A longer list of standard comfort and luxury features, a streamlined model lineup and exciting new R-Design cues highlight the changes for the 2009 Volvo V50 sportswagon. The normally aspirated V50 2.4i receives standard 17-inch "Spartacus" wheels, high-performance sound system with 6-disc in-dash CD player and MP3 capability, Sirius satellite radio, aluminum inlays, power moonroof, front fog lights, power driver's seat and Bluetooth. Nordic Light Oak inlays can be selected as an option.
While the front-wheel-drive V50 T5 model has been discontinued, the top-line T5 AWD receives a new sporty flair with standard R-Design equipment. There's a unique grille with matte silver surround and R-Design logo, a sport body kit with color-coordinated side skirts and front and rear spoilers, Off Black Flextech/Crème premium leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logo, aluminum sport pedals, sport shift knob, R-Design inlays, watch dial instrument cluster and sport steering wheel.
In addition to the R-Design elements, the T5 AWD is enhanced with standard aluminum roof rails, power driver seat memory, heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface and auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass. The optional Volvo DVD-based navigation system gains an improved driver interface, extended points of interest and a birdview map with detailed intersection and building footprints.
A choice of powerplants gives each V50 model a distinct character. The normally aspirated 5-cylinder engine produces 168-horsepower to motivate the V50 2.4i. Boosting the fun factor, output for the V50 T5 AWD high-pressure turbocharged engine is a lively 227 horsepower. The added traction and security of electronically controlled all-wheel drive is standard on the T5 AWD. Both models are fitted with a 5-speed automatic transmission with "Geartonic" function.
The V50 provides confidence-inspiring performance with each engine. An extremely rigid platform affords levels of steering precision and suspension nimbleness found in the top vehicles in its class. Advanced braking, steering and chassis systems enable the V50 to feel secure in its capabilities across a broad spectrum of driving conditions.
Automatic Hazard Warning is a new safety feature that made its debut last year. Should any of the V50's airbags be deployed, the hazard lights will automatically be activated to attract the attention of other motorists. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is standard and Volvo's ingenious Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) remains optional on all models. Active Bi-Xenon headlights that swivel the light beam in continuous synch with steering direction is available.
Side impact protection is addressed by the use of extremely rigid cross members that form a 3-way attachment between the leading edge of the A-pillar and the base of the B-pillar. Similar cross members are found in the rear doors as well. This system of energy absorption, along with the slim-design 5-cylinder engines is called Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), representing an innovative approach to vehicle safety design.