The Volvo V50 is a compact executive Swedish estate car based on the S40 compact sedan and was in production between 2004 and 2012. The S40 sedan ceased production because the sales numbers started to decline rapidly, but the S40 and the V50 managed to sell really well because Volvo shifted more than a million of these.
The Volvo V50 seems to be a decently reliable car because the platform on which it is based has been used on a few previous Volvo models. This means that the V50 has managed to iron out most of its issues throughout production. As such, the later V50 models are more reliable than the earlier ones.
The most common Volvo V50 issues are brake system-related, engine-related, and suspension-related. The V50 also tends to suffer from electrical issues and steering system issues. Most of these can be resolved before they even occur which means that they should not occur if you maintain the car well.
Either way, the V50 is a reliable car for the most part which makes it a fairly popular used car option. The V50 also comes with a nicely balanced powertrain which should be able to satisfy all of your needs from the get-go.
Volvo V50 – Brakes issues
The vacuum pressure pump that controls the brakes is known to fail on the V50 which means that most V50 models do suffer from these issues. If you notice your V50 not being able to stop adequately, you should take it in for a diagnosis and solve the issue asap as brakes are an essential aspect of on-road safety.
Volvo specialists say that this issue is mostly down to the valve on the vacuum pump which needs to be replaced whenever it starts causing issues. Thankfully, it is rather easy to fix this issue which means that you should be back on the road in no time.
Volvo V50 – Engine issues
The engines in the V50 are known to be fairly sturdy, but the coolant system that is connected to it is not. As such, if you notice any burning smells after driving the car, chances are that the cooling hose that connects the coolant tank and the bleed hose is leaking.
The issue here is that this leak is not going to prompt up the corresponding engine warning light and can as such damage the engine for good. As such, be sure to pay close attention to the engine temperature and the aforementioned odors coming from under the hood.
Volvo V50 – Suspension issues
As mentioned, the engines in the V50 are indeed sturdy, but extremely heavy. As such, they tend to wear out the suspension from time to time which typically results in bumpy ride quality. Furthermore, the V50 is also known to suffer from problematic lower control arms which are also a common issue.
If you hear any clicking noises coming from the wheel wells, your control arms are likely the ones to blame. Thankfully, both of these issues can be resolved relatively quickly and cheaply.
Volvo V50 – Electrical issues
One of the most common electrical issues the V50 tends to experience is associated with the A/C, more specifically the A/C condenser. The condenser is situated on the front of the car and is not all that well protected. This means that stones and all sorts of debris tend to come in contact with both the connections and the condenser itself.
Other common V50 electrical issues also include a faulty audio system widescreen which tends to blank out and becomes unresponsive. Some owners have also complained about their V50 models tend to engage the anti-theft alarm for no apparent reason.
Volvo V50 – Steering system issues
Whenever you steer your V50, be sure to listen for any high-pitched sounds as these can be a definite symptom of a faulty power steering pump. Whenever you fully lock the steering system, the pump tends to come in contact with the A/C accumulator and thus causes these high-pitched sounds.
This is a relatively common issue with the V50 and the issue exists because either the power steering pump or the A/C condenser mounts have been worn out. To fix this, you simply need to crew down these two again and the high-pitched is likely going to stop.
Is the Volvo V50 worth it?
Yes, it is, but only if you are after such a car. As mentioned, the V50 is a compact estate car that aims to combine the luxury of a Volvo sedan with the practicality of a Volvo estate car. Given the fact that the V50 is as reliable as it is, it is indeed a welcomed addition to every family out there.
The V50 also has many of its fundamentals done right because it is smooth, spacious, safe, and well equipped. This makes for a fairly cohesive experience and the V50 seems to be a relatively popular used Volvo estate for these very reasons.
Which Volvo V50 engine is best?
The best Volvo V50 engines are the 2.4, 2.4i, and the T5. These three seem to combine reliability, smoothness, sophistication, efficiency, and power the best. These three are also not the most expensive engines to maintain which makes them perfect from almost every angle. As far as diesel engines go, the 1.6d is the best.
You should avoid buying the 1.8L and the 2.0L petrol engines and the pre-2010 1.6d diesel engine. These tend to be the most problematic without offering any other superiorities to the above-mentioned engines.
How long can a Volvo V50 last?
The Volvo V50 is able to last a few hundreds of thousands of miles without needing major overhauls. Many online sources state that the V50 is able to last 200k miles without any issues while others believe the V50 can last twice as much as that.
Either way, you need to maintain it in order for it to last even 100,000 miles. The good news is that the V50 is not all that expensive to maintain because there are many spare parts around and the car is not all that complex in its construction.