BMW X3 M40i vs Volvo XC60 T6

BMW X3, News | February 8th, 2018 by 6
BMW X3 xDrive M40i 42 830x553

We’re big fans of the new BMW X3 M40i. Being the first ever X3 to wear any sort of “M” badge (even if it’s not …

We’re big fans of the new BMW X3 M40i. Being the first ever X3 to wear any sort of “M” badge (even if it’s not a real M car), we were a bit skeptical at first. But it immediately charmed us from the moment we set off in it. It’s a wonderful car. So we are genuinely curious about any car that can match it. One such car is the new Volvo XC60 T6, the performance version of Volvo’s middle-child SUV. In this new review from Autocar New Zealand, we get to see which is best.

You probably already know the specs of the X3 but in case you don’t, here’s the run down. The BMW X3 M40i gets a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine (BMW’s B58) stuffed under its hood, giving it 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox and sends power to a rear-biased all-wheel drive system. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and it might even be quicker than that. If you ask us, after having driven it, 4.2 seconds sounds perfectly believable.

BMW X3 xDrive M40i 40 830x550

Now, the Volvo XC60 T6 is a bit of a different beast. It sports a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that uses both a supercharger and a turbocharger. That’s a lot of boost for one little engine, enough to give it 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. So it’s a bit down on power compared to the Bimmer. It also gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox, though sourced from Aisin. And rather than being a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, it uses a front-biased one. Expect a 0-60 mph time in the low six-second range.

So which car is better? According to Autocar NZ, they’re both excellent cars but at different things. The Bimmer is definitely faster, makes a better growl and is much sharper to drive. Its steering is better, its body control is better and it’s the better handling car. Although, you pay for that with a bit of a firm chassis. The Volvo, on the other hand, is slower and less dynamic but it has a better interior, is more comfortable and better value.

2018 BMW X3 M40i photoshoot 162 830x553

The answer ends up being that if you want a sporty SUV, go with the BMW X3 M40i. It’s just plain better at being sporty. But if you want something more relaxed and more comfortable, go Volvo.

[Source: Autocar NZ]

6 responses to “BMW X3 M40i vs Volvo XC60 T6”

  1. Giom says:

    The status quo remains. But the competition is getting tougher.

  2. Andrew Arnold says:

    I just had the Volvo XC60 as a rental car, first time in a Volvo. I very impressed with the quality of the XC60. Tad slow, infotainment took a little to figure it out. Ride quality was excellent, but the steering and suspension was night as tight as a BMW so it had some roll, but very nice SUV overall.

  3. Roland Renno says:

    I like the new X3 a lot, but BMW needs to go back to their DNA and release small capacity engines with lots of grunt. The world is going the economic way, and Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are now sailing that route, while BMW is trailing behind. Mid-sized turbo-charged engines i.e. 3+ litre should be used in heavy series i.e. M5 or M6, not M2 or M3.

    • Peter Creagh says:

      My thinking is the small 2L motors are working far harder than a 3L to put out a high power meaning they may not likely last as long.

    • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

      Their volume model these days is 4 cyl., with available 3 cyl. Volvo doesn’t even offer alternatives.

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