2021 BMW 330e vs. 2020 Volvo S90

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 2020/08/13

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 330e offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The S90 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the 330e 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 330e the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S90 last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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There are over 23 percent more BMW dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 330e’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 20th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 28th.

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 7 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

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The 330e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 295) than the S90 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 330e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the S90 running on electricity:

MPGe

330e

RWD

Electric Motor

72 city/80 hwy

AWD

Electric Motor

64 city/71 hwy

S90

AWD

T8 Electric Motor

58 city/64 hwy

The 330e’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 23 miles, 10% further than the S90 T8’s 21-mile range.

Transmission

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The 330e’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The S90 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 330e’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S90:

330e

330e opt.

S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 330e 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

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The 330e 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 330e 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 330e’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the S90 18” wheels’ (37.2 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The 330e xDrive’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the S90 19” wheels’ (39.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

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The 330e is 1 foot, 2.4 inches shorter than the S90, making the 330e easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW 330e amounts to more than styling. The 330e has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the S90 (.28 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 330e get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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The 330e’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S90 Luxury Package doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 330e 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 330e to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and 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

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The 330e’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the S90’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the 330e has standard extendable sun visors. The S90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 330e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The S90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 330e’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The S90’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The 330e is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S90 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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