Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW X5 VS 2016 Volvo XC90 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW X5

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2016 Volvo XC90

Safety Comparison

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The XC90 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the X5 and the XC90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and driver alert monitors.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the XC90’s (12/unlimited vs. 10/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 1 year and 14,000 miles longer than Volvo pays for maintenance for the XC90 (4/50,000 vs. 3/36,000).

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

The X5 has more powerful engines than the XC90:



X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC90 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 5 more horsepower (255 vs. 250) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 258) than the XC90 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 118 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 295) than the XC90 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the X5 s/xDrive35i is faster than the XC90 T6:



Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.1 MPH

90.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the XC90 T5 (24 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/25 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Volvo only offers a regenerative brake system on the XC90 T8.

The X5 has 9.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC90’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5 xDrive50i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC90:

X5 xDrive50i

XC90 T5

XC90 T6

Front Rotors

15.2 inches

13.2 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.1 inches

12.6 inches

The X5 stops shorter than the XC90:



70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the XC90 (255/50R19 vs. 235/55R19).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC90 T5’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the XC90 T5.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XC90 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the X5 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the XC90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Volvo doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XC90.

The X5 xDrive35i xDrive handles at .79 G’s, while the XC90 T6 AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XC90 T6 AWD (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X5 xDrive35i xDrive is quieter than the XC90 T6 AWD:



At idle

41 dB

48 dB


73 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

65 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The X5 has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC90.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC90’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the X5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the XC90 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XC90 doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 has standard extendable sun visors. The XC90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW X5 won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

 The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The XC90 is not ranked.

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