Volvo will cut V50 wagon from U.S. lineup to focus on XC range

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 15, 2011

Volvo will stop importing the V50 wagon to the U.S. as the market has migrated to crossovers, according to Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. The V50 is actually the only wagon that Volvo sells in the U.S.

Speck didn’t say when the V50 will be discontinued though. At the end of the 2010 model year, Volvo stopped importing the larger V70 station wagon and said that it will not import the V60 wagon that debuted in Europe last year.

Speck said that sales of the traditional station wagon segment have been falling over the last decade. And in that period, the crossover segment has grown exponentially. He said, “The reality is the crossovers of today are the wagons of yesteryear."

In 2010, Volvo sold only 1,720 V50s, a big drop from a peak of 5,486 in 2005. The XC70, which looks like a station wagon but rides higher, will still be available but will be marketed as a crossover.

In 2010, Volvo sold 3,951 XC70s. Speck added that the decision to stop offering the V50 is consistent with the company’s focus on succeeding with the XC range.

Looking at the interior, one can see that it follows a layered construction concentrating on an ultra-slim, free-floating, and distinct center stack. This is a theme that is clearly inspired by the traditional Scandinavian design themes. Going back to the center stack, it contains the controls for its climate control and audio system. It is here that the menu system’s display is housed. The menu system helps the drive customize the door locking, door unlicking, and the audio settings, to name a few.

Compared to the Volvo S40 saloon, the Volvo S50 has 4,522 mm of total length, longer by 46 mm. When the wing mirrors are excluded, the V50 has a height of 1,457 mm, width of 1,770 mm, and wheelbase measuring 12,640 mm. This means that the cabin has enough space to fit in at most 5 adults. When the rear seats are up, there are 417 liters of cargo space available but this can be increased to 1,307 liters by folding split/fold rear seats.

The back of the front passenger seat can be folded, ensuring that extra space is available. For the 2009 Model Year, since the V50 has a widely spaced and larger exterior emblem on its boot lid, it makes the brand easier to notice even from the distance.

However it underwent additional changes for the 2008 Model Year where it was nearer to Volvo V70. It had a sportier grille and a new headlamp layout. There was also the unique three-part front air intake with the brand’s chrome-collared deep-set grille and the larger Volvo badge.

The rear portion of the V50 also has a unique style due to the slimmer tail light units that have been fitted with LED brake lights and thus improving the shoulders. Rounding off this new look are the modified pair of exhaust pipes, redesigned bumper, and new boot handle. The lower door mouldings have been redesigned, much like the side sills, which highlight the visual changes of the old and new Sports wagon models.

The exterior was not the only thing that was redesigned as the brand’s designers and engineers did the same with the V50’s cabin in order to increase the storage space and carry the versatility including expanding the interior trim choices. While the brand’s 'floating' centre stack is already considered as iconic, the controls on it were revised and currently complemented with a multi-function centre tunnel storage area.

In addition the handbrake was designed to be more compact and the armrest was improved to make it further forward and longer to deliver greater comfort for the driver. It can even be flipped by as much as 180 degrees to function as a usable table for the passengers in the back.

Though the cup holders were also redesigned, the storage area under the armrests is now larger. Meanwhile the lower section of its front door inside panels has been redesigned as well to house larger items. Another change is that the audio system’s auxiliary input is now under the armrest though this particular configuration is expected to be standard across the line. The roll-top cover on its central storage area helps increase security.

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