2020 BMW 330e vs 2020 Volvo S60 T8 - Which is the better plug-in hybrid?

Shaun · Dec 30, 2020 12:20 AM

BMW Malaysia recently added the 2020 BMW 330e M Sport into the 3 Series range, priced at RM 264,413 (without SST). Meanwhile, the 2020 Volvo S60 T8 R-Design goes for RM 282,540 (without SST).

We’ve yet to get our hands on the 2020 BMW 330e, so we won’t get into driving impressions. Instead, we’ll walk through the spec sheets of the 2020 BMW 330e M Sport and the Volvo S60 T8 R-Design.

Performance - Volvo S60 T8 takes the cake

Performance Comparison
  BMW 330e Volvo S60 T8
Engine 2.0L 4-cylinder 2.0L 4-cylinder
Induction Turbo Turbo & supercharger
Displacement 1,998 cc 1,969 cc
Transmission 8-speed auto 8-speed auto
Max. Power Output 292 PS 407 PS
Max. Torque 420 Nm 640 Nm

Under the bonnet of the BMW 330e lies a 2.0-litre B48 turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine that churns out 184 PS and 300 Nm of torque.

The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that also houses an electric motor that does 113 PS and 265 Nm, allowing for a combined system output of 292 PS and 420 Nm - courtesy of the XtraBoost function that provides a temporary boost of 40 PS.

Under normal conditions, the total output is 252 PS/420 Nm. Claimed electric range is 56 km. 0-100 km/h is rated at 5.9 seconds.

In the Volvo S60 T8, a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder engine powers the front wheels, making 320 PS/400 Nm. At the rear axle, there’s an electric motor that provides 87 PS/240 Nm, giving a combined output of 407 PS/640 Nm.

Volvo claims up to 49 km of pure electric range. 0-100 km/h is rated at 4.4 seconds. In terms power output for the money, the Volvo S60 T8 is on a league of its own.

Exterior  - Volvo S60 T8 is larger and heavier

Dimensions Comparison
  BMW 330e Volvo S60 T8
Length 4,709 mm 4,761 mm
Width 1,827 mm 1,850 mm
Height 1,435 mm 1,431 mm
Wheelbase 2,851 mm 2,872 mm
Tyre size 225/45 R18, 255/40 R18 235/40 R19
Kerb Weight 1,815 kg 2,041 kg

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Volvo S60 T8 is ever so slightly larger than the BMW 330e. Its overall length and width are greater, as is the wheelbase.

The BMW 330e is 226 kg lighter than the Volvo S60 T8. One of the factors is attributed to the all-wheel drive system in the Volvo S60 T8, compared to the rear-wheel-driven BMW 330e.

The Volvo S60 wears 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/40 profile tyres all round. The BMW 330e gets a smaller set of wheels – 18 inches. It has staggered setup whereby the rear wheels are wider than the front, measuring 255/40 R18 at the rear and 225/45 R18 at the front.

The Volvo S60 T8 R-Design rides on passive dampers while the BMW 330e gets the Adaptive M Suspension, which allows the damping characteristics to be altered depending on driving modes.

Interior - Volvo S60 T8 looks and feels more plush

Inside the Volvo S60 T8 R-Design, the seats are upholstered in Nappa leather, dashboard and door panels are covered in leather, with metal inserts. It gets the 600-watt Harman Kardon sound system with 14 speakers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity comes as standard.

Over to the BMW 330e, it’s a similar theme of dark-coloured materials and silver accents. Unlike the Volvo, the infotainment screen is horizontal, measuring at 10.25-inch. The digital instrument display measures 12.3-inch.

It gets a 205-watt sound system with 10 speakers. Apple CarPlay is available on a subscription basis, Android Auto is yet to be available. There’s also triple-zone climate control against the Volvo’s two-zone.

Safety features - Volvo S60 T8's ADAS is more comprehensive

The BMW 330e is equipped with Driving Assistant package that bundles AEB, LDW, RCTA and blind spot monitoring. No adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow here.

The Volvo S60 T8 gets the whole suite of IntelliSafe with AEB, LKA, CTA, BLIS, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and Run-off road Mitigation. There’s also Pilot Assist, a level 2 semi-autonomous driving feature which can give steering assistance from stationary up to 139 km/h.

So there we have it, a quick run through between the BMW 330e M Sport and the Volvo S60 T8 R-Design. Based on the spec sheets alone, the Volvo S60 T8 has the upper hand especially with a more comprehensive ADAS and higher power output. 

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But how it drives and rides compared to the BMW 330e M Sport is another story. As usual, we’d suggest testing both cars before deciding between the two.

 

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