Owing to its unusual but desirable specs, today’s Nice Price or No Dice V50 is described by its seller as that most magical of imaginary beasts: A unicorn. Let’s see if the asking price on this cool wagon is just as fantastical.
When it comes to size, I think that home invasion hobbyist Goldilocks had the right idea that “just right” is... well, just right. For many of you, yesterday’s 2001 Ford Excursion 7.3L Power Stroke didn’t fit the criteria set by the three bears’ yellow-tressed Uber Eats delivery. Complaints in the comments targeted the Ford’s size and the cost to fill its likewise-large fuel tanks. In the end, the Excursion’s $18,500 asking price also took a hit for being too large, earning the truck an overwhelming 84 percent No Dice loss.
The 2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD we’re looking at today may not have the interior space afforded by Wednesday’s Ford, but it more than makes up for that with a far more wieldy overall footprint, and it doesn’t skimp on packing that smaller space with lots of cool specs.
The V50 is kind of the black sheep of the Volvo line. Conceived during the Ford era, both it and its sedan sister the S40 leveraged the corporate C1 platform. That also provided the underwear for the European Ford Focus and global Mazda 3. The V50 entered the market in replacement of the outgoing V40, which had been co-developed with Mitsubishi in a similar fashion to the Ford hookup.
These were far more Volvo-esque than the V40s, featuring hatch-embracing tail lamps and readily identifiable Volvo style. Over the course of its eight-year model run, the cars were built at Volvo’s Ghent, Belgium factory, as well as in South Africa and Malaysia.
This clean-title Barents Blue Metallic over charcoal edition has pretty much all the best kit an enthusiast could want. That includes a 217 horsepower 2.5 liter five-pot engine, a five-speed M56 manual gearbox, and a Haldex-designed AWD system. That’s all wrapped up in a still-handsome wagon body. According to the ad, the car’s original owner had ordered it spec’d in the way they wanted and that’s why it has all those wonderful toys.
Now it’s on its second owner, and combined, those two have driven the V50 a total of 183,733 miles over the course of its 17 years of existence. That age and those miles can be seen in the modest wear and tear the car exhibits. Issues noted in the ad include a sizable scrap/dent in the right-rear quarter panel, which the seller attributes to a Door Dash delivery; some squirrel damage to the insulation pad under the hood; a non-working CD changer (remember those?); and a headliner that’s drooping in the back.
On the plus side, there are fairly new struts and tires all the way around, a rebuilt transfer case for the AWD, and a replaced A/C compressor to keep the cabin cool. Those add up to some serious change and hence make for a nice bundle of maintenance boxes checked.
Aesthetically, the car looks its age and is afflicted with what the seller deems to be “low levels of rust.” I think that’s a statement reflective of the car’s present home of Maine where most cars this age have oxidized to powder and pictures.
According to the history provided in the ad, this V50 spent most of its life in sunny and relatively rust-free California where it did highway shuttling duty between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. As a result, there doesn’t seem to be any road rot of note, just some surface powdering around the hatch opening and under the hood.
The interior seems to have held up pretty well, aside from the expected crazing in the leather upholstery and some general grime on the tactile surfaces. It’s nothing unexpected nor unlivable.
The Craigslist ad put this V50 at a $6,000 asking price. That seems like a lot for something with the mileage baggage this Volvo carries, but then it is a Volvo, so maybe that doesn’t matter as much.
Is this V50 T5 right-priced at $6,000? Or, is that price one spec that shouldn’t have its box checked?
H/T to vasdeferensiveend for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at email@example.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.