Auto Express Test: BMW 530e vs Volvo S90 T8

5 Series | December 29th, 2018 by 10
2018 BMW 530e test drive 43 750x500

When one dreams of owning a luxury car, said dream car is typically not a four-cylinder hybrid. Not that four-cylinder engines, nor hybrids, are bad but they’re just not at the top of the desirability list for most enthusiasts. However, these new hybrid luxury cars are getting quite good and two of the best go head-to-head in this new Auto Express Test — the BMW 530 iPerformance and the Volvo S90 T8.

Both cars have four-cylinder engines and combined with electric motors. However, they differ slightly and offer different power outputs. The BMW 530e uses BMW’s ubiquitous 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, paired to an e-motor, combining to make 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The Volvo S90 T8 uses a 2.0 liter twin-charged (turbocharged and supercharged) four-cylinder paired to an e-motor to make 385 hp and 472 lb-ft. The Volvo is also all-wheel drive, compared to the Bimmer’s rear-wheel drive.

2018 BMW 530e test drive 42 750x500

That extra power helps the Volvo to be a lot faster than the Bimmer, getting from 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds compared to the 530e’s 6.4 seconds. The BMW keeps up during some mid-gear acceleration from 30-50 mph but it can’t keep up elsewhere.

However, that’s really about where the Volvo’s advantages end. The BMW 530e iPerformance is the sharper handling car and more fun to drive. It has better steering and even a more comfortable ride, making it better at both ends of the spectrum. While the Volvo’s interior is nicer to look at, the Bimmer’s quality, materials and technology are all better. Especially the latter. Oh, and it’s cheaper.

2018 BMW 530e test drive 50 750x499

Because of all of that, the BMW 530e iPerformance is the winner of the test. The Volvo isn’t a bad car. In fact, it’s a very good one. But the Bimmer is the better of the two and, if you want a hybrid luxury sedan, it’s the one to get.

[Source: Auto Express]

10 responses to “Auto Express Test: BMW 530e vs Volvo S90 T8”

  1. Giom says:

    Well, to my eyes, the BMWs interior is much better to look at.

    The real shocker is the economy. How on earth can the Volvo beat the BMW on feul consumption? Are those figures right?

  2. Donald Dong says:

    Volvo hybrid is not all that special, the electric motor makes less horses and torque than the 530e. There is nothing special because of similar range.

    The AWD is also bit misleading because it’s reported that Volvo has that as standard, but they don’t even tell you that BMW also offer x drive 530e, they should have tested that one.

    The only surprise thing about the approaches for the 2 manufacturers is that Volvo offers this hybrid by pitching it towards performance, while BMW targets it for pedestrian customers.

    The Volvo power advantages are all due to ICE turbos, they are most likely motorsport versions, because they are high power per litre, similar to the 4 banger offered on the BMW X2, which is called the M30i, but while Volvo equips the S90 with performance, the suspension configuration is neither athletic or cushy, the way the vehicle drives and operates also fail to live up to its hype, and although the interior is nice, the quality of the matterials doesn’t quite live up to this luxury segment.

    BMW, on the other hand, chose baseline turbo 4 for their hybrid model, which is completely opposite to the Swede approach, in order to match the vehicle purpose, so there is nothing surprise here, and the Volvo indeed costs more.

    If BMW chose a motorsport hybrid, power will most likely be similar if more, plus their ICE will mostly be more refined, so it’s nothing new here for Volvo

  3. maxnix says:

    I have friends with a 530e 2018 Edition with M sport. It is very interesting and intelligent car in my opinion. Even though it has the base power 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, it still seems quite capable of decent performance. Hundred-mile-an-hour cruising is totally within its Realm. What is outstanding about it besides the appointments interior finish, is the fuel economy at 45 miles per gallon average.

    As former Lexus owners they are most happy with her choice and the performance of the car so far. It is definitely a different Driving Experience for sure. But one they mostly appreciate.

  4. KF says:

    They should have put up the S90 with Inscription package, the suspension on the R-Design is harsher. I recently drove the S90 but with a D5 AWD and it was lovely, you feel special…the cabin is spectacular! The BMW is a nice car, but it’s feels somewhat soleless compared to the S90, which in many ways speaks to your emotions.

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