AutoBild compares the X5 and Volvo XC-90

BMW X5 | July 10th, 2015 by 20
Volvo XC90 D5 AWD BMW X5 xDrive 25d Hyundai Grand Santa Fe 2 2 CRDi 4WD VW 1200x800 d71189f4da63cfaf 750x500

German publication AutoBild just recently conducted a test between a few of the newer seven passenger SUVs on the market. In this test was the …

German publication AutoBild just recently conducted a test between a few of the newer seven passenger SUVs on the market. In this test was the Hyundai Grand Sante Fe and the Volkswagen Toureg, but those aren’t the important two. The important two are the spankin-new Volvo XC-90 and the BMW X5. The latter two are some of the biggest competitors in the segment. The X5 has dominated the segment for years now, while the newcomer XC-90 is poised to possibly be best-in-class.

All SUVs were fitted with each brand’s four-cylinder diesel engine and automatic transmission. The Hyundai and Volkswagen came in fourth and third place, respectively, while the Big Swede and Big Bavarian battled it out for first. The Volvo had the clear advantage in this test, having the time to have benchmarked the X5 during its development and benefiting from the rose-colored glasses people wear when testing new cars. However, it was the X5 that came away with the victory, despite its slightly older age and less powerful engine.

Volvo XC90 D5 AWD BMW X5 xDrive 25d Hyundai Grand Santa Fe 2 2 CRDi 4WD VW 1200x800 d71189f4da63cfaf 750x500

The Volvo impressed with its extremely luxurious cabin, more than ample rear passenger and cargo space, good power (225hp) and good handling. The downfalls of the XC-90 were the slightly wooden suspension feel over rough pavement, fussy navigation screen and its sturdy curb weight. The X5, the (relatively) old man of the group, still manages to impress with its blend of comfort and handling as well as its quick acceleration being only one tenth of a second slower to 60mph (8.4 versus the Volvo’s 8.3) despite having less power (215hp). The only downfalls of the X5 were the large turning circle and high price tag, compared to the rest of the group.

Bild Vergleich BMW X5 F15 Volvo XC90 SUV 05 750x562

This just goes to show that BMW still knows how to get it done and make each and every model the best all-rounder in the segment. The new X5 is a big burly machine, usually not something associated with sprightly handling, but it still manages to impress with its fun on-road manners and peppy engines. And when a car that’s already a couple of years old can take on the newest in the segment and beat it, that’s an impressive achievement. Having said that, the new XC-90 is a special machine and deserves its second place spot above the other competitors and probably against all other competitors as well.

BMW may not be able to celebrate this victory for long, however, as Audi’s long awaited replacement for the aging Q7 is on its way to showroom floors within the year. There have been no official tests or reviews as of yet, but preliminary driving reports deem it to be quite excellent. So when the new Q7 debuts we’ll be able to judge how the X5 can handle itself against yet another quality newcomer. Until then, however, the X5 seems to remain king.

20 responses to “AutoBild compares the X5 and Volvo XC-90”

  1. Cordell says:

    So the Volvo has 10hp more, is faster by one tenyh of a second. Has a third row and it’s 2nd place? That doesn’t seem right. The XC90 T8 gets 400hp and 472lb. ft. of torque as well as 59mpge. You have performance as well as fuel efficiency in 1 car and there aren’t many cars out there that offers both an engine and an electric motor with the power and fuel efficiency like the T8. The XC90 deserves 1st place because of it’s value and performance. It also will be save you more money because it costs less and Volvo now offers a lifetime warranty on parts and labor.

    • Billy The Hillbilly says:

      I’m sorry. Have YOU actually driven it or done the comparison??

      • Billy's mom says:

        I’m sorry. Do YOU actually speak german or have read the atricle? The x5 won by 10 points out of 750 over the xc90 mainly because the author prefers its handling. For people who buy slow, underpowered and heavy diesel SUVs ‘sporty’ handling is completely irrelevant though. Also where in this comparison was the m class, the q7 and the Cayenne?

        • Billy The Hillbilly says:

          So you didn’t, thank you. You just want to argue with someone who actually did and decided for a criterion which you only assume is pointless. But the problem is – how could you ever know if you had driven neither of the two, neither did a face-to-face comparison? What else is there to be said? Or assumed? Without a REAL experience from the real world?

          __
          Btw. one of my daily drivers is 01 Ford Explorer and I don’t have the balls to say that “sporty” handling is irrelevant. Even though the car is big, heavy, underpowered and not sporty at all, I would appreciate a stiffer setup in the bends. In fact I am very curious to find out how the e53 X5 would cope with the roads I’m familiar with, even though the car is irrelevant for its sporty handling.

          • Billy's mom says:

            1. I’m not Cordell.
            2. I actually read the article and i do agree with Cordell, that the x5 won for the wrong reasons. I don’t have to drive the cars to have an opinion of what’s important in an suv.
            3. Have you any understanding of what a peer review is? Because apparently you think one cannot evaluate someone else’s work unless the reviewer has done the exact same work.
            4. You make my point though. If you’d like better handling, obviously you didn’t buy that shit box for its handling, did you? No one buys a 200 hp diesel suv for its handling capabilities.

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            A reply to you especially is almost the same as the one I wrote to Cordell.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        Like people buy the X5 for handling –”
        The XC90 is a better family car and a better daily driver, and that’s what they have to be in this class.

        • Billy The Hillbilly says:

          Nope, BMW X5 is well known for being the best family car in the segment. Oh yea, until now. Everyone buys an SUV b/c you can get most of your family in it, like, everyone knows that, right??

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            The Volvo seems more spacious, with a more family-oriented package, and the whole thing just looks cleaner. Exterior design is cleaner, interior design is cleaner, even the engines are cleaner.
            Not to mention the high security, and the soft ride (Air Suspension i think not sure)… Yeah this is THE family SUV.

          • Cordell says:

            Air suspension is an option but it’s an expensive option. The thing I like the most about the XC90 is the safety systems it has, the design (both interior and exterior) fuel efficieny, and the use of Boron steel throughout the car,

          • Cordell says:

            *not an expensive option*

          • Cordell says:

            Well even if you didn’t have a big family, most of the time, you have to bring a lot of things and having the extra space makes it more convenient. Just face it, the X5 lost and only won for all the wrong reasons. You don’t buy an SUV to have sporty handling. Yes it would be nice to have sporty handling but it’s not practical for an SUV. And btw. I have driven both models (non-diesel) and I’d prefer the Volvo over the BMW because of all the safety systems built in (world’s first run-off road protection, world’s first auto brake feature at intersections as well as pedestrian and cyclist detection system). If you still buy the X5 after all that has been mentioned, then you are only buying it for the name and are wasting extra money for a car not valued correctly. If you want sportier handling, you’re looking at the wrong category because it doesn’t really apply to SUVs.

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            Oh boy. If you bought a starting-at-60k SUV for a practicality reasons, you also might be the first person ever to do so, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first one to buy an X5 b/c for its sporty feel. It is one of the cornerstones of the X5 since the beginning of the car and I’m surprised that you guys are surprised. The bottom line is, you think the SUV class should be about being practical and your opinions reflects it, I do not and my opinions are reflecting it as well. As ever, it is about what you expect from the car. If it is practicality and extra space you are looking for, go for the Volvo and live happily ever after, if it is sportiness, go for the BMW. I am very surprised I really have to mention this obvious fact. But don’t tell me the X5 won for all the wrong reasons b/c the XC90 is more practical and that’s what you want, SUV’s were never entirely about that alone, in fact there’s a number of reasons above practicality on the “why buy a luxury SUV” list*.
            __
            * if you want to say being sporty is not on the top either – I agree, but as I’ve said – it is solely about your demands.

          • Cordell says:

            That is true but for the price of the BMW, getting the XC90 gives you more “bang for your buck”. In the article, it’s stated that the XC90 has “good handling” but is not as sporty as the X5. I believe that but to place the X5 above the XC90 for its handling only is certainly incorrect. Both cars offer nearly the same thing (XC90 a little bit more with its safety systems) so sacrificing a sporty feel in return for price, safety, reliabilty, and practicality should be at the top of every shoppers list. Even if you had sportier handling, it’s not like you’re going to be taking an SUV to the track or going through tight corners at 90+mph. People also have to keep in mind the price of the parts and labor and the 5 year cost of owning a Volvo was half the cost of owning a BMW. I say was because now Volvo offers a lifetime warranty on parts and labor which makes owning the XC90 an ideal decision compared to the X5

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            Sure, good point*. Now tell me – do you think we couldn’t have such a discussion over several Volvo/BMW comparisons? You just perfectly described the points of having a Volvo and BMW. Thing is – with the BMW you are always dumping a bit of value in favour of sporty handling, right? You could get cars with more space or better value (Volvo is in fact a very good answer anytime) than the bavarians can offer, but you just sacrifice this bit or that bit for that BMW sporty behaviour – the 3 series is just the best example as far as the history goes. Here it only is far more visible and less of a logical decision, because why you would buy such a bigass car with the main argument being its sporty handling, right? But the same goes with spaciousness or family-friendliness – you could find better alternatives any day of the week. The problem as I see it is – the biggest strongpoint of owning an SUV (or its predecessors) is the ability to go off road. Once you lose this attribute, it gets really hard to explain** why to own one without talking rubbish. So I see the point of having a bit more space being on the same level as having the car a bit sportier, altough yours seems to be a bit more sensible, but both are rubbish since we are talking about cars that mainly lost their purpose and almost any choice in the class (with the exception of cars that still can go offroad) is hardly relevant. Right?
            __
            * that claim with better reliability – are you assuming it b/c of what we know about the new car, or is it an ongoing fact and you happend to know more on the subject? Don’t know how Volvo is doing, so… genuine question :)
            ** yes, you still find some reasons, but I can only think of two good ones… which isn’t really much

          • Cordell says:

            I don’t remember the website that stated that, overall, Volvo is mkre reliable than BMW but I do remember reading on MotorTrend when they compared the Audi S4, BMW 335i M sport, Volvo S60 R-Design, and some other cars that the Volvo’s reliabilty and insurance cost was much lower. I think it’s safe to say that every brand isn’t perfect and that each brand makes their cars with a specific goal they want to achieve (BMW with sportiness and Volvo with safety). If anything, the two should be tied for 1st since they pretty much have the same thing, (Volvo with more safety systems and BMW with a sportier feel).

          • Cordell says:

            *reliabily is higher and insurance cost is lower

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            I haven’t seen any informations of the sort (apart from a very few articles, but no in-depth tours w/in a brand or overall comparisons brand x brand other than JD Power… which is gliding over the surface and is more like an overall experience w/ owning the car) from any other sources than brand-dedicated forums though.

            The verdict might have been more fair towards the XC90, but I sort of take it as automatic – what do you do if someone is evaluating more some criteria you don’t find being that important? Reevaluate the outcome for your own purposes right away, comes natural to me. It is not the law anyways :)

  2. Name says:

    The Touareg had a v6 diesel since there is no four cylinder Touareg. How can you get this wrong if you’re only repeating what autbild wrote?

  3. Erkan Hosgor says:

    I have never seen a German magazine hand a non-German car first place. They are talking about curb weight but the X5 is actually as heavy as the xc90! They are saying the bmw has a less powerful engine – by a whopping 10hp:) – and it loses in the acceleration test, so what is wrong here, this is the way it ought to be aint it?!
    The only downfall of the x5 was its large turning circle; seriously? What about interior space especially for the second and third rows? Pricewise there is a huge difference but altough that may not matter much to Autobild, real customers actually see the tremendous value the xc90 offers.

    Pure nationalism on Autobild’s part IMHO…

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