The Volvo V50 cars were introduced at the end of 2003. It replaced the V40 in Volvo's range of cars. The naming system of Volvo at this time reflected the style and size of a model. The 'V' is short for versatile, with the model being an estate type car, with the '50' representing a relative size, it being a bit bigger than the model it replaced.
This model was based on the P1 platform and manufactured in Belgium at Ghent, in contrast to the previous V40 that was made in Holland. Volvo marketed the car as giving the benefits of a larger car in a fairly compact format, with the vehicle also appearing sportier than the V40. The range of Volvo V40 cars included a version with the 4-cylinder engine and another with the 5-cylinder engine.
The Volvo V50 has a curved roof and a rounded front section. This emphasises its modern design and sleekness. The designers have made it spacious inside, despite the compact nature of the car. When the back seats are folded down, it creates a completely flat surface for storage purposes. These features have all contributed to good Volvo V50 sales.
The Volvo V50 does not only reflect Volvo's commitment to safety, but also displayed their awareness of the environmental effect of cars. The aim was to reduce the impact of the car on the environment, and offered a healthy, clean climate inside the car. The car has relatively low emissions compared to similar types of car. This was achieved through efficient engine technology combined with innovative exhaust technology. In Sweden there was even an ethanol-based engine version produced, called the FlexiFuel engine. These features make a second-hand Volvo V50 a great deal, especially for families.