2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Land Rover Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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.

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

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Discovery Sport’s (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. Land Rover only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Discovery Sport.

There are over 52 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XC40’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the XC40’s reliability 55 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are better in initial quality than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 31st in initial quality. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 33rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 29th in reliability. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC40 T5 AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (248 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. (22 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/24 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Discovery Sport (245/45R20 vs. 235/60R18).

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 Discovery Sport’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Discovery Sport’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Volvo XC40 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The XC40 is 6.8 inches shorter than the Discovery Sport, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The XC40 is 8.2 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the XC40 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has 1.8 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 4.1 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 55.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Land Rover Discovery Sport is limited to 4409 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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The XC40 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC40 will retain 46.39% to 55.1% of its original price after five years, while the Discovery Sport only retains 40.04% to 43.9%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC40 will be $13636 to $17632 less than for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC40, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Volvo XC40 outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by 43% during 2019.

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