2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 BMW X2

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X2 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X2 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X2 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC40 and X2 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X2’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The X2 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Safety in the XC40 as “Superior.” The X2 scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The X2 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The X2 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X2 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The XC40’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The X2 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 and the X2 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X2 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Engine

The XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (248 vs. 228) than the X2 s/xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the X2 s/xDrive28i:

XC40

X2

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T4 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the X2 s/ sDrive28i FWD (23 city/33 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).

The XC40 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X2 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X2:

XC40

X2

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.8 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the X2:

XC40

X2

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the X2 (235/55R18 vs. 225/50R18). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X2 (245/45R20 vs. 225/50R18).

Suspension and Handling

The XC40 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC40’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The X2 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC40’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the X2 (106.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the X2.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the X2 (8.3 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD is quieter than the X2 xDrive28i (74 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The XC40 has 3.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X2 (98 vs. 94.1).

The XC40 has .6 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X2.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X2 with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 50.1 cubic feet).

The XC40’s cargo area is larger than the X2’s in almost every dimension:

XC40

X2

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/65.7”

30.6”/63”

Max Width

47.8”

48”

Min Width

39.5”

39.6”

Height

29.4”

28”

Towing

The XC40 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The X2 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The XC40 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X2 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC40 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The X2 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XC40 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X2 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the X2’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The X2 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The X2’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The XC40’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Both the XC40 and the X2 offer optional heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the X2.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its December 2018 issue and they ranked the Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design AWD first. They ranked the BMW X2 xDrive28i third.

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

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