Volvo XC60's Issues Uncovered in BMW X3 Comparison

Volvo XC60's Issues Uncovered in BMW X3 COmparison 3 photos
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Volvo XC60's Issues Uncovered in BMW X3 COmparisonVolvo XC60's Issues Uncovered in BMW X3 COmparison
Volvo has an awesome reputation as a brand. Aspirational, well-designed and safe, the XC60 is one of its latest SUVs, and it's already a popular one.
Unless I'm mistaken, the old generation was the best-selling luxury SUV in Europe for some years. However, they bumped prices by a lot with this 2018 model, which makes comparing it to a well equipped BMW X3 entirely fair.

Auto Guide's review first focuses on the XC60 with the R-Design package and T6 powertrain. One of the editors mentions the same things we didn't like with many other Volvo models.

The 2-liter engine is smooth and sufficiently robust, but it's also completely lacking character. The 8-speed automatic also isn't as smooth as the ZF gearbox used by many luxury automakers, while the steering wheel is completely lacking weight and feel. Some won't be bothered by these issues, but we expected more sportiness considering the rivals that the XC60 faces.

You know it's 2018 when having unobtrusive safety systems and a good sound system get as much attention as the drivetrain. But jumping into the X3, the experience immediately starts being dominated by the 3-liter turbo engine in the M40i model.

It's only got about 50 more horsepower but reaches 60 a full second faster. Ironically, the over-engined X3 is also lighter by about 200 lbs. It also gets the same mpg economy numbers. To be fair, it's also $6,000 more expensive. But what's an extra 10% in a luxury vehicle?

Oddly, besides being sportier, the X3 is also way more refined. The ZF transmission we mentioned is quick and fast compared to the Volvo. And then there's the infotainment side of things. While the Volvo distracts you with too many overcomplicated menus, the BMW does the same job with button cluttering. Boy, you can never make some people happy!

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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