows around the base of the windshield and along the door frame, cutting the entire interior. This gives the inhabitants the impression that they are protected in a cocoon.

The second layer is the primary fascia, which is minimalist. Air vents and secondary controls are positioned on each island, while the main instruments are grouped in two round gauges, surrounded by a contrasting metal bezel. Choice of fascia settlement is also important – Volvo has avoided the appearance of traditional skin for the sake of new textures that present cutting-edge technical innovations.

The ultra-thin central instrument stack forms the topmost layer. Offering a prominent position in the center of the car, this car fulfills the role of a remote control unit in a contemporary home entertainment system. Building such novel features is not an easy task: “It takes ingenuity and hard work enough to find a technical solution for this super-slim format,” Burgoyne explained. But no one will doubt that his hard work has paid off. The sleek design creates a feeling of luxurious space and the effect is enhanced by the ‘theater style’ lighting, which quietly draws the attention of the occupants to the unit.

The middle stack has bauxite gray metal layers on the S model, aluminum in the SE model, while the SE LUX model has Nordic Light Oak Trim. R-Design Sport and R-Design SE Sport have a unique R-Design Deco Aluminum finish.

Comfort and convenience

While the Volvo V50 Sportswagon interior emphasizes style, the shape has not been allowed to take precedence over functions. Ergonomic fascia has been carefully designed and the driver will find that the controls are reasonably placed and easily accessible. The multi-adjustable driver seat and adjustable steering wheel for rake and range, ensure that drivers of all shapes and sizes can feel comfortable.

Orthopedic designed chairs benefit from a variety of fabrics, including Boda textiles for the S model, Dalarö T-Tec for SE and Leather / T-Tec that are installed on the R-Design model. T-Tec is a material that has been specifically developed for Volvo and is inspired by sportswear and travel accessories. Wear resistant but comfortable, the T-Tec leather trim option features an R-Design logo that highlights the dynamic appeal of the car. SE Lux gets the benefit of face-faced leather coatings as standard.

Customers will also be happy to find interiors equipped with smart solutions. The development of ultra-thin technology, for example, allows Volvo designers to introduce a useful storage area behind a central stack, which can be accessed from both front seats.

There is also plenty of space for passengers. With a width of 1770mm (without mirror) and height of 1457mm, with a 2640mm wheelbase, Volvo V50 offers exceptional interior space. Five residents can travel comfortably and they all benefit from a full three-point seat belt system and head restraints.

But this ‘bonus’ size should not be underestimated. Volvo’s typical stacked tail lights and rear doors are almost vertical creating wide openings where large and awkward items can be loaded.

With a 4.52m length, Volvo V50 Sportswagon competes with the Audi A4 Avant (4.54m) and the 3-series BMW Touring (4.48m), and luggage volume reflects this. With the rear seat in place, Volvo offers 417 liters of space, compared to 442 liters for the Audi and BMW 435 liters. But with the rear seats folded flat, the Volvo V50 offers a much larger capacity than the Audi (1307 liters versus 1184 liters) and only slightly less than the BMW (1345 liters).

The flexibility of this space is enhanced by the split / folding rear seats, which fold to provide a fully flat load surface. The front passenger seat is also folded forward to allow items as long as 3m, such as a surfboard, to carry.

Quality and Equipment

The passion for high quality lies at the heart of the core values ​​of the Volvo brand. This is inherent not only in the quality of buildings that reflect roughness, durability and reliability that are characteristic of marque, but also in the selection of trim materials.

From a pile of beautiful free-floating central instruments to secret ‘theater lighting’, the Volvo V50 exudes a feeling of quality and well-being. This switchgear has a dense, thick feel, reminding residents that they enjoy premium products. Plus, like the other Volvo, the V50 interior is emission free because all interior trim materials are in accordance with the Oeko-Tex standard and are allergen free (see Environment).

Customers in the premium sector do not compromise. They expect high-level luxury equipment and the Volvo V50 does not disappoint, especially when compared to many other premium brand competitors. For example, each Volvo V50 includes Electronic Climate Control with a Volvo Air Quality System (AQS), alloy wheels, remote locking and integrated alarms, DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) and all expected Volvo safety features – including SIPS (Side Impact Protection System ), IC (Inflatable Curtain), and WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System).

Each Volvo V50 has a Volvo Smart Driver Information System (IDIS). First in the car industry, IDIS uses technology derived from fighter aircraft.

The IDIS function continuously analyzes driver activity by monitoring steering movements, accelerator pedal positions, indicator functions, and so on. This information is then processed and each moment is given an activity level.

Under normal circumstances, the driver can receive telephone calls, traffic information, text messages (not while driving) and system warning lights. But when road conditions require full concentration – such as when they brake or overtake – all insignificant signals from the telephone and peripheral systems are held up until the incident passes.

IDIS was pre-programmed to accommodate information and communication systems in the future. The more infotainment functions the car has, the greater the benefits of IDIS.

A sophisticated electronic network that allows IDIS to also allow owners to adjust their Volvo V50 audio and security settings. For example, the Volvo V50 central locking system can be programmed through the menu options in the middle stack to offer the following options:

Unlock the door – all doors or just the driver’s door
Automatic door locking after driving to increase personal security, if needed
Flashing indicator when locking or unlocking – with the option to cancel
Safe Home Lighting and Approach (see Security) – variables at intervals of 30-, 60- or 90 seconds

Settings for audio system functions can also be customized – news and traffic alerts can be prioritized, for example.

Customers can choose from a variety of optional options, and some are grouped together to offer better value, such as the Winter, Family and Communication packages:

Winter Package: Heated front seats, headlamp cleaning system, plush mats
Family Package: Integrated x 2 cushion, child safety lock and Passenger Airbag Termination Switch
Communication Package: RTI navigation system (with RDS-TMC, mapping data on the hard disk), Keyless Drive and Bluetooth® Hands Free System

There are also a variety of choices designed to accommodate the diverse needs of Volvo V50 owners. Active flexible headlights, GSM phones integrated on the dashboard, integrated child booster cushions for the rear seats, and added convenience of ‘Keyless Drive’ which, as long as the keys are within a certain radius of the car, allow automatic unlock of the car without using remote units and then use the switch on the dashboard to start the engine.

Other practical accessories include skiing, surfboards, carriages or bicycle carriers. And it’s even possible to specify a table for the rear middle armrest, which is good news for customers with young families. Each item is designed and made with the same attention to detail as other parts of the car and beautifully integrated into the overall package.

High quality audio

Volvo employs its own audio development team, instead of relying on outside suppliers. This ensures the audio system is adjusted to suit the acoustic properties of each model.

Standard and high-quality performance can be further enhanced with the optional High Performance system and Volvo Dynaudio Premium.

The Dynaudio Premium Sound audio system displays Dolby Pro Logic II Surround SoundTM with a center speaker and digital sound processor, 5x130w amplifier with a total 650w music output, 1xCD and a total of 12 speakers, and MP3 / WMA compatibility and additional jacks. input to allow customers to connect personal MP3 players. The result is outstanding resolution and perfect sound dynamics. These components have been tuned to produce the best surround sound anywhere in the car. Even rear occupants can hear surround sound sensations throughout the music frequency range.

The Dolby Pro Logic II system produces five unique sound channels. Listening to the surround sound of the Premium Sound audio system is like sitting in the best chair in front of a live orchestra – you feel you really are there.


Satellite navigation systems are becoming increasingly popular. The Volvo RTI Navigation System includes RDS-TMC (Traffic Message Channel) which warns of previous traffic problems and can change the driver’s route, if necessary.

The RTI system uses a large, eye-level and remotely controlled color screen that shortens to the fascia when not in use. This is related to the hard disk system that can display route information for all of Europe, and can be controlled using a joystick-style switch behind the steering wheel or by passengers using the remote control.

For the 2009 Model Year, the RTI navigation system gets refreshments including a new driver interface, new colors and more premium shades for menus and symbols.

Volvo on Call

Volvo On Call is a valuable personal safety and security feature using advanced telematics. This system uses an integrated GSM phone with a built-in GPS unit for satellite positioning, and ensures assistance is always close.

Volvo On Call – safety package

Volvo On Call is equipped with a safety package. If a pre-suppressed airbag or seat belt is triggered in the event of an accident, Volvo On Call automatically calls Emergency Services via BT999 and can also provide your location data. Or, pressing the red ‘SOS’ button on an integrated GSM phone will direct you directly to Emergency Services.

Also, if the car breaks down or you need help, pressing the Volvo On Call button will direct you directly to the Volvo On Call operator, who is only one call at a time to offer personal services such as route guidance or to guide roadside assistance for you.

Volvo On Call – security package

The optional Volvo On Call security package offers additional benefits from remote door unlock facilities if you lock the lock in the car, notifications if the alarm is activated and vehicle tracking if the car is stolen.

In the future, there is great potential for Volvo On Call services to develop; they can include automatically contacting your local dealer when service is needed.


As you would expect, Volvo V50 Sportswagon is supported by a comprehensive warranty. The standard mechanical warranty is three years / 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), plus there is an unlimited three-year mileage guarantee on paint and 12 years of protection against rust perforations. In addition, all Volvo are protected by free RAC protection for one year, which provides full damage and recovery assistance, anywhere in Europe, 24 hours a day.

Volvo also offers competitive Volvo Owners insurance with customized protection, while Volvo Car Finance can make the new Volvo V50 at an affordable price.


Volvo’s commitment to safety is as old as the company itself. As Assar Gabrielsson, one of the founders of Volvo, stated: “Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is – and must be – safe.”

Engineers’ safety targets for the new Volvo V50 are as simple as it is challenging: to replicate the high level of safety offered by the much larger V70 and Volvo S80 plantations.

The Volvo V50 Sportswagon structure has been divided into several different zones and various levels of steel are used in each area. The outer zone is responsible for most deformations, while the one closest to the passenger compartment is designed so that most remain intact, protecting passengers. The zone system is one of many patented Volvo safety designs.

Low speed deformation zone – The front bumper is equipped with a pair of rigid Boron steel (Ultra High Strength Steel). This section takes the form of a ‘collision box’ that can absorb low-speed collision forces without damaging the rest of the body structure. The jam box can then be replaced individually, reducing repair costs.

High speed deformation zone – The straight part of the side member is made of High Strength Steel, which is very resilient and optimized for high energy absorption. The addition of upper-side members provides significant protection if the vehicle collides, for example by truck. This zone accounts for most of the deformation in collisions.

Backup zone – The part around the A-pillar acts as a barrier for the passenger compartment. Made of extra high strength steel, this structure is very rigid and also helps prevent the front wheels from penetrating the cabin.

Three-way attachment – Rigid cross-member connects the A pillar and lower side members. On each side they form a rigid three-way attachment, which helps maintain cabin integrity in severe accidents.

Transverse V50 high-tech V50 engines also make a valuable contribution to the performance of the accident. The 200mm five cylinder unit is slimmer than those found in larger Volvo salvos and this helps free up the space between the engine and passenger compartment. In a collision, the engine can be pushed 150mm back before the engine block contacts the cross member near the bulkhead.

Many sophisticated interior systems from the Volvo S80 have been incorporated into the Volvo V50 design. The steering column changes shape to 140mm in the horizontal plane, so that the driver’s air bag stays in the optimal position. If a hard impact occurs, the pedal assembly will also collapse to prevent injury to the driver’s lower leg.

Impact protection

Two ‘smart’ front airbags and used in two stages according to the severity of the accident, reduce the risk of facial injuries caused by the faces of affected passengers with airbags. They are equipped with three-point seat belts with tensioners, which are installed for the five occupants. Tensioners are activated in a few thousand seconds in the event of a collision and tighten the belt for maximum protection. The front seat safety belt is then released slightly so that the driver and passengers are swung by the airbag in a controlled manner. Seat belt reminder systems are installed on the front and rear of the car – audible signals are activated if there are passengers who cannot install seat belts.

Volvo V50’s side impact protection is no less impressive. The Volvo V50 is 54mm wider than its predecessor, the Volvo V40, which frees up extra space for deformation in the event of a collision. The dynamics of the SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) are shared with the larger Volvo S80. Most of the collision forces that can penetrate the side of the car are scattered by SIPS through beams, pillars, floors, roofs, and other parts of the car body.

Side impact airbags play an important role in protecting occupant crates. They are mounted on the outer edge of the front seat, not on the door, which ensures that they are always positioned safely next to the passenger side, regardless of the position or angle of the seat. They are also bigger than the previous generation Volvo V50 to provide more effective hip and chest protection.

Further protection is provided by IC (Inflatable Curtain) airbags, which are in headlining and protect the front and rear occupants. If a side collision occurs, the Curtain will expand in a few fractions of a second and then continue to increase for about three seconds to provide maximum protection in a complex series of collisions.


All Volvo cars tested by the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG), which includes the UK Motor Insurance Insurance Research Center in Thatcham, are placed in the ‘best’ class of their ‘Dynamic Seat Assessment 2005’. Volvo is the only manufacturer that achieves this result.

Volvo introduces WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) in the S80 saloon, and is now installed throughout the Volvo range and helps prevent neck and back injuries in rear collisions. If an accident occurs, the entire backrest moves to the back to reduce tension on the occupants’ back and neck. Then, when their backs have been held securely by the backrest, it tends to backward to reduce the strength that would otherwise throw their head forward. WHIPS reduces the strength of acceleration in the neck by about half.

The front seat of the WHIPS is intentionally sturdy so that it can withstand high loads of items such as unsafe luggage, but it also can produce if there is a severe collision, when strength and flexibility are needed. “Our chairs are much stronger than those usually found in compact segments,” Broberg said.

Volvo engineers have also made special provisions to protect the next generation. Both outside rear seats can be equipped with integrated child booster pillows for children over three years of age. The front passenger airbag can be deactivated with a key and the front passenger seat is prepared by the factory for the installation of a rear facing child seat – has a special anchor loop so that it can be installed using a seat belt.

Pedestrian safety

Volvo V50 Sportswagon has been designed to minimize the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists in the event of an accident. The smoothly shaped front has an energy-absorbing structure in front of the bumper that serves to reduce the risk of foot injury.

The hood and front wing have also been designed to absorb collision energy and the gasoline engine model has a wide 70mm free space between the top of the cylinder head and engine hood, which reduces the risk of pedestrian head injuries.

Child safety

Passenger airbag cutting switches are available to allow child seats to be transported in front of the car, while behind, Volvo also pays special attention to child safety.

Two integrated booster cushions are available for rear seats for children between the ages of 4 and 10 as part of the optional ‘Family Package’, which also consists of Power Child Locks and Passenger Airbag Switch Cut off Switches.

Tags: #2008 volvo

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