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.
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.
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.