2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S60 and 4 Series Gran Coupe have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 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 4 Series Gran Coupe’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 S60 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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S60 and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and available around view monitors.

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, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The S60 has a 6000-RPM redline.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S60 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The S60 has more powerful engines than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

430i Gran Coupe 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 is faster than the 430i Gran Coupe:

S60

4 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

14.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.2 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

98 MPH

Top Speed

131 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 2020/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 21 city/31 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

MPG

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

4 Series Gran Coupe

RWD

430i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

430i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The 4 Series Gran Coupe must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The S60 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 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 S60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (3 to 7). This means the S60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

S60

4 Series

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.8 inches

The S60 stops much shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

S60

4 Series

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

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 2020/10/21

For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The S60’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The S60 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharge) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe; 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 S60’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (113.1 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S60 is 2 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the 430i Gran Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The design of the Volvo S60 amounts to more than styling. The S60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The S60 has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (96 vs. 92).

The S60 has .1 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

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The S60 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the S60 R-Design/Inscription has a 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.

The S60’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S60 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The S60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S60 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S60 will cost $4130 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $276 less for a water pump, $235 less for a muffler, $21 less for front brake pads, $115 less for a starter, $96 less for fuel injection, $362 less for front struts, $723 less for a timing belt/chain and $361 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 4 Series Gran Coupe isn’t in the top three.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the BMW 4 Series by 8% during 2019.

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

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