Volvo xc60 vs BMW x3

The SUV market is geared up for stiff competition with new models coming in. The segment has undergone a lot of re-engineering and we are now seeing many luxury car markers joining in with innovative models. Volvo and BMW have not being left behind with the new models of the Volvo xc60 and BMW x3. In this review, we check out the specs of these amazing machines and tell you which is better.

What are the key differences between the Volvo xc60 and BMW x3?

Volvo xc60
BMW x3
Supercharged turbo and intercooled DOHC 16-valve
Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve
316 HP @ 5,700rpm
248HP @ 6,500rpm
295 lb-ft @ 2,200rpm
258 lb-ft @ 1,450rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Passenger volume
100 cubic feet
99 cubic feet
Fuel economy (city/highway)
21 and 27 mpg
Highway 31mpg
Speed (0 to 60mph)
6.1 seconds
6.2 seconds
Top speed
131 mph
126 mph

Volvo xc60 vs. BMW x3 – How do they compare?


When it comes to performance the Volvo xc60 has more power at 316HP compared to the BMW x3 248HP. The Volvo xc60 is offered in three drivetrains – T5, T6, and T8. The base model the T5 comes with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that is capable of 250 HP. The T6 has the same engine as the T5 but it is made more powerful due to a supercharger. This allows it to give a power output of 316HP. The T8 is a kind of hybrid car with electric motors and this enables it generate a whopping 400HP.

The BMW has the sDrive30i x3 with an output of 248HP but they also have the M40i that generates 382HP. Even though the M40i is powerful it is no match for the Volvo xc60 T8 with its 400HP, the Volvo is definitely faster than the x3.

Accessories and Interior

Entertainment on the Volvo xc60 is via a 9” infotainment touchscreen with another 12.3 digital screen that is used for the digital gauge display. The 9.0” is vertically oriented and offers features like voice assistance and navigation via Google Maps. The BMW x3 has a larger infotainment display measuring 10.3” with a similar display for the digital gauge display. However, BMW offers buyers the option of upgrading both screens to a 12.3”.


Volvo has had a long history of being one of the safest cars and the xc60 is no exception. You have many driver assisted features like automated emergency braking, standard lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode. The BMW x3 is not to be left behind you will find safety features like automated emergency with forward collision warning, available adaptive cruise control and standard lane-departure warning. Overall, you get more modern safety features in the Volvo xc60 than the BMWx3.

Volvo xc60 vs. BMW x3 – A Comparison Overview

Volvo xc60 – Overview

The Volvo xc60 is a stylish car with clean designs and a powerful engine. It is an ideal car for your daily work commutes and occasional travels to the countryside. The Volvo xc60 comes in the three drivetrains. As for the technology you get a nice 9.0” infotainment touchscreen and another 12.3” digital gauge display.

When it comes to performance, Volvo treats its customers to a variety of drivetrains. You have the T5, T6, and T8. All the drivetrains are linked to an eight-speed transmission. The T5 is front wheel drive but you get all-wheel drive in the T6 and T8. Volvo’s base model is the T5 that comes with a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that delivers 250 horsepower. This should get you from 0 to 60mph in 6.4 seconds.

You then have the T6 which is has the same engine as the T5 but this time it is supercharged. This enables the T6 to generate a massive 316 of horsepower. Volvo then has its hybrid the T8 that uses electric motors to generate 400 HP. On electric only you have a range of about 19 miles.

When it comes to fuel economy you should expect to attain around 22mpg for city travels on the T5 and 29mpg for highways. For the more powerful T6 expect 20mpg for city and 27mpg for highways. The Volvo xc60 interior is quite luxurious and you can notice that nothing has being spared in this SUV. You have high quality materials being used to create the perfect interior. Cargo space is decent and you get more when you fold the rear seats.

Car entertainment is provided via the 9” infotainment screen that runs the latest Google based software interface. With the system you have a variety of voice controls via Google assistant. You also get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity and on-board Wi-Fi hotspot as standard.

Volvo is renowned for safety and the xc60 comes armed with various driver assists features like automated emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist. You also have adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode.

What we liked:

  • Powerful drivetrains options
  • Stylish and luxurious interior
  • Driver assist features
  • Decent cabin space when rear seats are folded

What we did not like:

The storage with rear seats is small

BMW x3 – Overview

The BMW x3 combines exceptional handling abilities with a stylish interior. The car is both fun to drive and fast while still remaining fuel efficient. The car comes with two digital dashboard displays and for safety plenty of driver assistance options. The new 2021 model has received some modifications with a new grille, tail lamps and new head lamps. In the previous models the 10.3” infotainment display was offered as standard but you now have the option of a larger 12.3” display.

The BMW x3 is offered in various drivetrains including the base model the x3 sDrive30i that is rear wheel drive and has a power output of 248 horsepower. It is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Then you have the M40i which comes with a six-cylinder engine and is capable of generating 382HP of power. This will get you from 0 to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. This is way faster than the xDrive30i that does the same stretch in 6.2 seconds. With the M40i you ride is well balanced as the car comes with adaptive suspension, this has the benefit of lowering the chassis by 0.4 inches. You have various driving modes in the xDrive30i like Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro.

When it comes to fuel economy the figures are better than expected. You get 31mph for the highway in the xDrive30i and 29mpg in the M40i. The interior of the x3 has being made to be as stylish as possible. You get 10-way adjustable power front seats with adjustable side bolsters. The rear passengers have not being left behind as you get reclining seatback with cushioning available on all seats. You have a glossy woodgrain trim which even though plastic still looks very real adds to the luxurious appeal of the x3.

The x3 comes with decent storage and you can comfortably fit seven carry-ons suitcases. The interior is complemented by an intuitive 10.3” infotainment display with the option of upgrading to a 12.3 display. You get two similar screens one at the center and another for the digital gauge. The infotainment allows you to access the in-dash navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth phone connectivity and one USB port as standard. You can opt for extras and get and extra USB port plus wireless phone charging.

The BMW x3 has being upgraded with a full suite of driver assists features. You have the standard automated emergency braking with forward collision warning, available adaptive cruise control and standard lane-departure warning. All these are there to ensure your driving experience is as safe as possible.

What we liked:

  • Agile handling
  • Awesome fuel efficiency
  • Luxurious and stylish cabin
  • Spacious interior with able trunk space

What we did not like:

The exterior mirrors are too small

Verdict: So, which is better – Volvo xc60 or BMW x3?

Both cars are excellent SUVs but our winner is the Volvo xc60. We were impressed with its powerful drivetrains especially the T6. The car is also stylish and comes with a luxurious interior. The driver assists features are quite cool and ensure your ultimate safety when driving. The BMW x3 is also an excellent and some may prefer it due to BMW’s history of creating excellent driving machines.


How many drivetrain variants does the Volvo xc60 have?

The Volvo is available in three different drivetrains – T5, T6 and T8. The T5 is the standard and comes with a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine capable of 250HP. The T6 uses the same engine as the T5 but it is supercharged and capable of 316HP. The T8 is a hybrid variant capable of 400HP.

Can I get a larger screen with the BMW x3?

The BMW x3 comes with a standard 10.3” infotainment display with a similar one for the digital gauge. However, you can upgrade to a larger 12.3” display.

Jurgen Shmidt works as an automotive engineer, his duties revolve around vehicle design, development manufacture, and testing. Shmidt is also involved in marketing, sales, and the after-sale care of cars, apart from his 8 hours job, he interacts with enthusiasts who have concerns or wish to learn about the various models of the BMW luxury cars. Shmidt believes that the demand for detailed information surpasses its availability and that is why he dedicates most of his free time, researching and compiling reliable information. The information compiled on bmwexpert has been derived from hands-on experience and not some snazzy press release, thus we believe you will find answers to your troubling questions about the BMW.

Leave a Comment