2019 Volvo XC90 vs. 2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The XC90’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC90 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC90 and X5 xDrive40e have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X5 xDrive40e’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo XC90 offers an optional built in child booster seat. It’s more crash worthy than an added child seat because of its direct attachment to the seat. BMW doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the X5 xDrive40e. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the XC90 deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The XC90’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The X5 xDrive40e’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The XC90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To help make backing safer, the XC90’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the XC90 and the X5 xDrive40e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 xDrive40e has not been tested, yet.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

The XC90 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (316 vs. 308) than the X5 xDrive40e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid. The XC90 T8’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 92 more horsepower (400 vs. 308) and 140 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 332) than the X5 xDrive40e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid. The XC90 T8 Polestar’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 113 more horsepower (421 vs. 308) and 170 lbs.-ft. more torque (502 vs. 332) than the X5 xDrive40e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo XC90 is faster than the BMW X5 xDrive40e:

 

XC90 T6

XC90 T8

X5

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

5.3 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.5 sec

14.6 sec

16.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

98 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

132 MPH

127 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running on a full charge gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive40e (63 city/61 hwy vs. 55 city/57 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the XC90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive40e (26 city/30 hwy vs. 23 city/25 hwy).

The XC90 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC90 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the BMW X5 xDrive40e (3). This means the XC90 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X5 xDrive40e every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC90’s brake rotors are larger than those on the X5 xDrive40e:

 

XC90 T5/T6

XC90 T8

X5 xDrive40e

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.4 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

The XC90’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X5 xDrive40e’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC90 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The X5 xDrive40e’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The XC90 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the X5 xDrive40e; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC90’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the X5 xDrive40e (117.5 inches vs. 115.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC90 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the X5 xDrive40e.

The XC90’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.7% to 48.3%) than the X5 xDrive40e’s (45.8% to 54.2%). This gives the XC90 more stable handling and braking.

The XC90 T6 AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the X5 xDrive40e 4dr Sport Utility pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC90’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5 xDrive40e’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet). The XC90’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the X5 xDrive40e’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC90 has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X5 xDrive40e (9.4 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the XC90 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC90 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 2.3 inches higher than on the X5 xDrive40e (10.5 vs. 8.2 inches).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 500 pounds less than the BMW X5 xDrive40e.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the XC90 T6 AWD is quieter than the X5 xDrive40e 4dr Sport Utility (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

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The XC90 has standard seating for 7 passengers; the X5 xDrive40e can only carry 5.

The XC90 has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the X5 xDrive40e.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

The XC90’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5 xDrive40e.

 

XC90

X5 xDrive40e

Third Seat Folded

41.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.7 cubic feet

72.5 cubic feet

The XC90’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5 xDrive40e’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC90’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the X5 xDrive40e, the XC90 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the XC90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the XC90’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The XC90 has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

The XC90 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Volvo XC90, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The BMW X5 xDrive40e isn't recommended.

Motor Trend selected the XC90 as their 2016 Sport Utility of the Year. The X5 xDrive40e has never been chosen.

The XC90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2016. The X5 xDrive40e hasn’t been picked since 2001.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the XC90 as the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. The X5 xDrive40e has never been chosen.

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