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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by diesel engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Luxury car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Volvo and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Volvo-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 5-cylinder, 20-valves 215hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 218hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
The fact that the BMW got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, puts it sky-high safety-wise, in my eyes at least. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? On the other hand, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the German car offers a marginal difference of 6% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that Volvo does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Volvo with an average rating of 4.6, and models under the BMW badge with 4.2 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed S80 as average reliability-wise, and 5 Series is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Swedish car rank it on average as 3.7, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.2 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 243 kilometers per hour, 13km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 4.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (59 mpg), in combined cycle.
Volvo appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the German car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. It all continues in the same direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but BMW. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.