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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,<p>I'm currently shopping for a possible replacement for my '94 SAAB 900S, and the V50 T5 is one candidate.<p>I test drove a V50 T5 FWD M6 with the Sport package and was pretty impressed. My other favorite is the Audi A3, but the V50 has enough room to carry my dog and her 36" crate - a problem with the A3. The V50 has about the best front seats around, and the shift mechanism was miles better than my SAAB (or the SportCombi, for that matter).<p>Although the handling was impressive, most of the reviews are fairly critical of the V50's "harsh" ride, even without the sport package. I deliberately chose a test drive that included a stretch of interstate with nasty expansion joints, and found the response firm but well damped. It did seem fairly "active", though, which makes me wonder if it would be less amusing on a four hour interstate drive in New England, or dealing with the potholes and manhole covers of my city commute.<p>So, two questions:<p> - How do folks with the Sport package like their choice after the new car thrill wears off?<p>- Is the ride/handling compromise of the AWD version much different ? (the reviewers seem confused about this - most seem to think that the AWD includes the Sport package suspension)<p>My 900S isn't exactly known for a pillowy ride, and I owned an (original) GTI, so I tend to value crisp handling, but I'd prefer not to have my teeth shaken out (something my GF's Impreza Sport seems likely to accomplish).<p>I've been told that M6 FWD V50s are rare as hen's teeth, and that the only '07 with the M6 will be the AWD version. It seems impossible to find a FWD M6 without the Sport Package, but with DSTC.<p>The other candidates are:<p>- Audi A3 2.0 - great handling, interior, love that 2.0 FSI and the DSG, cargo space probably too small<p>- CPO A4 Avant (2003 or 04) - same nice Audi interior, adequate performance, Quattro, excellent cargo capacity, some scary reliability stories (engine sludge), scarier dealer stories<p>- SAAB 9-3 SportCombi 2.0T 5M - good handling, great cargo room/flexibility/safety, a bit too much GM influence on the interior, clutch/shift action still unimpressive.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

I have the T5 AWD and the ride is harsh, esp. on city streets. But I don't hate it. I've driven on long trips in it and it has never gotten in the way of comfort. I drive in the city a lot and yeah, you'll run into a pothole now and then that makes you think the car broke itself (but it didn't), but I don't regret my decision- it's better than a Buick ride. <br>
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

The confusion stems from the fact that when you get the AWD option you automatically get the "dynamic chassis", i.e. the sports suspension. Even my dealer wasn't completely clear on that.<p>I live in Ottawa where the roads are fairly ravaged by winter and I don't find the suspension hard at all (V50 T5 AWD with sports package - 17" Sagittas). Otoh, I find the suspension of my wife's Mini Cooper S convertible harsher - see "my driveway" in my SIG.<p>As far as the Audis, my father has an A4 with the sports suspension and I find that ride quite jarring.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Dede)

It it's any comfort, I shopped the same cars, but I inserted the 325xiT in place of the A3. Bought the V50 t5 AWD with sport package after test driving the lot. Getting it delivered this week so no comments on long distance hauling, but take solace in the fact that others have taken the plunge.<p>Cheers. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/embeer.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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The "sport suspension" is the softest non-truck suspension I've ever driven. <p>It's kind of like "driving" a sporty waterbed -- even when sporty it isn't harsh in the slightest. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"><p>With that said I'm pleased with it. <BR><BR>
<i>Modified by quick at 2:52 PM 5-15-2006</i>
 

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Re: (quick)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>quick</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The "sport suspension" is the softest non-truck suspension I've ever driven. <p>It's kind of like "driving" a sporty waterbed -- even when sporty it isn't harsh in the slightest. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"><p>With that said I'm pleased with it. <p><br><i>Modified by quick at 2:52 PM 5-15-2006</i></TD></TR></TABLE><p>I hate to say it... but that's absurd. While not the hardest/harshest suspension in the world, it's hardly plush. I have driven dozens of cars with much softer suspension. <p>In addition, over time the suspension seems to firm up noticeably.<p>UKMatt<p>
 

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Re: (ukmatt)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>ukmatt</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I hate to say it... but that's absurd.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>*shrug* Maybe I'm too used to the coilovers on the Supra and the stock suspension on my old DD Corolla, but this is honestly a very soft suspension. <p>We'll see how it feels when I get the 18s on the car.
 

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Re: (quick)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>quick</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>*shrug* Maybe I'm too used to the coilovers on the Supra and the stock suspension on my old DD Corolla, but this is honestly a very soft suspension. <p>We'll see how it feels when I get the 18s on the car. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>It's not the hardest in the world by any means but I'd hardly say you need to go to a truck to get a softer suspension <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>No insult intended!<p>UKMatt
 

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Re: (ukmatt)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>ukmatt</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">No insult intended!</TD></TR></TABLE><p>No worries! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/cool.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>I don't mean to sound like I was trolling. I'd be interested to see what the non-sport suspension is like. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/confused.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: (ukmatt)

Road & Track said the sport suspension was too soft, and that the car suffered from "Scandinavian Float". I have sport suspension in my AWD, and it's quite firm. Not jarring, but firm. All of my old daily driver's were BMW's with Koni shocks, Bilstein Sports, Eibach, H&R, etc. I'd say the V50 rides about the same as my 533i on Koni/Eibach. Firm, not harsh.<p>Just a question, but why do you think the Audi has a nicer interior? The one thing that truly drove me nuts in the Audi was always the crappy interior. Stark, bland, and shiny. Yucky.<p> Al
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

In my opinion, much of the hard ride of the Sport package comes from the 17" wheels, not the suspension. In any case, I have the AWD (dynamic suspension standard), stock 16" Clava wheels, and I love the ride. It's firm, but by no means harsh.<p>Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: (Al Canuck) Audi Interior

I like both the "cockpit" feel of both the V50 and A3 interiors - the A3 feels like a more livable TT (I prefer stark and simple). The CPO A4 I test drove tended more toward the luxury car side, but still felt very nice - I wish Volvo would add some of the Audi storage ideas, like the under-seat drawers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (tmtalpey) 17" vs. 16" with sport suspension

That would make sense - I should probably see if I can drive an AWD with the 16" wheels over the same route I followed with the FWD.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (tmtalpey) 17" vs. 16" with sport suspension (Gromit)

i wouldnt say the sports suspension is soft..<br>i find the ride pretty firm myself. and sometimes on bad roads, it can almost be too firm. (but ive also switched to slightly lower profile 215/45 tires).<p>in fact, ive decided not to go with lowering springs because i dont want the ride to get any firmer that it currently is.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Mistral)

after having a VW floater american base suspension and them upgrading to the almost as pitiful GTI setup, and finally to a real race setup. I find it quite refreshing that I can buy a S40 T5 with dynamic suspension that IMO is near perfect. Yes the ride is firm but that is what I expect from a performace Euro sedan... that is not what I got with my VW. So I'm VERY happy.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

I find the ride on my V50 to be a great balance between handling and comfort. The sidewalls on the 17" wheels at 215/50 R17 (which I think are standard with the sport package) are taller than on my Passat, which had 235/45 R17. I think that probably helps absorb some of the harshness that you might otherwise feel. <p>The folks writing the reviews are the same folks who *aren't* complaining about the ride on Chevy Malibu's, Toyota Camery's, and all of the other cars where you can't feel the road at all. I'd trust your butt and go wth your opinion from your test drive. I think the ride is great.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Gromit</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>Although the handling was impressive, most of the reviews are fairly critical of the V50's "harsh" ride, even without the sport package. </TD></TR></TABLE><br>Partially because of these reviews and also because with the sport package you had to get 17" wheels I did not order it with my car. Hind sight being 20/20, I wish I had gone with the sport suspension. I find the standard suspension to be too soft. For most driving it is fine but if you push it really seems to sway a lot.
 

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sport suspension better with 16 wheels?

a few poepls have recommended a 16 wheel woth the sports suspension. a question on this. i've had my v50 for under a week. it is the 2.4i geartronic, with sport suspension and the 17 sagitta's. it came with toyo proxies4 225/45/17 tires (not the stock size).<p>it seems pretty harsh going over small bump's even at slow speed. almost feels like a sled. in comparison, i have a 97 gti with broken struts up front that i am selling. i just let someone test drive it, and as i was in the passenger seat, my gti felt much smoother, even with the bad struts!<p>anyway to say how much of this is the non-standard tire size, or the toyo i general? i've been thinking of replacing the tires with the continental conticontactsport 2's in the stock size, but if 16 rim has it's advantages, i'd like to know before i get tires obviously. <p>my only thoughts are to have a volvo mechanic whose familiar with the sport suspension take it out and tell me, based on their experience. and when volvo says 'dynamic', do they refer to adjustability?<p>oh, and i plan on keepig my v50 stock...i'm not interested in mods or anything...<p>thanks for any thoughts.<p><br>
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Gromit)

I have a V-50 T5 with FWD and manual six, but not the DSTC, just STC. It has the sport suspension (original tires were michelin 205 50 17). I use ATS allurad 18 x 8.5 with Kumho Ecsta ASX in summer (Nokian 205 50 17 on stock wheels in winter).<p>I think the car handles very nicely, and it is firm, but not teeth-jarring. I appreciate the firmness when I run fast on the autobahn. I also like the tracking when I'm on backroads. <p>Between it and my wife's Toyota Buick Avalon, mine is like a buckboard. Of course, her car I won't run over 80 mph on the autobahn, as it is the veritible cloud-mobile.
 

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Re: V50 T5 Real World Ride vs. Handling? (Weedly)

I have an S40 t5 AWD, dynamic package, with DSTC and Avon Tech M550 a/s 205/50/17. Prior to this I had the s40 2.4 base. The handling and driving dynamics, and comfort of the T5 AWD are so far superior. <p>As a former Volvo Salesperson, having experience driving various S40's, and owning three of them I'll tell you that a FWD w/sport Suspension stock is quite a jarring ride over large pot holes and road irregularities,but smooth over smooth roads, and decent over expansion joints. That being said, the IPD rear sway bar really does a lot to fix this!! You'd think it would make the ride rougher, but it really doesn't. You'll feel a tad bit more of the road in the seat with the sway bar, but over bumps the car feels much more "together", composed, and quieter (different bushings w/bar). <p>In addition, the stock Michelins are horrible. They are quiet and smooth only when brand new. After 5k they get progressively louder and rougher. They also have pitiful traction. My Avons are quieter, smoother, better over large bumps, and handle much much better.<p>IMO
 
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