2019 BMW X1 vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the X1 and the XC40 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The XC40 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 15 percent more BMW dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The XC40 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 21 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 41 more horsepower (228 vs. 187) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X1 is faster than the XC40 T5:

 

X1

XC40

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.5 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XC40 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X1 has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (16.1 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X1 higher (7 out of 10) than the Volvo XC40 (5). This means the X1 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the XC40 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The XC40 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the XC40 are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops shorter than the XC40:

 

X1

XC40

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XC40’s standard 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XC40 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC40’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .87 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the BMW X1 amounts to more than styling. The X1 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the XC40 (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X1 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i is quieter than the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD (40 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The X1 has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC40 with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 20.7 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC40 with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X1 easier. The X1’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the XC40’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

The X1’s cargo area is larger than the XC40’s in almost every dimension:

 

X1

XC40

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

35.1”/69”

34.9”/65.7”

Max Width

51.5”

47.8”

Min Width

39.5”

39.5”

Height

33”

29.4”

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 15% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

The X1 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The XC40 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the X1 has a standard extendable sun visor. The XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The X1 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the XC40.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X1 is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because typical repairs cost less on the X1 than the XC40, including $35 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The XC40 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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