2020 Volvo XC40 vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

Both the XC40 and NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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 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 NX Series 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 NX Series 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.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the XC40 and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, 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 NX Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the NX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the NX Series.

There are over 24 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XC40’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC40 has a standard 800-amp battery. The NX Series’ 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 199) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 more horsepower (248 vs. 235) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the XC40 T5 is faster than the NX 300:

XC40

NX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

20.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

126 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

XC40

FWD

T4 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

AWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

NX Series

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the XC40’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the NX Series 300h.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo XC40, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the NX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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

XC40

NX Series

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.1 inches

The XC40 stops much shorter than the NX Series:

XC40

NX Series

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the NX Series (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NX Series (245/45R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The XC40’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the NX Series. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC40’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the NX Series (106.4 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1 inch wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (8.3 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC40’s minimum ground clearance is 1.4 inches higher than on the NX 300 (8.3 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

The Volvo XC40 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The XC40 is 8.5 inches shorter than the NX Series, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The XC40 has 26.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (98 vs. 71.6).

The XC40 has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, .7 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 54.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC40 easier. The XC40’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the NX Series’ liftover is 31.2 inches.

Towing

The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (3500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus NX 300h AWD is only 2000 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The XC40 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NX Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The XC40’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The NX Series’ power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The XC40’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The NX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 NX Series’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

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 NX Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the XC40 and the NX Series 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 NX Series.

The XC40’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The NX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC40 is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $707 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC40 than the NX Series, including $136 less for a water pump, $245 less for a muffler, $187 less for a starter, $354 less for fuel injection, $15 less for front struts, $682 less for a timing belt/chain and $38 less for a power steering pump.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos