19 January 2004

Prices and specifications have been released on Volvo's new 3-series touring-rival, the V50 Sportswagon, which arrives in showrooms this April. Starting at £17,363, the 1.8-litre model features climate control, 16" alloy wheels, CD premium audio system and Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control as standard.

Consumers will have to wait until the autumn for 125bhp base engine option though. Only the 170bhp 2.4-litre and 225bhp T5 six-speed will be available to begin with; a 136bhp 2.0-litre oil-burner is due to strengthen the range this summer, before the entry-level 1.8-litre and £25,963 T5 four-wheel-drive range-topper complete it.

All but the turbocharged five-cylinder petrol driven cars can be kitted out in either S or SE trim, with the latter adding leather upholstery, cruise control, 17" wheels and a six CD changer for an eleven percent premium on list.

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