2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 BMW X4

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 X4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 X4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XC40 and X4 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 X4’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.

Both the XC40 and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 X4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The X4’s redline is at 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The XC40 has a 6000 RPM redline.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the X4:

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

X4

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

20 city/27 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 X4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XC40’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the X4:

XC40

X4

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

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 X4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the X4’s (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X4 (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Volvo XC40 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the BMW X4.

The XC40 is 1 foot, 1.3 inches shorter than the X4, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has .2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XC40’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The X4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Payload

The XC40 has a higher standard payload capacity than the X4 (925 vs. 882 lbs.).

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 X4 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 X4 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 X4 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Model Availability

The XC40 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Volvo XC40 outsold the BMW X4 by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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