2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2021 Volvo XC90

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 XC90 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 XC90.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the XC90 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 567 to 1345 pounds more than the Volvo XC90. 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 XC90 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 XC90 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 XC90 doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the XC90 (265/50R19 vs. 235/55R19).

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 XC90’s standard 55 series tires.

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 XC90 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 XC90, which uses coil springs in front and transverse leafs springs in the rear. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is .3 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the XC90.

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 XC90 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC90.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5 xDrive45e’s available third row seats recline. The XC90’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC90 with all its rear seats folded (71.2 vs. 65.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5 xDrive45e’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The XC90 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Towing

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XC90’s (7200 vs. 4000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the X5 xDrive45e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XC90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the X5 xDrive45e 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 XC90.

Ergonomics

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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 XC90’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 XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 xDrive45e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The XC90 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 XC90 R-Design/Inscription’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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