WHEN some people think Volvo, they think big, lumbering, heavy but safe.
Wrong! When I needed to find out about the latest 1.6 DRIVe high economy engine, the company kindly lent me a V50 medium estate.
It’s no rocket, but I rarely found situations where I needed more power on today’s crowded roads.
It is a stylish very safe and very capable medium estate which matches those from Audi and BMW except that it’s far more economical, comes with free road tax and is cheaper to run.
This amazing car, which is fitted with stop/start for traffic and longer gearing for the open road, can average a hardly credible 76 miles per gallon.
That said, the smooth engine does struggle with acceleration in top gear and it’s usually necessary to change down to fifth or fourth.
Comfort is great and handling and road-holding marvellous with excellent grip even on wet and greasy roads.
Inside, SE Lux trim brings leather, cruise, heated folding mirrors, climate, six airbags, tractions controls and automatic wipers and lights.
The seats are well shaped and comfortable for all sizes and the driving position excellent. There is enough space for five and refinement is excellent.
Mechanical: 115bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 121mph
0-62mph: 11.1 seconds
Combined mpg: 74
Insurance group: 10
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
BIK rating: 13 per cent
Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles
Main rival: Audi A4 Avant