Volvo XC60 vs BMW X3 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC: Should you pick the hybrid?
Shaun · Dec 3, 2021 11:00 AM
Volvo XC60 T8 packs the most firepower
BMW X3 is priced lowest among the three
Mercedes-Benz badge has most prestige
Which would be your pick?
Volvo Car Malaysia recently launched the 2022 Volvo XC60 facelift, subtly tweaking the exterior and featuring a new operating system for the infotainment. With that, let’s take a look at how the facelifted Volvo XC60 stacks up against the competition like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Which is fastest?
The Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 has a 2.0-litre twincharged (turbo and supercharged) 4-cylinder engine, making 320 PS/400 Nm and is mated to an 8-speed automatic that powers the front wheels. 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 says the combustion engine and electric motor are able produce their peak outputs at the same time and the electric motor at the rear axle isn't connected to the front, so the maximum output figures can be added in a straightforward manner.
We’ve recorded the pre-facelift XC60 T8’s 0-100 km/h time to be 5.6 seconds and considering that the power figures are unchanged, we can expect the facelifted model to achieve similar numbers.
Next up is the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 AMG Line. It makes 258 PS/370 Nm from the M264 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, channeling power to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. 0-100 km/h is claimed to be dusted in 6.2 seconds.
Moving on to the BMW X3 xDrive 30i M Sport. The B48 2.0-litre turbocharged engine makes 252 PS/350 Nm and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all corners thought the xDrive all-wheel drive system. Claimed 0-100 km/h time is 6.3 seconds.
Which is bigger?
Dimensions & Weight
All 3 SUVs are fairly similar in terms of dimensions. The Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 is unsurprisingly the heaviest here at 2,151 kg, being laden by an 11.6 kWh battery pack and an electric motor.
The rest weigh in around 1,700 kg. Boot space in the XC60 is also the smallest here at 505 litres.
Which one's a nicer place to be in?
Starting with the BMW X3, its design is typical BMW – safe with all the buttons logically laid out. But for those looking for a bit more flair, it might be a bland in terms of styling. There’s a 10.25-inch infotainment display, controlled by the iDrive Touch and audio is fed through 12-speaker BMW Hi-Fi system.
The interior design of the Mercedes-Benz GLC is the oldest here, but it has aged gracefully. And the facelift exercise with a larger infotainment screen (10.25-inch) and digital instrument cluster keep it up to date. It gets Burmester sound system with 13 speakers.
Moving on to the Volvo XC60, the design is Swedish minimalism with very few buttons and switches. The updated infotainment system now runs on Android Automotive OS with proper Google services integration.
The crystal gear knob and knurled finishing on some switchgears lift up the cabin ambiance. Plus, the 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system sounds the best here by quite a margin.
Which has better safety features?
The Volvo XC60 is the winner here, unsurprisingly. It has the full suite of Intellisafe, which bundles AEB, LKA, BSM, and the whole lot. There’s also Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving assist feature.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 features AEB, Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe, and Active Lane Keeping Assist. No Adaptive Cruise Control here.
In the BMW X3, it was updated last year with the Driving Assistance package, which bundles Lane Change Warning, Crossing Traffic Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Speed Limit Assist, Lane Departure Warning with active steering intervention, Forward Collision Warning with brake intervention (AEB).
The BMW X3 will appeal to those who prioritises driving, while the Mercedes-Benz GLC has that wow factor that makes you feel special.
But on paper, the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8’s proposition is most convincing one here. It makes the most power and it’s the most well-equipped. If you’re open to the idea of hybrid vehicles, then the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 is a no-brainer.
We know, the word 'hybrid' probably sends chills down your spine. But really, the Volvo has been designed with electrification in mind and it shows, from the battery pack placement to the calibration of the powertrain. If you're concerned about resale value, then this premium segment might not be for you.
The XC60 T8 only makes less sense if you don't have access to a power socket to charge your car. That would be the strongest argument against the XC60 T8.
There's also the matter of badge, to which we can only say buy what you like, not what others say you should like. So do try out the Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 for yourself, if you enjoy it as much as we have (the pre-facelift one at least), just go for it.
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.