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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 530e doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
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 530e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the S60 and 530e 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 530e’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 a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The 530e doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Both the S60 and the 530e 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, 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.
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 530e has not been fully tested, yet.
The 530e’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.
The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 28 more horsepower (316 vs. 288) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 112 more horsepower (400 vs. 288) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 310) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.
The S60 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (14.5 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S60 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (15.9 vs. 12.1 gallons).
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 530e doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the S60 Polestar’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 530e:
The S60 stops much shorter than the 530e:
60 to 0 MPH
The S60’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 530e’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The 530e’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
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 530e; 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.
The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .91 G’s, while the 530e pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the 530e (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the 530e’s (37.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The S60’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the 530e xDrive’s (37.1 feet vs. 40.8 feet).
The Volvo S60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 550 pounds less than the BMW 530e.
The S60 is 8.4 inches shorter than the 530e, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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 530e (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S60 get better fuel mileage.
The S60 has a much larger trunk than the 530e (11.6 vs. 10 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 530e doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
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 530e doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 530e doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The S60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S60 will retain 40.05% to 43.62% of its original price after five years, while the 530e only retains 36.52% to 36.85%.
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 530e isn’t in the top three.
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