Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW 3 Series VS 2016 Volvo S60 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2017 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2016 Volvo S60

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The S60 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the S60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Volvo S60:

3 Series Sedan

S60

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

150

277

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

115 lbs.

119 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

62 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Volvo S60:

3 Series Sedan

S60

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

232 G’s

299 G’s

Hip Force

184 lbs.

419 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

326

410

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

513 lbs.

682 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the S60’s (12/unlimited vs. 10/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 170-amp alternator. The S60’s standard 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The S60’s standard 600-amp battery and largest (T6) 700 amp battery aren’t as powerful.

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The S60’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The S60 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 16th.

Engine Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 258) than the S60 T5 Drive-E’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 266) than the S60 T5’s standard 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the 330i is faster than the S60 T5 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. (automatics tested):

3 Series Sedan

S60

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.9 MPH

95.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the S60 T5 Drive-E:

3 Series Sedan

S60

2WD

Auto

32 city/42 hwy

26 city/38 hwy

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

n/a

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the S60:

3 Series Sedan

S60

2WD

330i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

23 city/33 hwy

T6 Drive-E/Auto

AWD

340i/Manual

19 city/29 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

T5/Auto

330i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

T5 Inscription/Auto

340i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

T6 R-Design/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Volvo only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the S60 Drive-E.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the 3 Series Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S60:

320i/330i

340i

S60 T5

S60 T6 R-Design

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the S60 are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the S60:

3 Series Sedan

S60

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the 3 Series Sedan has larger standard tires than the S60 (225/50R17 vs. 215/50R17).

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S60’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S60’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the S60 (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The 340i xDrive handles at .94 G’s, while the S60 AWD pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 340i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the S60 T5 (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 330i is quieter than the S60 T6 R-Design AWD:

3 Series Sedan

S60

Full-Throttle

71 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S60 (96.2 vs. 93).

The 3 Series Sedan has 1 inch more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the S60.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has a larger trunk than the S60 (13 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The S60 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The S60 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 3 Series Sedan’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 S60’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 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access 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 S60 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the S60.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the S60 because typical repairs cost much less on the 3 Series Sedan than the S60, including $90 less for front brake pads and $327 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

S60

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its September 2013 issue and they ranked the BMW 340i xDrive first. They ranked the Volvo S60 T6 R-Design AWD fifth.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S60 isn’t in the top three.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 22 years. The S60 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 20 years. The S60 hasn’t been picked since 2011.

The BMW 3 and 4 Series outsold the Volvo 60 Series by almost six to one during 2015.

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