A brisk, fun drive on all but the most basic cars
Comfortable and stylish just like you'd expect from Volvo
Five-star crash-test rating and plenty of safety kit
Get set for some hassle-free motoring!
Could be better in the back and boot
Whatever your budget, you won't lose out here
There is just one petrol engine - a 2.0-litre unit (although there's also a high-performance 2.5-litre engine thats reserved for the range-topping T5 R Design model). We'd go for the 1.6 or 2.0-litre diesel they're both powerful and peppy
The V50's front seats are comfortable, with plenty of shoulder- and thigh support. The centre console looks stylish, but the controls are small and fiddly. It has a decent-sized boot, but it's not the big load-lugger like Volvo's larger estates. There's plenty of room for a family, but many of rivals have more to offer
The cabin is trimmed with classy and high-quality fixtures and fittings. The five-cylinder engine is well proven in other Volvos, so shouldn't let you down. Quality and reliability were rated as above average by owners in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey
The Volvo is not cheap for a small family car, but the V50's quality and high levels of standard equipment go some way to justifying the pricetag. Go for the DRIVe models and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions will ensure you pay less in taxes.