Driving Dynamics: Engines

Driving Dynamics: Engines  - Overview - Volvo V50

The new Volvo V50 Sportswagon is available with a range of eight modern engines, including three diesels, that reflect its role as a premium alternative. Two engines joined the range for 2007: a 145 PS 2.0-litre petrol and a 180 PS D5 turbodiesel. Lining up next to these is a transversely mounted, refined five-cylinder engine: the range-topping 230 PS, 2.5-litre T5. Then there is the 125 PS 1.8-litre petrol unit and the 136 PS 2.0-litre turbodiesel, which has second-generation common-rail technology and plenty of torque, and is Euro IV compliant - good news for both tax-conscious company car drivers and the environment. An environmentally friendly 1.8 Flexifuel engine also joined the range in 2007 along with the entry-level 100 PS 1.6 petrol and 109 PS 1.6 diesel engines which lowered the entry level price.

2.0 and D5

Two engines joined the Volvo V50 range for the 2007 model year: a 145 PS, four-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol engine with manual transmission and the 2.4-litre, 180 PS, five-cylinder D5 turbodiesel.

The 2.0-litre petrol delivers smooth performance (0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds) together with respectable fuel economy (a combined figure of 38.2mpg), a maximum speed of 130mph and CO2 emissions of 176g/km.

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


The five-cylinder petrol powerplant is based on the low-friction units found in larger Volvos, but was extensively revised and repackaged for installation in the Volvo V50. The latest generation is called RNC, with the 'C' indicating Compact.

The 2.5-litre T5 is available with optional five-speed Geartronic transmission and boasts four valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts, together with CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing), to maximise torque at low engine speeds and to reduce exhaust emissions.

The performance flagship of the Volvo V50 range is the 2521cc T5. Equipped with a light-pressure turbo, it generates a potent 230 PS at 5000rpm and emissions of 208 g/km. The peak torque output of 320Nm is available all the way from 1500-5000rpm, proving that top-end thrust need not be achieved at the expense of mid-range flexibility. The manual T5 rockets from 0-60mph in just 6.4 seconds and will reach 149mph. But despite its high performance, it still achieves an excellent 32.5mpg on the combined cycle.


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

But while the 2.0D's acceleration is petrol-like, its economy underlines the value of diesel power. With this engine, the Volvo V50 Sportswagon returns an outstanding average of 48.7mpg and its carbon dioxide emissions are just 153 g/km. This is not only great news for the environment, but also provides company car drivers with useful tax savings. The engine complies with Euro IV emissions regulations. A Volvo Powershift transmission was introduced as an option in 2.0D in early 2008, this six-speed unit features twin wet clutches to provide the gear changing comfort of a fully-automatic transmission with the performance of a manual gearbox.


Completing the Volvo V50 Sportswagon range for now is a 1798cc four-cylinder petrol engine. Offering 125 PS and 165Nm of torque, it combines sprightly performance with 0-60mph possible 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. The 1.6 provides 100PS and 150Nm of torque, 0-60mph in 11.4 seconds, emissions of 169g/km and 39.8mpg on the combined cycle.

The 1.6-litre turbodiesel also offers strong and flexible performance, with 109 PS and plenty of flexibility provided by 240 Nm of torque from 1750 rpm. It offers the best fuel consumption of the range, with 65.7mpg recorded on the extra-urban cycle, 56.5mpg on the combined and 44.8mpg on the urban.


The third engine to join the range in 2007 is the 1.8 Flexifuel. Reinforcing Volvo's long-standing commitment to environmental care this engine runs on renewable E85 bioethanol fuel an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuels, emitting up to 80% less fossil carbon dioxide emissions than petrol. Choosing a Volvo V50 Flexifuel can help reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions without having to compromise on either performance or comfort. Based on the 1.8 litre, four cylinder normally aspirated petrol engine producing 125 PS, the 1.8F runs on E85, a fuel that consists of 85% bioethanol and 15% regular petrol. Should E85 not be available, the vehicles can also use unleaded petrol - both fuels can go into the same tank in any mixture offering total flexibility. The car's engine management system monitors the blend and automatically modifies the injection and ignition timings to optimise performance.

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