2023 BMW X3 vs. 2023 Volvo XC60 Comparison

With their right-size dimensions and everyday versatility, compact crossover SUVs have nearly universal appeal. Years ago, luxury automakers like BMW and Volvo sold mostly compact premium sedans. Now the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60 compact premium SUVs lead their respective brands in annual sales.

The 2023 BMW X3 and 2023 Volvo XC60 are similar in size and pricing, yet they have different personalities. Although the X3 ranks among the most comfortable and practical BMWs, it remains one of the more athletic compact premium SUVs you can buy. It also uses gasoline engines exclusively now that BMW has discontinued the X3 plug-in hybrid.

Meanwhile, all 2023 Volvo XC60s use some form of hybrid technology, and the Recharge model has plug-in capability. Recent Volvo XC60s are notable for their artistic design and safety technology, but the Polestar Engineered version of the XC60 Recharge is also invigorating to drive.

If you’re trying to decide between these two compact luxury crossovers, this 2023 BMW X3 vs. 2023 Volvo XC60 comparison is worth a read.

Price and Value

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Front Quarter View

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Consumers researching 2023 BMW X3 pricing will find that it ranges from $45,400 to $72,900, not including the $995 destination charge. BMW’s original compact premium SUV comes in a single 4-door body style with seating for five. If you’re looking for a BMW SUV with coupe-inspired styling, look to the BMW X4, which is an X3 with a sleeker roofline.

There are three main BMW X3 models. Most buyers will drive home in the 2023 BMW X3 30i. The entry-level X3 has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and comes in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sDrive30i and all-wheel-drive (AWD) xDrive30i versions. The latter adds $2,000 to the bottom line.

Consumers seeking more performance from a luxury compact crossover will want to consider the mid-range BMW X3 M40i model. It uses a turbo 6-cylinder engine and has standard AWD. The AWD 2023 BMW X3 M tops the range. It has an even higher-performance 6-cylinder engine developed by BMW’s M GmbH division and a more serious suspension to go with it.

Connected services on the 2023 BMW X3 include remote engine starting, along with remote door locking and climate control operation. If your X3 has the BMW Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument panel, you can activate automatic collision notification, live emergency assistance, and rapid access to roadside services. BMW also offers concierge services, digital key access, a Wi-Fi hotspot (3-month free trial), and a drive recorder. Subscription terms for individual services vary. You’ll manage them through the My BMW app.

Scheduled maintenance is on the house for the first three years or 36,000 miles that you own BMW’s compact premium SUV.

As of this publication, 2023 Volvo XC60 pricing is not yet available. You can expect a modest increase over the 2022 XC60, which ranged from $42,650 to $70,000, not including the $1,095 destination charge. Five-passenger seating is standard on the XC60. Volvo offers optional integrated rear booster seats (outboard positions only) for children ready to use a 3-point seat belt.

The XC60 comes in three basic models. The entry-level 2023 XC60 B5 has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and comes with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or AWD ($2,300 extra). The mid-level Volvo XC60 B6 is AWD only and has an upgraded version of the turbo 4-cylinder engine with an electric supercharger.

The 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge builds on the B6 by adding plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology. The original XC60 Recharge, known as the T8 eAWD, qualified for a $5,419 federal tax credit for the 2022 model year (you might still find these at dealerships). Later in the model year, Volvo rolled out the T8 eAWD Extended Range. Priced just $500 higher, it has a higher-capacity battery pack and a more powerful rear electric motor. The result is more all-electric driving range, plus a full $7,500 tax credit.

Volvo offers a few trim levels for each 2023 XC60 model. The XC60 B5 comes in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trims, while the B6 is R-Design or Inscription only. The XC60 Recharge PHEV comes in Inscription Expression, R-Design, Inscription, and Polestar Engineered trims.

Connected services on the 2023 Volvo XC60 include automatic collision notification, live emergency assistance, and rapid access to roadside assistance through Volvo On Call. You can use the Volvo Cars app to start the engine or climate control remotely and monitor the XC60 Recharge’s charging status. The above services are free for the first four years of ownership, as is the 2023 XC60’s Wi-Fi hotspot. In addition, Volvo Care Key allows owners to limit the maximum speed (below the SUV’s 112-mph electronic limiter) when loaning their XC60 to less trusted drivers.

Volvo provides three complimentary maintenance visits (at 10,000-mile intervals) during your first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership.

Advantage: Volvo XC60

Reliability and Quality

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Silver Dawn Front Quarter View

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

The BMW X3 does not rank among the top three Luxury Compact SUVs in the J.D. Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) or the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2023 BMW X3 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

Like the X3, the Volvo XC60 does not rank among the top three Luxury Compact SUVs in the 2022 VDS or the 2021 IQS. The 2023 Volvo XC60 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

Advantage: Neither

Apart from Volvo’s additional hybrid coverage, the XC60 and X3 offer the same warranty terms.

Performance and Efficiency

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e Interior Dashboard

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Consumers have three engines from which to select on the 2023 BMW X3. Most people will be content with the turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in the RWD X3 sDrive30i and AWD xDrive30i. This engine develops 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is hill-descent control.

However, the turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine on the 2023 BMW X3 M40i is irresistibly potent. It’s rated at 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The X3 M40i has a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that powers its electrical system, smooths out the operation of its automatic engine stop/start system, and provides a slight power boost in certain situations. BMW pairs it with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

If you need to keep up with sport sedans, consider the 2023 BMW X3 M. Distinct from the M40i’s engine, the X3 M’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 makes 473 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque in standard tune. If you spend $7,000 on the Competition package, those ratings increase to 503 hp and 479 pound-feet.

The BMW X3 M uses a specialized 8-speed automatic transmission tuned for maximum performance. In addition, its AWD system sends more engine torque to the rear wheels to liven up the SUV’s handling. A fancy limited-slip rear differential, known as the M Active Differential, is standard.

With 8 inches of ground clearance, the 2023 BMW X3 can weather a snowstorm but shouldn’t venture too far from the pavement. Properly equipped, any X3 has a 4,400-pound tow rating.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not published fuel-economy ratings for the 2023 BMW X3, but they’re unlikely to change from 2022. The 2022 BMW X3 sDrive30i rates 25 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The X3 xDrive30i rates 24 mpg. The 6-cylinder 2022 X3 M40i rates 23 combined. The 2022 BMW X3 M rates 17 mpg combined with or without the Competition package.

Every 2023 Volvo XC60 uses a version of the automaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. On the entry-level XC60 B5 model, this engine is turbocharged and equipped with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. It makes 247 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission and hill-descent control are standard.

Next up is the Volvo XC60 B6. In addition to a turbocharger and the mild-hybrid system, the B6 has an electric supercharger (called E-Charger). The result is 295 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque. The 8-speed automatic drives all four wheels through the standard AWD system.

The Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 eAWD Extended Range replaces the original version of Volvo’s plug-in hybrid compact premium SUV offered early in the 2022 model year. The 2023 XC60 Recharge Extended Range uses the e-supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. The 8-speed automatic drives the SUV’s front wheels. There’s also a front-mounted, 34-kilowatt electric starter motor (more potent than the mild-hybrid B5 and B6) that functions as a generator and augments the turbocharger’s performance.

The T8 eAWD Extended Range has an 18.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack (versus the 11.6-kWh pack on the original XC60 Recharge) and adds one-pedal driving capability. Instead of a conventional AWD system with a driveshaft, the XC60 PHEV uses a 143-hp rear electric motor to drive the rear wheels. The total output on the 2023 Volvo XC60 T8 eAWD Extended Range is 455 hp and 523 pound-feet of torque.

Those are impressive numbers, and the plug-in hybrid XC60 delivers acceleration on par with the BMW X3 M40i. The Polestar Engineered trim level enhances the experience, as its firm suspension and strong brakes are up to the task of spirited driving.

The XC60 offers 8.2 inches of ground clearance (8.3 on the Recharge). Properly equipped XC60s have modest tow ratings. Volvo rates the B5 AWD and B6 versions for 2,400 pounds. The 2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge tops out at 2,250 pounds.

The EPA hasn’t yet published gas mileage ratings for the 2023 Volvo XC60, but the numbers aren’t likely to change from 2022. The 2022 XC60 B5 rates 26 mpg combined with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. The AWD-only XC60 B6 also rates 24 mpg combined. The 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 eAWD Extended Range rates 28 mpg combined and offers an EPA-estimated 35 miles of all-electric range (up from 25 mpg and 18 miles of electric range on the original PHEV).

Advantage: Neither

BMW’s 6-cylinder engines offer intoxicating performance, but the efficiency and rapid response of the XC60 plug-in hybrid is equally compelling.

Safety and Driving Assistance

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge Interior Infotainment System

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge

Every 2023 BMW X3 comes with the most essential advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). The standard Active Driving Assistant package includes a forward-collision warning (FCW) system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking (AEB). The X3 also provides lane-departure warning (LDW) and blind-spot warning (BSW) with rear cross-traffic warning.

Formerly, you could add the optional Driving Assistance Professional package to get Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance on your X3, but as of this publication, it’s unavailable to order on 2023 models. It includes lane-keeping assistance (LKA), upgraded BSW with side-collision avoidance assistance, front cross-traffic warning, and traffic jam assist (TJA) via adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, lane centering, and evasive steering assistance (ESA).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have yet to publish safety ratings for the 2023 BMW X3. The structurally similar 2022 X3 has a 5-star (out of 5) NHTSA overall safety rating. In IIHS testing, the 2022 X3 earned Good ratings in all crash tests but wasn’t a Top Safety Pick. It has a Marginal rating for LATCH ease of use due to deeply recessed lower anchors.

The 2023 Volvo XC60 comes with all the same standard ADAS as the BMW, as well as LKA, rear automatic braking, and side/rear collision-avoidance assistance for the BSW and rear cross-traffic warning systems. An option package provides ACC with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering assistance.

The NHTSA and IIHS have not published ratings for the 2023 Volvo XC60, either. The structurally similar 2022 Volvo XC60 earned 5 stars for overall crash protection from the NHTSA. The IIHS gave both the 2022 XC60 and 2022 XC60 Recharge its Top Safety Pick+ accolade.

Advantage: Volvo XC60

Infotainment and Technology

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Rear Quarter View

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

The 2023 BMW X3 has a standard 10.5-inch touchscreen interface backed by the iDrive 7 infotainment platform. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are wireless, and the system uses over-the-air (OTA) updates. Live Cockpit Professional upgrades to a 12.3-inch display. A wireless charging pad and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system are also optional. This version of iDrive is user-friendly for the most part, but given its deep functionality, you’ll want to spend a few days getting up to speed.

The 2023 Volvo XC60 has Volvo’s latest infotainment platform. It uses the Android Automotive operating system and features built-in Google apps, wireless smartphone integration, and OTA updates. You’ll probably love it if you already have a phone that uses Android OS, but it’s also compatible with iPhones. The standard 9-inch display has a vertical orientation (like a tablet in portrait mode). Volvo offers an optional Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

Advantage: Neither

BMW offers a larger touchscreen, but Volvo’s infotainment interface will have considerable appeal for Android users.

Comfort and Utility

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 Silver Dawn Rear Quarter View

2023 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

Inside, the 2023 BMW X3 has a business-class aesthetic that’s indistinct from other BMW models. But it has such high-quality furnishings and such comfortable seats that you probably won’t care. There’s just enough rear legroom to accommodate 6-footers. As expected, the X3 M has a more flamboyant design, thanks to carbon-fiber detailing and quilted sport seats.

The 2023 X3 has 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. Folding the rear seats down provides 62.7 cubic feet of storage space.

The 2023 Volvo XC60’s interior design has more personality and warmth. Organic shapes define the dash, and Volvo offers numerous trim and upholstery options with unexpected patterns and textures. The seats are fantastically comfortable front and rear. Average-size adults will be content in the back seat, but six-footers will find it snug.

All 2023 Volvo XC60s have 22.4 cubic feet of space behind their second-row seats and 63.3 cubic feet with those seats folded.

Advantage: Neither

Your decision will come down to personal preferences.

Learn More About the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60

If you’d like to learn more about these compact premium SUVs, be sure to read our expert reviews of the 2023 BMW X3 and the 2023 Volvo XC60. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on June 10, 2022, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.