Volvo S60 vs BMW 3-Series

Volvo S60
Dimensions: in (mm)
Lenght: 182.2 (4628)
Width: 82.6 (2097)
Height: 58.4 (1484)

BMW 3-Series
Dimensions: in (mm)
Lenght: 178.2 (4526)
Width: 71.5 (1816)
Height: 55.9 (1420)

Compare Volvo S60 vs BMW 3-Series (1:1)

The 2012 Volvo S60 is a well-balanced and stylish luxury sedan. It's a solid alternative to otherwise ubiquitous German luxury sedans. Volvo S60 Sedan offers the following pros: Comprehensive and efficient engines; well-balanced ride and handling; strong brakes, smart all-wheel-drive system; convenient front seats; abundant security features. Volvo S60 Sedan drawbacks are: Cramped backseat; some dated controls.

The 2012 Volvo S60 is a midsize luxury sedan available in two versions -- T5 and T6 -- that correspond to motor type. The T5 comes traditional with 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic conditioning, an eight-way performance driver bench with memory functions and adjustable lumbar, power-folding back headrests, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping helm, T-tec cloth upholstery, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio, radio, an optional stereo slot and an Ipod/usb stereo interface. The T6 adds a more comprehensive motor and traditional all-wheel drive, plus 18-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, various steering tuning (includes selectable settings), leather upholstery and the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Luxury suite adds bi-xenon headlights, a sunroof, an eight-way performance passenger bench and, for the T5, the leather upholstery and auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Climate suite adds heated front seatings, heated windshield washers, automatic wipers and headlight washers. The Multimedia suite adds a rearview camera, a navigator with real-time traffic and a 12-speaker luxury surround-sound stereo system. The Technology suite adds adaptive cruise control, driver-attention warning, lane-departure warning and a collision warning system with auto braking and pedestrian detection. Stand-alone features include a blind-spot warning system, front and back parking sensors and keyless ignition/entry.

Available on the T5 is the Dynamic suite, which adds 18-inch wheels and the T6's sport-tuned suspension and selectable steering options. Available on the T6 is an adaptive suspension named Four-c that contains three driver-selectable options, as well as chassis tuning from the T5 Touring and (at no cost) 17-inch wheels.
When the BMW 3 Series Convertible was represented, the only surprise was that it had a folding hard top. Other than that, its discreet looks were typical of the company. The distinctive kidney grille, tapered bonnet, strong shoulder line and sculpted sides were unmistakably BMW, but it seems that's why the company's buyers like its vehicles so much they're subtle.

Nobody buys a coupe-cabriolet for the practicality it provides in terms of luggage room. That's just as well, because the 3 Series Convertible can accommodate a mere 210 litres with the roof down, and all of 350 litres with it up. Back bench leg space is also compromised, although there's reasonable head space with the roof up. There's space for two only in the rear and they'll be okay as long as they're well under six feet tall. The only other luxury four-seater coupe-cabrio available is the Volvo C70, as all other competitors use a conventional cloth roof. Like the 3 Series, the Volvo seats four only and stows just 200 or 400 litres, depending on whether the roof is up or down.

BMW has never been too no-cost and simple with the traditional equipment on its vehicles. The days of poverty-spec vehicles have gone though, so the 3 Series convertible is reasonably well-equipped. Entry-level (SE) vehicles have 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, daytime running lights, xenon headlamps, back parking sensors, leather trim, electric windows and dual-zone conditioning as traditional. Move up to M Sport trim and you'll get 18-inch alloys, sports suspension, a multi-function helm and sports seatings.