2021 Volvo V60 vs. 2020 BMW X3

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 2020/10/25

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo V60 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 X3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo V60 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 X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the V60 and X3 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The V60 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 X3’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.

Both the V60 and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

Reliability

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The battery on the V60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the V60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The X3’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The V60 T8 Polestar’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 60 more horsepower (415 vs. 355) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 369) than the X3 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the V60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the X3:

MPGe

V60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

X3

MPG

RWD

sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/29 hwy

AWD

xDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

M40i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the V60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the X3:

MPG

V60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

X3

RWD

sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/29 hwy

AWD

xDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

M40i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

The V60 T8 Polestar can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The X3 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The V60 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 X3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the V60 T8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the X3:

V60 T8

X3

X3 M40i

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

13.7 inches

The V60 stops shorter than the X3:

V60

X3

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the V60 has larger tires than the X3 (235/45R18 vs. 225/60R18).

The V60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the X3’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The V60 Inscription AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the X3 xDrive30i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The V60 Inscription AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the X3 xDrive30i (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the V60’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (37.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The V60’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the X3 M40i’s (37.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The V60 is 9.8 inches shorter in height than the X3, making the V60 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the V60 easier. The V60’s trunk lift-over height is 26.7 inches, while the X3’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

The V60’s cargo area is larger than the X3’s in almost every dimension:

V60

X3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/71.7”

36.5”/69”

Min Width

40.9”

43.3”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the V60’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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The V60 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 X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the V60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X3 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 V60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The X3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The V60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the X3.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/25

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the V60 is less expensive to operate than the X3 because it costs $127 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the V60 than the X3, including $386 less for a water pump, $649 less for a muffler, $30 less for front brake pads, $287 less for a starter, $143 less for fuel injection, $292 less for front struts, $489 less for a timing belt/chain and $1118 less for a power steering pump.

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

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