2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Volvo S90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the S90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 15 percent more BMW dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S90 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 82 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 21 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S90 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the 4 Series Gran Coupe uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the S90 18” wheels’ (37.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the S90 19” wheels’ (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 1 foot, 5.4 inches shorter than the S90, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the S90 (17 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S90 Luxury Package doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement and brake pad replacement, vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the S90.

Ergonomics

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 4 Series offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The S90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Volvo S90 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost $740 less than the S90 over a five-year period.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4 Series Gran Coupe will retain 47.49% to 50.4% of its original price after five years, while the S90 only retains 39.02% to 41.61%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will be $7997 to $17528 less than for the Volvo S90.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The S90 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Volvo 90 Series by over three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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