Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 BMW X5 VS 2016 Volvo XC70 Near Braselton, GA

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2017 BMW X5

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2017 BMW X5

VS
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2016 Volvo XC70

Safety Comparison

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The XC70 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The XC70 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the X5 and the XC70 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and driver alert monitors.

The BMW X5 weighs 478 to 1158 pounds more than the Volvo XC70. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the XC70’s (12/unlimited vs. 10/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

The battery on the X5 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the X5’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The XC70’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The XC70 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 58 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 16th.

Engine Comparison

The X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (300 vs. 240) and 42 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 258) than the XC70 T5 Drive-E’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 s/xDrive35i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (300 vs. 250) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 266) than the XC70 T5’s standard 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 195 more horsepower (445 vs. 250) and 214 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 266) than the XC70 T5’s standard 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 15 more horsepower (255 vs. 240) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 258) than the XC70 T5 Drive-E’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 5 more horsepower (255 vs. 250) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 266) than the XC70 T5’s standard 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive35d gets better fuel mileage than the XC70 T5 AWD (23 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Volvo only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the XC70 Drive-E.

The X5 has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC70 (22.4 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC70:

 

X5

X5 xDrive50i

XC70

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.9 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the XC70 are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the XC70:

 

X5

XC70

 

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the XC70 (255/50R19 vs. 235/50R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC70 (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 235/50R18).

The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC70’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the XC70. The X5 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XC70 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X5 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC70’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Volvo doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XC70.

The X5 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The XC70’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC70 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The X5 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The XC70 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the XC70 (115.5 inches vs. 110.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than on the XC70.

The X5 xDrive35d xDrive handles at .82 G’s, while the XC70 AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the XC70 AWD (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the XC70 can only carry 5.

The X5 has 33.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XC70 (131.2 vs. 98).

The X5 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC70.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available middle row seats recline. The XC70’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5’s cargo area provides more volume than the XC70.

 

X5

XC70

Third Seat Removed

35.8 cubic feet

33.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

72.1 cubic feet

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The XC70’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The XC70 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The XC70 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The XC70’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the X5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the XC70 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the XC70.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the X5 has standard extendable sun visors. The XC70 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The X5 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The XC70 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air conditioned seats in the X5 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The XC70 doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The XC70 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X5 with a number “3” insurance rate while the XC70 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X5 is less expensive to operate than the XC70 because typical repairs cost much less on the X5 than the XC70, including $216 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 second among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The XC70 isn’t in the top three.

The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The XC70 is not ranked.

The BMW X5 outsold the Volvo XC70 by almost 11 to one during 2015.

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