Two of the most popular luxury sport sedans, the BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60, were completely redesigned for 2019. What better time to do a head-to-head comparison of the BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60?

Both of these luxury sedans have loyal followings, and it's easy to see why. Stylish, fun to drive, and luxurious, these cars are not your average commuter. Whether you're an executive, young couple, or just looking for an inspiring driving experience from your car, you'll want to take a close look at both the BMW 3 Series and the Volvo S60.

So without further ado, let's get into our comparison of the ever-popular BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60. We'll be looking at the 2020 BMW 3 Series and 2020 Volvo S60, but this review is also relevant for the 2019 models. Just note that the M340i from BMW is only available as a 2020 model, and the S60 added some additional standard equipment for 2020.


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BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60 - Design & Features

When it comes to style, both the BMW and Volvo sport sedans exude luxury, and there's no mistaking them for your average compact car. The 3 Series has slightly sharper lines, and is unmistakably BMW. The Volvo's softer lines indicate a more refined character, but both vehicles offer strong performance and luxury features.

Standard features on the base BMW 33oi include automatic wipers, sunroof, simulated leather interior, tri-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power front seats, 8.8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and a 10-speaker audio system.

When it comes to safety tech, all BMW 3 Series vehicles come standard with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and BMW Assist emergency communications.

Meanwhile, the base Volvo S60 comes standard with LED headlights, automatic high beams, panoramic sunroof, automatic heated wipers, keyless ignition, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch instrument panel display, simulated leather upholstery, heated power driver seat with memory, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

When it comes to tech, the Volvo S60 comes standard with a 9-inch vertical touchscreen, digital instrument panel, rearview camera, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, 10-speaker audio system, forward collision warning, full-speed automatic emergency braking, run-off road mitigation, lane keeping assist, road sign reader, and drowsy driver warning system.

Looking at the standard equipment lists, Volvo has lived up to its reputation of packing a long list of standard features into its vehicles. Meanwhile, the BMW 330i comes with key safety features, and many of the luxury touches that performance drivers want in their sport sedan. Both vehicles also offer several packages to increase their feature content.

BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60 - Engines & Driving

This is the area that truly separates luxury sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series from more mainstream sedans. First, let's take a look at the 3 Series and Volvo S60's powertrain options.

The standard engine on the base BMW 330i is a 2.0l turbo producing 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, stepping up to the M340i nets Dayton drivers an inline-six producing 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This is an impressive jump in power, and the M340i also functions as a trim level, adding desirable features like a larger touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and sport-tuned suspension and brakes.

When it comes to the Volvo S60, the base T5 engine is a 2.0l turbo that produces 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The upgraded T6 powertrain supercharges the same engine, upping output to 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. At the very top of the range is the T8 powertrain, which adds an electric motor for a total output of 400 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.

As you can see comparing the engines, the BMW 3 Series offers greater torque, with the exception of the S60 T8, and provides a more performance-oriented driving experience. The BMW's base engine returns a similar 0-60 time to the Volvo's upgraded T6 powertrain.

The driving experience in both the BMW 3 Series and the Volvo S60 reflects their luxury sport sedan identity. Combining sharp handling, interior comfort, and well-tuned dynamics, both of these vehicles are an absolute pleasure to drive, both on the open road and in the city.


With their recent redesigns, both the BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60 have clearly hit the mark. Both offer luxurious interiors, precise driving dynamics, and undeniable European style. BMW continues its reign as the top choice for performance enthusiasts, with its available V6 producing a truly thrilling driving experience. That said, Volvo defies its "safe" reputation with a sporty driving experience and quick engine options.

So which one is right for you? On paper, comparing the BMW 3 Series vs Volvo S60 can make it very hard to decide. Both offer desirable features and stellar driving, and are fresh off redesigns. Depending on how you equip them, you're also likely to find the BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60 in similar price brackets. So if you're shopping for a luxury sport sedan, both of these vehicles should be on your must-try list.

We've included links to both vehicles above, so you can browse local inventory and easily set up your test drive of the legendary BMW 3 Series and its strongest competitor, the Volvo S60.

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