2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2021 Volvo XC60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X5 xDrive45e offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The XC60 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5 xDrive45e. But it costs extra on the XC60.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the XC60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 xDrive45e weighs 1598 to 1768 pounds more than the Volvo XC60. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 X5 xDrive45e’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 18th in initial quality. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 31st.

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 X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 139 more horsepower (389 vs. 250) and 185 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 258) than the XC60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 73 more horsepower (389 vs. 316) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 295) than the XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder.

Transmission

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The X5 xDrive45e’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 XC60 doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the XC60 (265/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The X5 xDrive45e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC60 (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 265/35R22).

The X5 xDrive45e’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC60’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 xDrive45e has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XC60.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 xDrive45e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XC60 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the X5 xDrive45e uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the XC60, which uses coil springs in front and transverse leafs springs in the rear. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the XC60 (117.1 inches vs. 112.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC60.

Chassis

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The front grille of the X5 xDrive45e uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The XC60 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the XC60 can only carry 5.

The X5 xDrive45e has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC60.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC60 with its rear seat up (33.1 vs. 30.2 cubic feet). The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC60 with its rear seat folded (71.2 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

The X5 xDrive45e’s cargo area is larger than the XC60’s in every dimension:

X5 xDrive45e

XC60

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/70”

37.8”/68.7”

Max Width

49”

43.5”

Min Width

44”

39.8”

Height

31.5”

30.6”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5 xDrive45e’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The XC60 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The X5 xDrive45e’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The XC60’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC60’s (7200 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the X5 xDrive45e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC60. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The XC60 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 xDrive45e’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC60’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 xDrive45e has standard extendable sun visors. The XC60 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the X5 xDrive45e to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The XC60 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The X5 xDrive45e’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The XC60 R-Design/Inscription’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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