BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Comparison

Are you in the market for a luxury sedan, but tight on budget? Then the entry level BMW 2-Series and the Volvo S60 have you covered. We drive these entry level luxury sedans to find out if they make sense in a world filled with SUVs. (Disclaimer: This story was done before the Volvo S60 was discontinued from the Indian Market).

BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Comparison

BMW 220i VS Volvo S60 T4 Inscription: Comparison

BMW 2 series VS Volvo S60 Car

At Rs 40 lakh, should you be buying an entry level luxury saloon or splurge a bit more and get yourself something that packs more of everything, from features to space to technology? Well to find out we pit BMW’s 2-Series (220i M-Sport) against Volvo’s S60 in this unique comparison.

BMW 220i M-Sport

Volvo S60 T4 Inscription



·      Sporty drive

·      Comfortable drive

·      Functional interior

·      Luxurious interior

·      Powerful engine

·      High on technology



·      Stiff suspension

·      Engine lacks punch

·      Lacks technology

·      Skips certain essential features

·      Rear seat space feels cramped

·      Gear shifter lacks refinement

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word, ‘entry level luxury’? An uninspiring car with sub-par engine and a lacklustre interior. But what if I told you there are two FWD (Forward Wheel Drive) sedans which are not only exciting to look at but are also a unique buying proposition for entry level luxury buyers. No, we are not talking about a Skoda or a Volkswagen, the cars in consideration are the BMW 2-Series (220i M-Sport) and the Volvo S60 (T4 Inscription).

BMW 2-Series
Yes, we know this is not an apples-to-apples comparison and the Volvo S60 competes with the likes of the Mercedes Benz C-Class, BMW 3-Series and the Audi A4. But the S60 is priced at Rs 45.90 lakh (ex-showroom) which is Rs 1 lakh less than the standard BMW 3-Series and almost Rs 10 lakh less than the New Mercedes Benz C-Class. In addition, the Volvo is also just Rs 2.5 lakh more expensive than BMW’s cheapest sedan offering, the 2-Series while offering an excess of everything both inside and out. Hence, we believe, this comparison will help anyone who is looking to enter the luxury segment with a tight budget but expect a lot from their car. So, let us dive in deep and find out what these vehicles have to offer in their current avatar.

BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Exterior Design

BMW 2-Series Front

In terms of design, both models in this comparison take a completely different approach. While the Volvo S60 is clean, poised and professional, the BMW 2-Series is sharp, sporty and screaming for attention, especially in this new Snapper Rocks Blue paint shade.

The design of the 2-Series is busy with many sharp cuts and lines flowing along the whole car. The front end is characterised by the large kidney grille finished in chrome along with an aggressive bumper that adds character and enhances its sporty stance. Moving to the side we see the unique frameless doors and the sloping roofline, which gives the car its Grand Coupe name. Towards the rear, we sport a rather unusual design for the boot lid which can grab some eyeballs. In addition, the new M-Sport package gives users the choice to select between four M-Sport alloy wheel designs making the car truly unique to you. The 2-Series is a good-looking vehicle from every angle and a true BMW car in every sense.

BMW 2 Series Back

On the other hand, Volvo is a classy business. Offering timeless Swedish finesse, the S60 is graced by clean lines. The front end is dominated by the concave multi-slat chrome grille flanked by the signature ‘Thor Hammer’ LED headlamps. The car sports an underlying tone of sportiness with its muscular bonnet lines and raked stance. On the side profile, one can witness the large glass area that shows off the size of the sedan along with a new 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheel design. Towards the rear we spot the wedge-like boot lid featuring bracket like LED tail-lamp, reflector inserts and dual chrome exhaust tips. The tasteful use of chrome around the four-wheeler helps enhance the elegance of the machine.

Volvo S60 Front

Overall, both the vehicles are made to appeal to the public. So, if looks are of importance to you, pick a side now.

BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Interior Layout and Features

BMW 2-Series Interior

Moving to the interiors, the stark contrast in themes between the 2 cars becomes more evident. While the BMW 2-Series sports a flat dashboard with a floating horizontal infotainment unit, the Volvo S60 features a layered dashboard with a myriad of materials along with a vertical, tablet-like infotainment unit. Both cabins provide digital drivers’ cockpit along with leather upholstery.

 BMW 2-Series Seat

Despite being more graceful and premium, the Volvo car gets an all-black cabin while the BMW opts for a dual-tone black and beige interior that helps enhance the space inside the car. In terms of equipment, the 2-Series comes provided with bare minimum like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-colour ambient lighting, wireless charger and dual zone AC; while the S60 offers connected infotainment centre, Level 1 ADAS function, Harman/Kardon audio system, four-zone climate control and more storage pockets over the BMW but misses out on wireless screen mirroring system.

 Volvo S60 Interior

In terms of overall space, the Volvo trumps the BMW by a large margin due to its larger dimensions. But it’s the BMW in which you feel more at home due to its compact dimensions and a more upright seating position. From the driver’s seat, the 2-Series offers a clear view out thanks to the numerous adjustments provided to the steering wheel and the seats. Despite being higher off the ground, the Volvo’s high set dash and low seating affect visibility and hamper the driver getting into a comfortable seating position easily. But once you are set, the memory function with electronic adjustment on both cars help you nail your driving position with ease.

 Volvo S60 Rear Seat

Excluding these differences both the cabins are places that you would not mind spending your time in.

BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Powertrain and Performance

BMW 2-Series Powertrain

Talking about the powertrain systems, both the Volvo S60 and the BMW 2-Series come equipped with 2.0-litre turbo petrol units that produce identical 190 bhp. The BMW comes mated to a 7-speed Steptronic sport transmission and produces 280 Nm while the mild-hybrid Volvo is provided with an 8-speed Geartronic transmission that helps increase the torque output to 300 Nm.

 BMW 2-Series Driving

Like with the exterior and interior design, the powertrain of the 2 models have been tuned differently to offer polarising experiences. While the Volvo is relaxed in nature, the BMW is aggressive and hurried. On the tarmac, the 2-Series picks up speed quickly despite lacking in power and torque to the S60 but caps out at the top end due to the lack of the 8th gear.  On the other hand, the Volvo is not quick off the line but picks-up speed with ease and is easier to control at the top-end as the additional gear gives the car a relaxed feel at high-speeds.

 Volvo S60 Powertrain

Being a BMW, it’s the 2-Series that is more engaging to drive when compared to the S60. The steering is well weighted, while the stiffer suspension helps control the car better through the corner, while the multiple drive modes help change the power delivery characteristics of the engine.

 Volvo S60 Driving

Overall, it’s the BMW that you will enjoy the most if you like to take charge from the drivers’ seat and the Volvo is the most comfortable from the rear seat.

Read Also: BMW 6 GT – Expert Review

BMW 2-Series VS Volvo S60: Verdict

BMW 2-Series V/s Volvo S60

So, having spent sufficient time with both the Volvo S60 and the BMW 2-Series, we can confidently suggest the Volvo S60 as a perfect entry level luxury buying option. At Rs 46 lakh (ex-showroom), the Volvo is just 3 lakh more than the BMW but offers more in-terms of design, features, power and character. The Volvo can be enjoyed both from the rear seat as well as from the front seat (occasionally). But if engaging and sporty is your mantra, then the BMW 2-Series is your best bet. At Rs 42 lakh (ex-showroom), this car offers performance that is unmatchable from competitors one segment higher. So, decide which car to choose based on your personal preference.

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