The Volvo T5's 2.4-liter, 257-horsepower turbocharged engine basically speaks for itself: it provides zip and fairly efficient power for a sedan. That leaves us plenty of time to talk standard features, which are abundant on this trim.
One very cool and useful feature is the Active Bi-Xenon headlamps, which pivot to follow the road on curves. The corner-lighting part of this is actually an old idea from the early days of cars that is being revived with the latest in gas-discharged headlamp technology.
The daytime running lights and front fog lights are nice as far as standard equipment goes, but how about this: a rear fog light. What an idea. Another fancy piece that you don't have to pay extra for is the Home Link system remote garage-door opener can be programmed to operate three devices (remote lighting, home's keyless entry).
Sure, all of those useful gadgets are fun to have, but the most important standard features are mostly behind the scenes, waiting until they may be called on to save lives. That would be the driver and front passenger air bags (front and side-impact), inflatable side-curtains, and side-impact protective beams, along with the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, antilock brakes, passenger safety cage, and various deformation zones.
There are plenty of options available for the T5, and since many of them are grouped in packages you may end up paying for something you don't want or need as well. For instance, the Climate Package includes heated front seats, headlamp washers, and rain-sensing windshield wipers; The Premium Package yields leather and moonroof, and the Convenience Package has rear-park assist, a compass in the rear-view mirror, and holders for sunglasses and grocery bags.
If you're sure you want to shift absolutely all of the time (or you simply don't want to pay for the auto tranny to do the shifting for you), go for the 6-speed manual if you can find one. Otherwise you'll have your hand on the 5-speed Geartronic automatic with Auto-Stick function, which lets you choose to shift manually when you wish to. The T5 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels but if you don't love 'em you can upgrade to 17-inch chrome or 18-inch alloys.